Last Saturday of January

For the sixth year in a row, I’ve spent the last Saturday of January on the golf course.  The temporary disc golf course, that is, that adorns Como Park once a year during the St Paul Winter Carnival.  For two days, disc golfers and Ultimate Frisbee players alike brave whatever weather Minnesota throws at us to compete in the Winter Carnival tournament.

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Ultimate Frisbee game on ice.

We haven’t had much snow over the past several weeks and saw some warm days before finally hitting subzero in January.  This left the conditions mostly perfect as compared to some years.  There were occasional ice patches that made for poor footing during a throw, but there was no snow accumulation to potentially eat your disc.  This may be the first of six Winter Carnivals that I have not lost a disc to the conditions.

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Me throwing hole 15 in 2012
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Michael throwing hole 15 in 2013

Michael and Randy joined me this year and we added a fourth at the first tee.  He turned out to compete in the pro class and threw three under over 28 holes.  The distance he got on his drives was incredible, but his laser putting was what impressed me the most.

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Randy on a new hole for 2013
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Ching!
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Michael and I at our sixth annual Winter Carnival disc golf tourney

I threw a 106 which is a typical score for me.  I’ve broken 100 a couple of times.  But I usually don’t throw during the few months leading up to this event, so the expectation is just to have fun, not to set any records.  I do enjoy the score keeping process, though!

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Score keepin’ 2012

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From Como Park to Powderhorn Park as quickly as possible!

This year was my fourth annual trip to the Art Sled Rally, a community event in South Minneapolis that involves making a sled and taking one run down a hill with spectators and emcees.  It is purely for fun.

Four years ago, one of my climbing friends brought this idea up during one of our weekly post climbing pizza and beer sessions.  We’ve been at it ever since.

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Year one: Pac Man
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Year two: Scrabble
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Year three: The Aquarium

This year, it took us quite a while to come up with an idea that we could really get behind.  There were several kicked around but finally one stuck; refashion the aquarium to be First Avenue, the famed rock club in downtown Minneapolis.

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Last years aquarium now Frost Ave!

As the idea began to unfold, one of our team came up with the idea of making her star say Sled Zeppelin instead of Led Zeppelin.  This pun caught us all off guard and started a stream of band name spoofs.  It was that moment when we truly embraced this idea and we set to work.

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This was our first time using the space at the Bedlam Theater, which offers a few workshops to help people come up with ideas and materials to create sleds.  There is a whole crew of folks that make this crazy event happen every year and we had a good time meeting them at the workshop and seeing them again on the hill.  We earned a special shout out from the emcee for our efforts in past years before they queued our song, “Let’s Go Crazy”.

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Frost Avenue and 7th Sleet Entry
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Found photo on Flickr of stars and Prince (and Zeke!)

Through our banter about how to conduct our sled performance this year, we realized no one would actually be inside the building.  This led to the idea that we could hide Prince inside and when the building took off on its own, Prince would be left behind to do a little show before sledding down to join the rest of the team.  (At the last moment, my 13 year old son decided to join us and rode inside the building.)

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Found photo of Prince playing Let’s Go Crazy as sledders make their way down
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Found photo of Prince hopping on his not-so-purple motorcycle
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Found photo of me as Prince just before hitting the hay bales

Post 2013 Art Sled Rally, we headed out for pizza and beer, as we always do.  Most of my crew had never seen Purple Rain, so many of my references to the movie were lost.  So, after pizza, we headed to one of our team members house and found it available online.  It may not be one of those timeless classics, but we certainly did enjoy ourselves watching it, and mocking it, and scheming for next year.

There is always next year.

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For now, my aim is to recover.  I’m sore and tired.  I’m old and my body doesn’t love me after days like this.  So, I ice and I heat and in a day or two I’ll turn my focus back to the NSS comp coming up next weekend.  A couple of hangboard days and a night at the co-op and I should be ready to crush the competition.  Or, at least fall trying.

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2012 Art Sled Rally: The Aquarium

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