Saturday, September 6, 2008

Another fun filled weekend!

OMG, can I smash any more into 48 hours?!

So, a while back, Podcacher interviews this guy called Amtrekker. Someone who decided "Why wait?" to do a "50 things I've always wanted to do" list. Cool. I swing over to his website, and scroll through the first couple of pages. Then I see #42 on his list: Ride an ostrich. Hey, the Camel Races are coming up soon and they have ostriches! (Little did I know he already knew this). So, I shoot him a quick tweet on Twitter and start following his adventures.

What does that have to do with today? Patience!

It's another weekend and that means another AirSoft game. This time though it's up in King's Canyon and with the recent decline of my asthma condition, upon finding out just how steep the terrain was, left me sitting up on my truck rather than risk a full blown attack that left all my friends having to drag my heavy butt back uphill and then to the hospital. Yeah, I'll stay here. Unfortunately that means no pictures.

Afterwards, we head back into town, and do a quick change before heading up to Virginia City for.. you guessed it.. the 49th International Camel Races! We find our spot on the mine tailing that the rodeo grounds have been carved out of, and hunker down for a good show. And it was a lot of fun! Camels running everywhere, jockeys sometimes on their rides (sometimes not), and a large crowd having a lot of fun!

Then, it's time for the ostriches. Amtrekker, Brett, has a distictive green ball cap that let's him stick out once you know to look for it. We watched him get introduced and interviewed by the EmCee and then he was off towards the gates. On your mark, get set, GO!!! They're off, the first two birds driving forward, but the third decides it doesn't want to do anything and plops down right on the track, refusing to move, and spilling its rider. Guess who the lucky rider was?

Well, the crew took pity and Brett was allowed to ride in the final ostrich race. So we watched more camels kinda sorta going thata way, if they felt like it. There was a zebra who preformed some fun tricks and looked like he was enjoying his chance in the limelight. A trio of belly-dancers also entertained the crowd.

Back to the ostriches, Brett set up his videographer and then he climbed onto the back of another ostrich. On your mark, Get Set, GO!!! He's out first! He's pulling ahead! He's... turning around?! And around?! And headed back! Uh oh! A good solid twist of a fluffy feathered back and Brett found himself on the ground, curled up to protect himself as the ostrich tried to find it's footing - on top of Brett!

The bird was chased away, Brett was helped up, and the crowd started yelling. One of the other ostriches had jumped the fence on the far end and was standing confused at the mountain wall behind the arena. Expertly wrangled back into the field with the crowd pushed up into the higher levels of the seating area, we all got our nice bit of excitement for the day.

I took the chance to walk around to the rider's area, watched a brief interview and a rapid Twitter post and then broke in by finishing his sentence of "Just doing a quick Twitter update..." with "Yeah, and it's a pain trying to update while standing in a field!" Had a great time talking with the four of them, found out more about him and his plans for the future. An incredible guy and amazing to talk with. I'm glad I got to meet him so soon after learning of his project. I would LOVE to be able to drop everything and do the same - though I'd go out and tackle it as a major geocaching project.

A quick run out to Silver Springs and then home to sit here and type. Tomorrow morning is the Great Reno Balloon Race and I want to go up to once again see the Dawn Patrol!

I'll load photos specific to Brett's visit here: Amtrekker's Ostrich Ride

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