I’m feeling a little bit under the weather, so just a quick note today.
This weekend, approximately 500 of you will be racing your 100 Miles of Nowhere. I want to wish you good luck, and to give you some valuable advice.
- First and foremost, have fun during your ride. This is a silly, ridiculous and downright weird thing you’re doing. Don’t make a grind out of it.
- Take time to take pictures, take a break, and look around. I kind of resisted when The Hammer suggested we stop at the park and try out those giant balls — I was in the “let’s put in the miles” mode. But because we did stop to take pictures, have ice cream, and play at the park, we had what I would call our best 100MoN event ever.
- Make a video. I recommend Hyperlapse. If you’ve got an iPhone, download this awesome (and free) app, which makes it super simple to make a sped-up video of your course. Then upload it to Vimeo or YouTube so it can be embedded in my blog. (iPhones also have built-in time-lapse video available; I haven’t played with it yet, so don’t know much about it.)
- Send your writeup to email@example.com. Make sure the subject line has 100MoN or 100 Miles of Nowhere in it, and also what makes your ride interesting or special.
- Write your writeup in Word. Or just plain text in your email body.
- Include lots of photos and links to your video, if you have one. Send photos to me as attachments, or embedded where they belong in the story in Word, or give me a link to the folder containing your photos in Dropbox or something like that.
- Don’t send hi-res photos. Your photos are going to be no more than 495 pixels wide in my blog post.
- Keep your writeup length reasonable. Under 1200 words. I’m not going to make a multi-parter out of your story. Only I get to do multi-parters.
- Short paragraphs are your friend. Have you noticed that I use paragraph breaks a lot more than most people do? Have you noticed that it’s also reasonably easy to scan and read my blog? Coincidence? No.
- If you’ve got a Strava of the ride, send me a link to it. And screenshots of interesting things like elevation profiles, the track of the ride, stuff like that.
- If you’ve already sent me your writeup, you need to send it again. I’m starting to collect and flag writeups NOW, and stuff you sent three weeks ago is buried under ten miles of inbox clutter.
- If I don’t publish your writeup, don’t get mad at me. I publish quite a few writeups every year, but not all of them. It doesn’t mean that your writeup is bad. It just means that I ran out of time or energy or something. It’s not you. It’s me.
And — once again — be sure to have fun. We made a bunch of money for Camp Kesem. You got an awesome jersey and a bunch of cool swag.
Now get out there and enjoy yourself…on a very small course…for 100 miles!
Here’s are two very practical aphorisms you can share with people when you want to startle them with your deep insight into the underlying truths behind athletic efforts:
- Every race you’re in is exactly as important and exciting as you think it is.
- Any ride can be a race.
You know what? Those aren’t just aphorisms. Those are axioms. I should just end this blog post right here; I’ve already given you about ten times more value than you’ll get from the average award-winning cycling lifestyle blog written by a beloved A-list celebrity superstar blogger.
But I’m not done. In fact, I’m not even close to done. In fact, I haven’t even exactly gotten started.
My point — and yes, I do have one — is that The Hammer and I had been to Rebecca’s Private Idaho once to ride.
This time, we were there to race. Furthermore, we decided that we were going to treat it as an important race. And that we were going to race it as a two-person team.
And that I would do everything I could to be a good domestique. Not the best possible domestique, certainly. But still, pretty good.
Plus, I had a secret weapon. Or, as I’d later find out, two secret weapons.
I’m Doing Everything Wrong, Apparently
On the morning of the race I was standing around nervously. It’s what I do. It’s who I am.
And also, I was being indecisive. I couldn’t make up my mind on one particular thing. So I worked through it by chattering a stream of consciousness to The Hammer:
“So I’m going to ride in front of you the whole day, OK? I don’t want you pulling at all unless I completely self-destruct. And if I do self-destruct, you just keep going, OK? I’ll finish when I finish. But if I start gapping you, you let me know anytime I’m more than five feet ahead of you, OK? We both know there’s a lot of wind out there. But the one thing I’m wondering about is whether we ought to stay together during the first KOM climb. I kinda want to just hit that as hard as I can and see whether I can beat my time from last year, OK? But maybe that’s dumb because pulling you at race pace is going to take everything I’ve got and maybe more, right? So we should just stay together, including on that first big climb, OK?”
And so on. For absolutely completely reals.
The Hammer is used to it, she says.
And then, as I was standing and rambling, my good friend Robbie Ventura came over and looked at me. And my bike.
“Why are your handlebars so wide?” he asked. “Seems like they wouldn’t be very aero.”
“No, they’re probably not,” I agreed. “But they’re the handlebars I happen to own for this bike, and they’re really good for standing and climbing when I have it set up as a singlespeed.”
“Why are you riding a mountain bike anyway? Wouldn’t it be faster to race on a carbon cross bike?”
“It might be, but I don’t have one.”
“How come you have gels tucked under the legs on your shorts? You know that’s weight you’re unnecessarily lifting with each stroke of your pedals.”
“I had never thought of that.”
And then he looked at my secret weapon.
“What is that?” he asked.
I told him.
“Are you serious?”
“Completely serious. It’s my secret weapon. It’s going to make all the difference in the world today. It’s going to get The Hammer on the podium. Guaranteed.”
“If you say so,” he said, his tone implying the exact opposite.
And, having me doubt everything about everything I thought I knew, Robbie walked away.
We got in line, near the front, now quiet; I was no longer in a mood to jabber. Instead, I was pondering how much extra effort those gels under my shorts were costing me.
A lot, I’ll bet. A whole lot.
Subject to Revision
The race began, and The Hammer and I stayed together, keeping near the front. Shouting “HOLD YOUR LINE” at anyone who got within a couple yards of us. Which was, basically, everyone.
The first few miles were on the road. Folks were riding along at a relaxed, chatty pace. The first — and really, the only — big climb of the day approached.
I felt like my heart might explode. I wanted to go.
“Honey, I think I’m going to have to attack on the climb. I don’t think I can help it.”
“Have fun,” The Hammer said. “I’ll see you at the top.”
I saw the timing mat, saw a line, and I went. I shifted to a big gear and stood up, turning hard, slow circles.
Yes, that’s how I climb, even when I have gears. It’s been a while since I’ve done it any other way. I’m pretty sure Robbie Ventura would not approve.
Except, as he rode by me, showing no sign of effort — he said, “nice work, Fatty.”
And then, as I neared the top — fewer and fewer people around me — I saw Kathryn Bertine, the pro behind the Half the Road documentary, as well as As Good as Gold, which (I would find out later) turns out to be a hilarious and inspiring book.
“Hey Kathryn,” I said.
“Hey Fatty,” she said.
That was about as much conversation as I had in me at the time.
I got to the top, gassed and not even in the top ten finishers (last year I was second). Later I would find out I was twenty seconds slower than last year. Not bad. Not bad.
All Aboard the Dave Train
I got to the top, waited for a minute or so for The Hammer — who was one of the first three women to the top — and then we got rolling.
At which point we were caught by Dave Thompson. Here’s a picture of him (with The Hammer and Dave’s wife, Amy…I’ll let you figure out who is whom) back in Leadville a couple months ago.
Dave, like The Hammer and I and basically nobody else, was on a mountain bike.
Dave jumped in front as we rode along the moderate downhill, and pulled like he had been a locomotive engine in a previous life.
Which may in fact be the case. I’m not all that sure about the specifics of how reincarnation works.
The thing is, though, Dave was too strong for us. He kept riding us off his rear wheel. He’d pull away, gap us, look back, and then coast ’til we caught him.
Meanwhile, train after train of cyclocross bikes were zooming by. Hauling like this race was going to be over in an hour. There was a time when I would have tried to catch and ride with people like that. Those days are past.
Dave, however, had a sense of longing in the way he pedaled; you could see he wanted to go with one of those flying groups.
“Go,” I said. “We’ll catch you if we catch you.”
And like that, Dave was gone.
Now it was just The Hammer and me — cruising at an excellent race pace.
And still, groups of racers on cyclocross bikes kept flying by.
“Don’t worry about them,” I told The Hammer.
“Oh, I’m not,” she replied, casually. “If they were really that much faster than us, they would have gotten ahead of us during the climb.”
I Have The Power
And The Hammer was right. The course leveled out, we cruised past the second aid station, the course started climbing just a little bit…and there were those groups that were going so fast.
I pulled The Hammer up to them, rode behind them for a moment.
Then pulled to the front and began pulling a group. Before long, only a couple would be hanging on, and then they’d fall off too.
Without meaning to, we’d have just exploded a functioning peloton.
So we’d ride up to the next one and do it again.
I didn’t ask anyone to pull, I didn’t want anyone to pull. I had one task: to keep a speed just below what would put The Hammer into the red. Which, as it turns out, was just fast enough to blow up groups of guys on cyclocross bikes.
Dave was still ahead of us, though. Which wasn’t surprising, but it was too bad, because I had really been hoping to ride with him during today’s race.
Rebecca’s Private Idaho is a lollipop-style out and back, almost entirely on dirt roads. The loop at the top of the lollipop is where most of the climbing, the scenery, and anything remotely technical happen.
In other words, it’s the best part of the course.
Last year we just tooled along, shifting into low gears for this part of the ride.
This time, we kind of attacked it. And we kind of killed it. Passing people left and right on rocky descents, this is one part of the race where mountain bikes have the edge.
About the time we hit the halfway point — the top of the lollipop — I told The Hammer, “You go on for a minute without me. I need to use the bathroom…and to deploy The Secret Weapon.”
Which seems like a good place to pick up on Monday.
A Note from Fatty to Locals Who Don’t Want to Lose Their Fitness and Get Fat Over The Winter This Year: Every year, I work so hard to get in shape during the Spring and Summer. And every year, I completely lose it during the Autumn and Winter.
I’m sick of this, and plan to do something about it this year.
Specifically, among other things (which I’m going to be talking about in this blog), I’ve joined Plan 7 House of Watts. Starting in November, The Hammer and I are going to be going to the Orem SBR on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the 5:30pm training sessions. Our intention is to come out of this Winter faster and fitter than we’ve ever been, and Coach Dave Harward says he’s going to make that happen.
You should join us. Seriously, you should.
On August 9, The Hammer and I raced the Leadville 100 (we’ve written a little bit about that event).
The following Saturday (August 16), we raced the Jordanelle Triathlon.
Then we had a week off. Because, you know: recovery.
Then — on August 31 — it was time for Rebecca’s Private Idaho — Rebecca Rusch’s eponymous 90+ mile gravel grinder.
Because, evidently, The Hammer and I had not had enough racing yet.
And yes, I want to emphasize this point: we did in fact plan to race this thing. You see, unlike in 2013 — where I was careful to call my writeup (part 1, part 2, part 3) a ride report — The Hammer and I had an objective: to get her on the podium. And to do the race considerably faster than in the 6:37 we had done it in 2013.
But first, we had some business to attend to.
The Power of a Wig
Rebecca’s Private Idaho is timed to coincide with a big western celebration — called “Wagon Days” in Sun Valley, Idaho. The centerpiece of this a parade, described as the largest non-motorized parade in the country.
I have not verified whether this is accurate. Let’s just trust them on it.
There are lots of entries that look like this:
Like last year, Rebecca’s Private Idaho was invited to be a part of the parade, making it the first bicycle-powered entry ever in the parade. And like last year, Rebecca used her entry to publicize World Bicycle Relief.
Why? Because Rebecca is awesome. And so is WBR.
Robbie Ventura — shown below here on the right — was there in support of Reba, her parade, and all that’s good in the world:
Also like last year, The Hammer and I were invited to come be a part of the parade. The Hammer dressed the part, wearing her WBR jersey:
Having learned my lesson from the previous year (when I did not bring any costume elements at all), this time I came prepared.
Specifically, I wore bright orange compression socks and bright orange Altra Paradigms:
Even more importantly, however, I brought this wig:
Yeah yeah. I know, it’s hard to recognize me, what with me having hair and all. And I’m doing my best to make a wry face and all.
But here’s the thing: That wig gave me superpowers. Clown superpowers.
As soon as the parade started, I was running up and down the street, laughing and shouting. Jumping and clicking my heels.
Dancing. Yes dancing in the street to the tunes the marching band in front of us played.
I had a giant stack of World Bicycle Relief stickers in hand, and anytime I saw a child I would run over and make sure she or he had one. “Stick this on your bike!” I’d yell. “Or your parents’ bumper! Or their fridge! Or their windshield!” I’d say.
I was laughing and clapping. I was honking the plastic horn someone had given me. I was staring and pointing in mock horror whenever the camels (in the group behind us) got too close.
I was not trying to be this way. I was simply being this way. Everyone in our group looked at me in wonder. This is not who I am. Sure, it’s how I write, but in real life I’m pretty low key.
But not during the parade.
Some people need a drink to loosen up and become silly.
Evidently, I just need a wig.
A Note from Fatty: Did you want to do the 100 Miles of Nowhere…but found that you missed the registration? And now you’re finding that the jerseys are maybe the coolest-looking things you’ve ever seen? And you happen to wear a size Large in Men’s? Well, Felix Cohen actually ordered three Hundred Miles of Nowhere kits — and is now finding that he and his friends aren’t going to be able to do the ride. If you’d like to buy one of these never-used, never-worn, actually-still-at-Twin-Six jerseys from him, he’s selling them for $70 each. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he’ll arrange to have the jersey sent out to you.
Note that this gets you just the jersey — not the 100 MoN swag box, and no donation to Camp Kesem. So I strongly recommend that in order to make your jersey legit, you go over and make a donation on your own. I’ll leave it up to you how much it should be (but $25 – $50 feels about right).
For the past several years, The Hammer and I have one-upped our annual 100 Miles of Nowhere effort. One year, we rode up and down Suncrest, over and over. Another year, we rode up and down the Alpine Loop, over and over. And last year we rode our mountain bikes up and down the Bearclaw-Poppy trail, over and over. After which, I said:
As for next year, I’m thinking somewhere flat.
Now, it would have been easy to ignore this warning from the past. To — with the pain of the event from the previous year safely behind us — go ahead and pick out a brutally steep route.
But we didn’t. We kept our word to ourselves. We went back to the basics: to what The 100 Miles of Nowhere is really all about.
- We made the course short. Just a hair short of four miles long, in fact.
- We kept the course close to home. In fact, we were probably never more than a mile from home, the entire day.
- We made the day silly and fun. Considering the fact that the 100 Miles of Nowhere is a fundraiser for Camp Kesem — which I think the twins have nicely shown is incredibly silly and fun — I think that making this event be silly and fun needs to be an absolute top priority.
Here, Let Me Show You
To be honest, I’m a little bit amazed at how much story I could tell about our 100 Miles of Nowhere (which we held a week early because The Hammer has a 50K Trail Run race on 10/18, and I’ll be busy being in charge of the twins’ birthday), in spite of the fact that it was just a four-mile loop . And, unable to help myself, I probably will tell a fair amount of story — with quite a few photos — about the day.
But first, how about if I show you a complete lap, sped up 12x courtesy of Instagram’s Hyperlapse:
I should note here that it is no easy thing to sit upright while riding a Time Trial Bike (yes, for all but a few laps, we rode our Shivs…and we wore our Prevail aero helmets), riding one-handed and holding a phone in one position for the fifteen-minute duration of the lap.
About the Course
The Hammer and I started and ended our 100 Miles of Nowhere at home, at 8am on Saturday morning. For 23 of the 26 loops we did, we rode around the big four-mile loop you see below:
As you can see, there’s a line that bisects the loop — we took that shorter loop whenever we wanted to drop by our house to shed clothing, get a drink, or pick up some riders to join us for a lap.
There are a couple other oddities about this loop — like the little jut out in the bottom left corner.
I will explain these in good time.
For now, I just want to draw your attention to how ridiculous the fully-zoomed Strava of a small section of the ride looks.
Please, let me assure you: I did not ever swing a corner out as wide as the Strava track would suggest. For that to happen, I’d have to have been flying at an irresponsible rate of speed and blowing through a stop sign in order to get a really high number to flash on the radar speed limit sign just after that corner.
Which would be really fun, but that — as I mentioned before — would not be something I would ever do even once, much less sprinting to see if I could get that radar speed limit sign to flash above the speed limit (i.e., 25mph) each of the 26 times I passed it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The weather was cold when the day started, and so the below photo is in fact not us at the beginning of the day.
No, we were each actually wearing a lot more at the beginning of the ride. We didn’t get down to the short sleeves and shorts ’til we were forty miles (about 2.5 hours) into the day.
But you have to admit, we make an adorable couple. And I’ve got to say that these 100 Miles of Nowhere jerseys look incredible this year.
And I have another confession: While we put our race numbers on our road bikes and had every good intention of riding our road bikes, we started on our Shivs, and wound up staying on them for about 92 of the 100 miles.
Hey, the course was flattish (about 240 feet of climbing per loop…which does add up by the time you’ve done 26 laps) and we just weren’t inclined to swap out bikes.
Even so, we did go out of our way to get photos taken of us on our road bikes, with number plates attached and everything.
The Hammer’s looking good, as always:
And I really like this photo of me, for a couple of reasons. First, because it makes me look like I’m going faster than I actually am. And, more importantly, because because the way my arm naturally obscures my early-mid-October paunch.
That’s not an easy thing to do. And as autumn progresses, it’ll become less and less easy. Trust me on this.
Highlights from the Day
There’s something meditative about riding the same loop, over and over, through the course of a seven hour day (six hours of actual riding). You get to know the road better than you’d ever have believed possible, for one thing. As The Hammer and I rode one particularly bad section of pavement — it started out as chip seal and has been patched numerous times in numerous places — we slowly figured out a line that didn’t rattle our brains out or suck us into a pothole.
Likewise, we noticed the progress of the neighborhood, seeing people on different parts of their walks or runs. Anytime we saw a person a third (and definitely a fourth) time, we’d get a big grin from them. They knew we were up to something strange; no doubt they had fun trying to figure out what it was.
As we rode by one of the city parks (Alpine, UT has no grocery store, but it has three city parks), we saw people inflating giant person-sized spheres.
On the next lap, we saw kids playing in them. A birthday party, probably.
By the time we came by a couple more times, the kids had moved on.
“Let’s see if we can try them out,” The Hammer said. So we rolled up to the guys who were standing by them, and asked if we could see what these things were like.
“Sure,” they replied, and even agreed to film us. I’m the one in the red:
During the climb for each lap, we’d see this sign:
This is no idle sign, either:
“I bet I can get that camel to kiss me,” The Hammer said during one of the laps.
So she held some tall grass through the fence and sure enough it came over to take it — and The Hammer leaned in.
This is as close as she ever got. Which is fine with me. No, on second thought, I’m not even sure I wanted her to get that close.
Sprint for the Speed Limit
As we rounded the third corner of the loop about two laps in, The Hammer asked me, “Did you see what I just did?”
I had to admit that I had not seen it.
“There’s a speed limit sign we just passed, with a radar pointing at us and showing what our speed is,” she said.
And so for the next 24 laps, as soon as we came around that corner, we’d take turns sprinting toward that speed limit sign:
The Hammer’s best — as far as the sign was concerned — was 26. The best I could ever get it to show was a 29.
And then I looked down at my GPS as I went by…and discovered it was reporting me as two miles per hour faster than the radar detector did.
“That thing is ripping us off,” I complained. “Robbing us of at least two miles per hour.”
Which, you have to admit, would be a very odd thing to say to a police officer if you were pulled over for going faster than the speed limit.
Amazingly — and perhaps because they had noticed we were enjoying their other radar sign so much — halfway through the day, the police erected a second radar speed limit sign on our loop.
And this one was midway through our downhill straightaway, on the best pavement of the entire course.
Now, I don’t want to give anything away or confess to any crimes, but if you’re curious what my top speed was reported by that sign, you could probably check my top speed on my Strava report for the day.
The pictures, video and text in this post have already made it abundantly clear I’m sure but let’s get explicit: Alpine, Utah is a very small town. And I love that. I chose that.
And when you live in a small town, a new store opening is a big deal.
And a donut store opening is a huge deal.
And a donut store that already has a cult following throughout the rest of Utah, due to its general awesomeness is an incredibly huge deal.
So now you know what this little detour in the loop is for:
Yep, at noon we headed over for our first big break, to get The Hammer an apple fritter (her favorite). As for me, well, I’d probably just get myself an assortment box.
Just look at that sign!
But when we got to the door, there was just one problem:
Sure, I suppose a donut shop has the right to be closed by noon on a Saturday. But — and I say this as someone who has wanted donuts at literally every hour of the day — is it wise?
So we took our custom elsewhere. Specifically, we went next door, to the Sub-Zero ice cream shop.
Yes, that’s right. Alpine doesn’t have a grocery store, but we have an ice cream shop next door to a donut shop (which, if signage is to believed, is also going to be an ice cream shop).
Mmmmm. Waffle cones:
This is my kind of town.
This was the first time I had ever had Sub-Zero ice cream. The gimmick is clever: They mix the cream and your mix-ins in their liquid state, then use liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze it into ice cream, complete with awesome fog effects. (I apologize for not getting video; I was too busy being transfixed.)
The Hammer and I shared a mocha-almond ice cream in a waffle cone.
Clearly, we have both gone to our happy places. Also clearly, my happy place looks pretty darned dorky.
Stop. Hammer Time.
As the video at the beginning of this post clearly illustrates, our loop has four stop signs. Multiply that times 26 laps, and you’ve gotta lotta stoppage.
I say this, of course, by way of implying that we did in fact stop for all 104 stop signs. Because we did. Because we are both very law-abiding examples of law-abiding-ness to the rest of the world. Or at least to the half-dozen people who got this far in this race report (hi Mom!).
And besides — as further proof that we stopped at every single stop sign, as if that were even necessary — if we didn’t stop at every stop sign, how would I have gotten this picture of The Hammer at this stop sign?
More to the point, though, you might be wondering why I took this picture of The Hammer with this stop sign.
Well, here’s why:
Yep, an MC Hammer reference graffiti’d onto the stop sign at Main and 100 South in Alpine, Utah. Who’d have expected that?
Furthermore, who’d have expected that anyone would still be making MC Hammer references in 2014 (or whenever these letters got affixed to the stop sign)?
Even more furthermore, is there a single city in the United States that does not have at least one stop sign similarly altered?
The mind boggles.
You should know that stop signs with nearly two-decade-old pop culture references are not the only peculiar and wonderful things we passed twenty-six times during our 100 Miles of Nowhere.
We passed this tree, for example:
“Who would paint a tree that way?” you might wonder. “That would be terrible for the bark.”
And then I would have to correct you, because that tree isn’t painted. That is colorful twine (yarn? string?) wrapped around the trunk of the tree in someone’s front yard.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Also every lap, I was taunted by some hand-made benches someone had put out for sale:
“We’d be delightful to rest on,” they said. “Just for a few minutes,” they said.
“Wouldn’t you like to take a nap?” they said.
Also, for the final two laps, we picked up The IT Guy, for his first exercise in about four months.
It’s not easy to get out when you’re both working and busy in school.
Also joining us was The Swimmer, stealing my helmet and her mom’s bike clothes:
The Swimmer, too, is busy in school. So it was really awesome of both of them to come spin for a couple of laps with us on what had turned out to be a perfect Saturday for riding.
Around in a loop.
Over and over. And over.
Really, when you think about it, The 100 Miles of Nowhere is a terrible idea. Riding around on a tiny course sounds like a miserable way to spend a day.
But each year I’ve done it, I’ve loved it. I’ve loved how I notice details that I don’t see when I ride a road once. I love how the course fades into the background and the ride becomes just about riding. I love the expressions of people who saw us, over and over, as they wondered what we were up to.
I love figuring out what the course will be each year, and that — so far at least — we’ve done very different courses every year.
I don’t know what we’ll do for our 100 Miles of Nowhere next year. But I’m looking forward to it.
And now, I’m looking forward to your own reports.
PS: Here are our numbers, for those of you who are curious:
A Note from Fatty: Today I’m happy to have my twins, Carrie (left) and Katie (right) be guest-posting about their experience at Camp Kesem this past summer. Carrie (aka “Car” wrote the story; Katie (aka “Couch”) illustrated it
The timing for this story is perfect, by the way, because the 100 Miles of Nowhere (which is a fundraiser for Camp Kesem) gear has just shipped out — you should be getting yours soon!
Our 2014 Camp Kesem Story
Camp Kesem is always the highlight of our summer vacation. It is the thing we look forward to the most as the school year comes to an end. It’s better than Disneyland…or any other theme park.
In Camp Kesem, you are never bored. The games are infinite and the people are fantastic!
Once, our group finished all our scheduled activities, so a large chunk of our group started an enormous game of “Human Knot.” Human Knot is a game where everyone playing forms a circle and grabs two random people’s hands, creating a knot. This game took an astounding two hours to untie.
As the days passed, we all got the chance to do incredible and fn things. These things included things like the zip line:
The Zip Line was awesome — so much fun!
We also got to go on a giant swing, and we had an Ice Cream Cone Challenge, where one person had to stand on a chair and pour ice cream and toppings into another person’s cone.
Some kids didn’t even try to get it in the cone — they’d just pour it all over the other kids’ face!
But our personal favorite activity was doing the talent show. The talent show wasn’t so much a talent show as it was a chance for everyone to perform hilarious things. One boy ate a lemon:
One boy ate a lemon during the talent show. We couldn’t believe it!
Another boy did some sort of really cool-looking robot dance.
I’d like to think that our act was one of the best, though. What we did was sneaky, secret, and…musical.
It all started when one of our cabinets in the green girl cabin pointed out that we had a boy counsellor called “Simba,” and a girl who went by “Nala.” She suggested that maybe for the talent show we could surprise them by singing, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” from The Lion King.
It was an idea we couldn’t turn down.
So we practiced and learned the lyrics. The turnout was great. They were surprised, but they soon started waltzing around the stage.
I think the whole act was funny for everybody.
That isn’t all that Camp Kesem is about, though. Camp Kesem is really about getting away from the stress of the real world. It’s about finding people you can talk to, people who know what you’ve been through.
And altogether, Camp Kesem is magic.
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