Archive for creek

The Great Rubber Duckie Wrangle

Posted in blog, boulder, colorado, photography, review, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2010 by tymora42

Boulder Creek Festival – Monday – Memorial Day 2010

French Duckie and his Mistress - Boulder Creek Festival - Rubber Duck Race

Every American town in existence for more than 50 years previous has some odd celebration with a competition or event unusually individual to their character. Take for a single instance Gloucester, Massachusetts with their Greasy Pole. Hundreds of Italians walk the plank in a multi tiered, costumed, onslaught of slipping and sliding, drag for the day spidermen in honor of Saint Peter, the rock. Their objective is to grab a firm hold of the flag at the end of the mast and take it down with them. You can only walk on a Saturday if you won on a Friday. Sunday is the big day, the finale, where the winner no longer needs to walk for the rest of the day because the fellow competitors carry him from bar to bar. He or she no longer needs to pay for any drinks that either and they will be drinking whether they like it or not. You can only walk on Sunday if you won on a Saturday. To keep the membership full on the remaining days of the weekend, these walking honors are retrospective. If you have ever won on one of the earlier days, you may walk in the next. Then, I would suppose, the people who started the tradition started dying or getting to old to walk 25feet over the ocean on a lubed up log. They started having knee problems and poor physical conditions. What were they to do, but hand the honor down to a younger, more fit, family member or close friend? The last day is filled with the townies walking for grandfathers, great grandfathers, great great grandfathers, uncles, brothers, sons, close friends of the family, as well as those that won throughout the weekend.

Greasy Pole – Saint Peter’s Italian Festival – Gloucester, MA – 2006

In Boulder the physical competition to kick off the summer is the Memorial Day weekend Bolder Boulder 10k run. Sorry, no pictures of that. I had a friend that ran it. I wanted so badly to be at the starting line motivating her beginnings or at least at the finish rooting her on, but the rest of the weekend caused a blight to my own energy leaving me in bed until well past the comings and goings of the costumed crusaders pushing themselves to victory and then into the afternoon when most had already returned home, showered, and changed back into civvies. She saw a stoutly athletic woman running in a lacy pink bra and said to herself, “I must beat that lady.” She did. She finished at 60:58, fifty nine seconds more than what she hoped to finish by. I ran a 5k in San Diego for the homeless on Thanksgiving, more like I walked the 5k, in a little more than 2 hours. For double the distance at half my time, I was impressed.

The Great Rubber Ducky Race – Boulder Creek Festival – Boulder, CO 2010

The unusual event is the Great Rubber Duckie Race. They dumped over 7,000 ducks into the creek with numbers on their butt for a short, but furious, sprint downstream. It took longer for them to rig up the drop than it did for every duck to make it to the end. Children stood on the banks with nets, catching and releasing the yellow favorites of the Ernie fame. Rubber Ducky, you are the one. Like all modern day weird festivities like the greasy pole, the activists get involved. Instead of motor oil to slicken the pole, now they use all organic matter like rotten bananas and vegetable butter. In Boulder the eco friendly modification involved a mesh wire fence across the creek. Still, the stubborn ducks leapt over and under the barricade despite the effort of the wranglers in front and behind and then further behind for the missed stragglers. Last, but not least, another group of kids with nets at the park even further behind scooped them out of the pool. Some man yelled at me for getting my own. Actually, he yelled at me for tossing them over the rapids to the bank on the other side so the children there could have some too. His exact words were, “Don’t throw them. Hold onto them over there. I want them all back.” Blake, who stood near the naysayer on the other side, called out to me, “Only in designated areas.” Evidently, the ducks had an allotted area of the creek to do their thing. Beyond that must be stopped. 10 years ago they let them swim all the way to the next reservoir. Kids in Erie were picking out ducks for the rest of the summer. I heard rumors that the original race involved real ducks spray painted bright gold with lead based paint, but I do not believe them.

All about the Money - Boulder Creek Festival - Rubber Duck Race

I could have understood the man’s worry if it concerned some tyke falling into the cascade, but it was not. It was about money. The organization did not want to buy new ducks for the following year at a dime a piece. Lets do the math. 7,000 divided by .10 equals 700 bucks. This is not a figure to shake your head at. We will be generous and figure a quarter of the ducks will need to be replaced from damage or loss or thievery. 700 divided by 4 is 175. Still, this is a week of rent for me. Now we get the big numbers. It cost 5 bucks a duck to compete. 7,000 times 5 equals 35, 000. The prizes come out to less than 5,000 making it 30 grand even though all of them are donated to the cause. Screw you, buddy. I am keeping my ducks.

Fun in Designated Areas Only - Boulder Creek Festival - Rubber Duck

Fun, but only in Designated Areas

Posted in blog, boulder, colorado, faeries, family, life, love, passage, rainmaker, religion, review, spirituality, trickster with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2010 by tymora42

The Boulder Creek Festival – Saturday

Once a year Boulder throws a party that their cold stoic regulations cannot handle. It is sanctioned by the city. It is filled with travelers overtaking the town in tents, vans, backpacks, scarves, and wings. The Boulder Creek festival, held every year on Memorial Day weekend, is designed to officially ‘kick off summer.’ They open the dam in Nederland and let the water gush down the canal in near flash flood conditions. All along the banks are the white tented temporary establishments selling fair merchandise or information. The carnies come also with their rides and darts and stuffed animal prizes next to magnetic core milk bottles daring the passerby to knock them down with cabbage sized soft balls. Bands, solo musicians, dance troupes, drums, and quiet hawkers dominate the soundscape with the eternal hush of running water consistently in the background. The faeries play. You are allowed fun, but only in designated areas.

Fae folk care not for these silly human rules. They will bow to the event coordinators with badges dangling around their neck until backs are turned and they have found another crevice to mischievously grace. They excommunicated the hula hoopers from the front of the bandshell because of the highway pedestrian traffic that would allegedly course through their path. They wanted them to hide on the side near a Ryder truck, avoiding small children without the mindset to not walk near the spinning disc or twirling drunkards kicking up dust. They would move the drunkards if they could, but if the beer garden next door did not give these alcohol imbibed cause to dance then the simple fact that live music was playing does. Casually they tell her, “As soon as I no longer see you on your shift, I am coming back.” She, the festival assistant, did not like this. Her face creased into a stern furrow. You are allowed to have fun, but only in designated areas.

There are invisible and visible markings all over the ground. This fenced in yard is the place you may drink beer. This parking lot is where you do carnival things. This stadium is where you sit and watch music. This row of chairs and tables is where the teenagers hang out with their highschool battle of the bands judged by adults. This bleacher is where you watch dancers. Oh, the dancers. They twirled and whirled and stepped and leaped with modern, classical, ballet, and belly moves. I like the belly moves. The belly movers use scarves.

We sought more play in the section dispensing information on how to be more body, mind, soul, and eco conscious. Proudly, a friend brings his idea of the Bikeopolis to fruition with his own tent and flyers about the once thought as a pipe dream, Front Range Eco ranch. Around the corner is the designated fun area for hula hoops. You could hear the drums beating, but you could not see the performers. This will not do. We leave to dance in front of the ignored by the musicians stage. They have opted to stand on the level with the audience because they want the audience to make noise alongside their trash gamelan. They do. They hoot. They holler. They clap. They dance. There is much dancing today. There are lots of areas designated for that.

And then the rain came. Rain has the tendency to erode quickly those perimeters set by either man or nature. The creek rose another foot. The chalk lines of fun designation faded away as the majority of patrons ran for the community tents to keep dry. Those like myself, the beloved rainmakers, the winged tricksters, the spirit dancers, and family waited the warm dark skies for the cooling mist of droplets on our weary sun weary brow. This is when the change occurred. This is when they allowed me to walk with them for the day. They saw my appreciation of the weather sprites was genuine. She ran out to a sidewalk median between the grass and the drum stage parking lot. She was beautiful, frolicking in the pour, damning the denizens who sought refuge with her teasing motions, slipping on the wet, and laughing at herself, rolling in it only to fluidly arise to her feet once again for more play. She withstood the hail. That was my limit. I had seen it golf ball sized here before. I had felt it rebound onto my leg from the front door ajar and it had stung. I did not want to feel it on my scalp.

We hurried back to Bikeopolis, stopping along the way to introduce myself to Domino, the rainbow dancer. We had met before in another dimension with different faces, but we knew each other. She called the inner faerie inside of me by named association. She called me family. We dodged the discomfort of the sky water by running headlong through it, splashing in puddles the whole way. A new traveler would join our bus. She needed, however, to be blinded first. Sometimes it takes closing our eyes and letting our vision blur to truly see. I promised to bring her back a neodymium magnet to retrieve the screw of her spectacles.

Further along the course we were saturated with this new environment. The veil of the maya had been lifted. At our respective houses, Blake of Moab was with me, we changed from shorts into pants, he from shoes into boots, me into a jacket. Night was around the corner. It would get cold, maybe. It did, but I would never have a chance to be deterred by it. After the resupply we returned to the body, mind, and soul arena. It had spilled out from the roped in area to the streets. The town had been cleansed. A moment of sun refracted into double and triple rainbows on the balcony of a Himalayan cuisine balcony adequately named Sherpas. These monks had our baggage carefully stored for the climb to the top. They fed us Chicken Tika Massala, Chai Tea, and Vegetable Yak stew with Naan. We would need the roughage for the next leg of our journey. Little did I know that this chain of events would yield a crop of flamingo nunchuks. Whenever you see a rainbow, two faeries fall in love.

Some stereo music and liquid libations served directly to our seats on the couch later we remained unsure of our energy levels. I left the gathering to stoop on my gargoyle perch outside. It was too beautiful of a night to waste inside. The rest of the posse felt similarly. They joined the battle, unleashing a Super Smash Brothers style force with day glo hoops and those dastardly hot pink nunchuks. The beating was a massage that would continue throughout the nightly walk. Domino and her pan like friend brought us to gyrations outside, clanging street signs and newspaper vending machines with our sticks. The dead club would jump tonight. The DJ thought it was his own fault. Down the streets we sparred without bruising. We found the end and kept going. We looped the circle through the back alleys where topless dancers have an entrance to their stage. We united with more of the crew. We danced with fae. Blake has his own name for these creatures. He calls them Serendipity.

We stopped along the waterway to watch the falls careen off the ledge on our way home from the night. By this time golf cart security guards had reestablished their boundaries. They found us before we could play and explained that they were cool with us having fun, but it had to be in a designated area. This was not the place. We walked along the banks until we found one. Under the library on the other side, a Frisbee throwing celebration commenced. We hollered the Mardi Gras anthem at them from our vantage. “Throw me something, Mister.” They did. The first launch established my credibility as a dedicated servant of disc retrieval. It almost made it, but a post balked the completion. Down to the stream of heavy flow it fell. A moment of consideration was all that was necessary for my mind to track the trajectory of the current. It would be pushed to the side. I could get this. I stepped to it. It swept out missing my hand. I stepped again and then again. I was wet now. A little more wet would do me fine for the sake of this fun. I had not had a chance to throw it yet. Success. They cheered from the other side. They lauded my bravery with enthusiastic kudos. Back and forth the yellow saucer flew across the creek staying dry until the famous last words were spoke. “This is my last one.” It was. I missed. It went down. They did not have the shore to bring their feet to the edge. Their bank was high. The game was over.

(I will put links on later. I have to go experience sunday now.)