Labor Day camping trip…and the resurrection of CatLiquor

Last year I joined a fantasy football league.  The team name I chose…CatLiquor.  Please don’t confuse it with CatLicker.

It is very fun to compete with some of my favorite people.  We even have an ongoing group text so we can stay in touch with each other to discuss each game.  (aka give each other shit for losing and pretty much just for being alive)  The harassment and obnoxious meme’s that we threw at each other over the last football season was amazing, all with love behind it of course.

We all agreed to endure another year of punishment and we even brought in a few more of our friends to partake in the fun.  This year our league commissioner decided that we would have the draft party at the Blue Lake Campground by Coulee City Washington on Labor Day weekend.  My first thought was…ROAD TRIP!!!  Any excuse for me to travel outside of this county, I’m always down for.

He invited all the players of the league over to camp with his very hospitable family for the weekend to drink lots of pop (with alcohol added), and most importantly, play Draft Olympics so we could earn our place in the draft.  I was asked to make the draft board, and I promised it would be as awesome as me!  And boy did I deliver.  The lines weren’t exactly straight, but…whose lines are always straight.

Finally the weekend was here.  Dana and Beth came over to my house on Saturday morning after I got off my duty shift that morning at 7:30 am.  Dana’s son and his friend were going to meet us over at the campground to spend the weekend with us too.  We have always called Dana’s son slim shady, and the friend he brought camping we eventually called Eddie for Ed Sheeran…love our nicknames.

We loaded up the Durang with all of our camping gear, coolers of food, water and most importantly, the draft board!  We got onto highway 20 in Woolley and drove, and drove, and drove for over four hours on a beautiful scenic route.  It always amazes me how it is so green and full of trees in our part of the state, but then when you drive a little over two hours to the east you end up in the desert.   We had so much fun just cruising along in the Durang, talking about our lives; three friends telling stories, sharing our views on everything even politics.   I felt so damn free, so full of life, so completely and utterly…satisfied.

When we arrived in Coulee City we went to the grocery store and then to the liquor store…can’t ever have enough vodka.  Then we headed out to find the campground.  I would like to say that we didn’t drive right past it…but we did.   Once we realized we went too far we turned around and headed back down the road.  We eventually found the campground and drove over to where the rest of the league was.

Dana, Beth, Slim Shady and Eddie had brought their tents to sleep in.  I however wanted to become one with the Durang, and I chose to sleep in it.  Plus I was too lazy to setup a tent.  I envisioned myself enjoying myself all day by the water, drinking, playing games, then night time by the fire, then when I was tired…open the door of the Durang, fall in, shut door.  And at the end of the weekend…all my stuff was already in the car!

Once the worker bees had their tents up our Commish decided it was time to start playing games.  Beers-bee was the first game we played.  If you do not know this game, it’s simple, two orange cones with a piece of PVC pipe sticking up out of them with a full, opened can of pop or beer resting on the top,  one team at each cone on either side of the beach.  One team member throws a Frisbee at the PVC pipe to try to knock the can off.  The other team can not reach in front of the PVC pipe, but once it passes that pipe they better catch it, or the other team scores a point.  Let’s just say that it’s been years since I’ve even thrown a Frisbee, and with day drinking and the wind, I wasn’t batting a thousand on this game.  And once it started to get dark…the skill level dropped substantially.

Another game we played was Jenga…the old people version.  The blocks were 4×4’s cut up.  Again, day drinking was a factor with this game as well.  Depth perception, shaky hands, you name it, it happened.

After an afternoon of games that were fun, but no real clear winner of all, the commish decided it was really time for the ultimate test to get our rankings for the draft.  And what did an ex Navy swimmer choose that would be fair to all involved?  A evening swim out to the bouy and back.  ummmm, what?  and he said he would give us a headstart….ummm, what???

It all dawned on us that we had been drinking all day, the weather was cloudy and windy, and again, drinking all day.  Wasn’t everything we’ve all heard our whole lives is that we don’t mix liquor and water?  That’s a bad thing right?  Because drinking had limited our ability to make rational decisions…we all agreed to the swim.  And let me also say here that some of the participants were stand in’s for some of the team that was unable to come camping with us…they volunteered to be punished.  God love em’.

Let’s just say the entry into the water was not good for a few of us (ok, probably just me).  There were big rocks, slippery rocks.  And can I just say that being bare foot in cold water while trying to run thru slippery rocks, while your foot slips off and you knock one of your ankles really hard on said rock, that is not a good feeling, no matter how much day drinking you have done.  One of the rules is that you had to swim out to the bouey with a flotation device of your choice.  Well, I decided to bring an empty water bottle.  Some people decided to take an air mattress or innertube…again, day drinking people, not the smartest tool in the shed that day.  With an injured ankle, and again, did I say day drinking, I swam out to the bouey and back doing the breast stroke, or what I thought in my mind was the breaststroke.  I was second to last…sigh.  oh well, at least I swam it, at least I finished it, at least I didn’t break anything.

Once dried off, and changed into our night time attire (aka sweats, sweatshirts and flip flops), we kept playing games and then sat around the campfire.  The commish got the beautiful draft board out and we begun to choose the players we wanted on our teams.  It was slow going, but lots of fun.  We filled up about half of our teams and decided we had enough for the day, so we continued to drink around the campfire.  It was relaxing, swollen ankle and all.

Next morning we all awoke to realize that the wind had done some damage to a nearby motorhome and some tents, and I had a teammate sleep in my back seat of the Durang, and I was in the driver seat.  Waking up with the sun warming me as I slept…priceless.  Once up we noticed that the beer and vodka was dwindling…trip into town remedied that.  When Beth and I arrived at the store in town the power was out throughout the whole town.  Luckily I had cash, and the cashier knew how to count change back without using a machine…bonus!

We had a full day of playing games, day drinking, going out on the boat, day drinking, eating, swimming and generally having a great time!   We even played quite a few games of volleyball in an old dirt area with a volleyball net.  Most of us even dove for the ball and landed on the ground with a dust cloud coming up on either side of us.  Lots of laughs, lots of wild serves…so much fun!!  I had not had a weekend like this in years.  It was so fun!

Once the darkness came we decided to finish choosing our players by the campfire.  Once done some of the group went to bed, the rest of us stayed up and sat around the campfire.  It was such a peaceful night.  The stars and the moon were out, the song lyrics, ‘peaceful…easy feeling…’ kept going thru my mind.  It felt so good to just be.

The next morning we all awoke with the sun warming us and with a little bit of sadness, the weekend was over, now back to reality.

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