Fireball Run: Day 6...
Today's theme song came right out of Cleveland......"Rhythm of the Rain" and that's what it did.....all day. Still, it didn't dampen our spirit or our focus on the prize. Speaking of the "prize", I'll bet that you all have been wondering what the winner gets, eh? Plaque, ring, medallion, money, not exactly. Each team member receives a plastic road sign. Yup, that's it. And, I don't even know what the sign says......winner, stop, do not pass go.....let's hope we find out.
That brings us to Saturday when it all comes to a head. We have another full day of tasks as we travel from tonight's lay over here in Ogunquit, Maine up to Bangor. When it was all said and done this evening, Team 99 was still not on top, but we are so close......only 8 points behind.
Today's activities had their highs and one particular low, more about that later. Let's start first with our very successful navigating of the shortest route to our midday destination, Amesbury, Mass. This time, the master of the maps, Bernie, really didn't need'em, as he had made this journey countless times. As a result, we arrived there well ahead of the pack and captured the points that go with that position. Perhaps as rewarding though was the reception we received in this quaint, story book looking town. The streets were cordoned off and filled with thousands, especially a lot of kids, all screaming and cheering. This was followed by our best lunch of the week.......clam rolls, chowder, great flat bread pizza, and fresh apple cider, just to name some of the items on the fabulous buffet. Here's a tip of our hats to this lovely burg which I hope to visit again soon.
As first in, we were the first out and on our way to Maine. We quickly found a bonus location and then struck out for what was billed as a truly "epic" adventure. Since you readers aren't bombarded all day with the Fireball info, I've weaved in a kinda inside joke when I used the word epic. Virtually every assignment is described that way. We joke about it, knowing it's become part of the DNA of the organization. That being the case, this time that description was certainly understated. Then again, maybe the right word was simply bizarre, 'cause we were about to participate in a regatta..... a pumpkin regatta, that is.
You heard me right, each group had to climb into a giant, hollowed out pumpkin and paddle around a course in a pond while being timed. The faster ya go, the more points you get. And, oh yea, you had to wear your racing suit, too. Once again, I was fortunately eliminated from this exercise due to my crutches and walking boot.......this will come back to haunt me later. I'm positive that Bernie wanted this assignment, but knowing that the leader can't put himself in a position to get all the glory all the time, he instantly designated Matt, sizing him up as the strongest and most fit for the vigorous rowing......which happened to also be true.
Matt did really well on several fronts....his time put him in the top 10 and, more importantly, he didn't capsize and go for a swim. He did get pretty wet and cold, so we owed him one and I was about to take one on the chin as a result.
Our next stop was in Ogunquit at the Art Museum where one of us had to paint an ocean scene in water colors. I did the right thing and volunteered, despite knowing that I have never been able to do anything remotely decent in that medium. And I was right. We took a big hit in the point category as my rendering was described by the judges as " the paint would've been of better use if it stayed in the tube."
Well, that pretty much covers it for Friday with one exception. The dinner was precisely what we were all hoping it would be........lobster, corn on the cob, baked potato, more chowder, and pumpkin pie....wonder where that came from? Oh, there's one more thing. Fireball is very big on paying forward by trying to make a difference in all of the cities that host us. This takes many forms which which included this time the auctioning off of those delightful paintings. This was all well and good until they came to mine.....last. Bernie did all he could, even bidding it all the way up to $2.00. Wanting to do my part and not embarrass the Rock Hall, I added a few extras and the crowd jumped on them. All in all, the auction brought in over $2,000 for the Art Museum. A true win-win for everybody....if ya get my drift?
So that's it, till tomorrow when we wind this thing up. We wanna bring the title back to Ohio, but we'll be missing some of our best assistants with the weekend and all. You all have carried us this far and I hope you'll be along for the ride in the morning.