Tuesday, July 16, 2002

A Weekend With ESPN in the Adirondacks

This is a picture of me blowing it in the finals race of the boom run.  (This isn't my big crash though.) 
As I get more pictures from the Great Outdoor Games I will post them here.

    After a very early flight and a decent drive, my dad and I ended up back in Lake Placid for a third year in a row.  We both commented on how we felt like we were coming home, since the place had become so familiar.  We went right to the registration trailer and in the process I ran into Alex, who asked me to do an interview with CBS the next morning.  In my half asleep mode, I agreed...only to find out it was at 5am!  But my rationale is this: ESPN give us SO much stuff (not to mention money) I should be able to do an interview or two when they want me to, right?  The boom run meeting that night was super fun...I got to see some folks that I hadn't seen in a while.  After the meeting, my dad and I had a fancy seafood dinner and went to bed early.

    The 5am interview was actually a blast.  Maggie also came down to do it.  Some guys from CBS came down, and the sports guy wanted to try the boom run.  Maggie and I managed to stay dry.  In a later segment, I got to be the sportscaster on the news while Maggie and him raced on the boom.  It was super cool...I had the earpiece and all!  It is WAY hard to be a news caster because you have constant input in one ear, while you are trying to report out of your mouth.  After the news guy criticized my blondness in front of Maggie several times, we got some gifts from ESPN and went back to bed.  When I woke up, I did feel much better, but my cold was nagging me.  My dad and I grabbed some quick breakfast and headed down to the boom run venue.  The whole morning was a blast.  I beat Taylor and Maggie to make it to finals against Mandy...a total repeat from last year.  Mandy is so tiny (and not to mention a good athlete) that she just darts across those logs like they don't even move.  I figured I wasn't going to win, so I went balls out.  When you go super fast on the boom run, you tend to sacrifice control.  I came out ahead of Mandy...then before I knew it, I crashed.  (See the above picture.)  At that point I knew it was over, but I still didn't want to look like a tool and not finish.  I headed back and as I got to the last log, somehow ( I totally don't remember a thing) I crashed into the dock again.  I really don't know how bad this crash was because I never saw the replay on the big screen, but it hurt.  I shook it off, hugged Mandy, and headed straight for the med tent.  They thought my finger was broken because it was very swollen and bent a bit funny.  So I taped the fingers together, got my medal, and got ready for the Mixed Doubles Boom Run.
    For this race I was paired with Travis Wells.  We were super pumped because we are such good friends.  Our team was named team "Beefcake" due to the fact that neither of us were tiny like the other boom runners.  The only thing that sucked is that Travis has always had a habit of falling in.  In Quarterfinals, we both had clean runs and advanced to semis.  We TOTALLY almost made it to finals, but Travis conveniently missed the last log.  I think he felt pretty bad, so I had to keep reminding him that this was all just a game...plus he looked funny as hell out there.  :)  I think he did get a bit irked when I told the crowd he was fat and lazy though.  Jamie ended up being the star of the day for the boom run.  After the logrolling meeting, we all went to the ESPN Pig Roast.  It was a BLAST!  All of the food we wanted to eat, games, shows, and fireworks.  This magician came over to the table I was sitting at with Travis and Jamie and started doing tricks with me and Jamie.  He had stuff switch back and fourth between our hands, made stuff appear in our hands, and somehow stole Jamie's watch without him even noticing!  We were all way freaked out.  After that we all participated in an egg toss.  Of course, it was not long before I was covered in egg.  Not super sexy, let me tell ya.  Then a bunch of us got out pictures taken for the "cover" of ESPN magazine.  (I will scan and post these ASAP.)  It was a phony cover, but we got some pretty funny pictures taken.  Plus, sticking 7 logger ladies in a booth sure did draw a crowd. :) I was feeling kind of crappy with my cold, so my Dad and I left for the motel.

    I woke up Saturday morning feeling like crap.  I couldn't stop coughing, and my nose wouldn't stop running.  I got some breakfast and warmed up.  I had a pretty big feeling I wasn't going to do well logrolling.  In my match with Lizzy, I won the first fall...then she got the next two.  I wasn't too disappointed though, she's a great roller, and I felt like crap that morning anyway.  Some said I should have been more upset for getting out in quarterfinals, but hey, I tried my hardest...and it's all just a fun game anyway. 
    After rolling, Rob asked me to help teach spectators how to logroll in the venue for quite a bit of $$$...of course my broke self couldn't turn that down.  Maggie helped me out as well.  It was fun for a while, but we started cooking in the sun and getting a bit looney.  I told Maggie that if my dream guy didn't come and ask to roll soon, I was going to be out of there.  Within an hour of that comment, this SUPER HOT guy and his friend came over to roll.  Since I was far away from home, I got the guts to ask him to come out with the rollers that night.  After a long day in the sun, Maggie and I finally got to leave.  I showered up and took off with Travis, Jamie, and Tanya for some dinner and a night on the town.  Oh yeah, the results.  For the Women, Tina Salzman won..ofcourse.  Jenny got second and Lizzy got third.  The Men's results were the big shocker.  Darren showed up last minute (his car broke down and we didn't' think he would make it).  He ended up beating J.R. in semi finals!  It was crazy!  J.R. actually took not winning any golds over the weekend quite well.  He still came home with a ton of money and three medals...who can argue with that?  Anyway, Darren ended up winning gold.  It was great!  I was so happy for him, he's wanted it for so long. 
    So yeah, back to the night on the town.  We had dinner in our "free food" area with Rob Scheer, who proceeded to tell us more about the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show.  I'm really thinking of doing that show next summer, it actually sounds quite fun.  Then we watched the agility dogs.  Those dogs are so much fun to watch!  They are also incredibly talented.  Travis, Jamie, and I met up with Kellen (the hot guy I had met earlier) at Roomers night club, and we hopped around for the rest of the night.  Saturday night is always the best part...everybody goes out and had a GREAT time.  We danced, talked, joked, until 3am.  Jamie was celebrating his 21st birthday and was not exactly in top condition when they all had to leave to catch their flight.  Good thing they had Travis to take care of them.  :) 

    Sunday my Dad and I slept in fairly late then met up with some friends of ours in Saranac Lake, Pat Pillis and her daughter Shannon.  Let me tell you about these wonderful people.  Pat adopted three sons, knowing all three were at risk for Huntington's Disease.  All three tested positive for the gene and are showing signs.  Shannon was adopted years later and thank the lord, had no HD in her background.  Pat, her husband Paul, and Shannon are all very strong and brave souls for raising and taking care of those three wonderful boys.  Anyway, Pat took us out to their boat on the Upper Saranac.  Talk about a BEAUTIFUL LAKE...all of the celebrities and rich people of the country have summer homes around the lake.  Their boathouses are bigger than any house I have ever seen...and those were just the boathouses!!!  Shannon and I cruised around the lake in the speedboat in search of Nick and Aaron Carter (who we plan to marry).  With no luck in that department, we went for a swim.  Did I mention it was a beautiful lake in the mountains?  Man oh man.  After boating, we went to meet Paul at the Young Life camp he works at.  I had never heard of Young Life before this and had no idea what I was getting into.  This was no regular summer camp...it was every high schooler's dream come true!  A lot of time and work was put in to make this camp a success.  Although I am not a very religious person, I would have given anything to go to this camp when I was in high school.  The good thing about it is it doesn't push religion onto you, just lets you think about it.  I could spend hours writing about what I saw and did there that evening, but instead, I will just leave a link.
    After hanging out at Pat and Shannon's place for a while, my dad and I went back into Lake Placid.  We got a bunch of Ice Cream, and watched as the venues were being taken down.

   I'd like to end this incredibly long post with some quotes from the weekend:

  • "Take me fishing..." - Me, the jumbotron, and everybody else at the games
  • "I'd recognize that ass anywhere." - Jamie's big entrance into the boom run meeting
  • "So what's his name?" - Brian inquiring about Darren's new girlfriend.
  • "Beefcake...BEEFCAKE" - Travis and myself explaining our team name to others.
  • "I'm quick and she's easy." - Jamie explaining his team name to the TV cameras (and boy wasn't that name PERFECT for them)
  • "These guys are not the young fast Ferraris of the GO Games....these guys are the four wheel drive trucks." - Robert Scheer's commentary on the match between Travis and Dan.
  • "The champion's challenge was great!  I got to hold her hand, hug her...I loved it!" - Jamie's comments on the champion's challenge with Mandy.
  • "So do they charge people to get into your Lumberjack Show?" - Tanya asking a very blonde question to Robert Scheer
  • "Our Timber competitors could speed up those agility dogs any day..." - Robert's response to hearing that the agility dogs were running way past schedule.
  • "Order me another one of those Rhode Islands Shana." - Jamie on Saturday night after only one drink.
  • "Where's Mandy?" - Cassidy all Saturday night long.
  • "Hey Shana, anymore guys blow you off tonight?" - Travis with a perfect description of my evening as well as my summer.



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