Running, Biking, Swimming, Triathlons, Snowshoeing: what's next? Sal's kicks butt.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Greek Tragedy or "Camping in Lake Placid" Act 1

This is reprint of a blog article I wrote in the summer of 2008, the year before Jan completed her Lake Placid Ironman, We went to the mountains for training and to get Jan signed up for the 2009 race. This was when it was extremely difficult to get into the next year's race unless you stood in line early in the morning the day after the race had just completed.

Since six of us are going to Lake Placid to swim, bike and run the end of June as training for the LP Half-Ironman in September, I thought this would be a good time to reprint my play. It's in two Acts. This is Act one of two.

Readers, if only it weren't all true, a sad woeful tale of a vacation gone awry. 
Characters; Queen Triathlete Wife and Lowly, the loyal servant.

Act One, Scene 1, before leaving Spencerport:

Queen: Don't you think we should waterproof the tent, after all it hasn't been used in years.
Lowly: Nah, it'll be fine, it has a rain fly and the weather forecast calls for only a 30% chance of rain.
Queen: I better not get wet. That's all I ask from you making me camp again, a dry tent to sleep in!
Lowly: Not a problem, I guarantee we will be okay.

Scene 2: At the campground in Wilmington Notch, 8 miles from Lake Placid
Queen: I can't believe we got lost, we've been coming here for years.
Lowly: I know, I thought the shortcut would help us avoid downtown, I didn't know we would miss our turn to Wilmington and take another hour.
Queen: Well, let's get the tent set up.
Lowly: Okay, but where's the electric at our site, it must be here somewhere.
Queen: Lowly, there is no electric!
Lowly: There has to be. There are rv's here, don't they need electric?
Queen: Evidently not, Lowly.
Lowly: Oh god. All of our meals were planned using electric. I brought an electric coffee pot, electric lamp, a griddle for cooking with electric!
Queen: Let's ask the Park Ranger.
Ranger: Are you stupid or something boy? No DEC campground in the Adirondacks has electric.
Lowly: Stupid is as stupid does.
Ranger: Well, there you go.
Queen: (ever optimistic) We can eat sandwiches for dinner, it'll be okay. Let's see, I'll have the ham, you have the pastrami, now where is the mustard?
Lowly: I forgot the mustard.
Queen: You have got to be kidding. Well, how about butter?
Lowly: Yeah, we have butter. Yum, pastrami on whole wheat with butter. This is good carb loading for our bike ride of the Ironman course tomorrow.
Queen: Break out the wine, now!
(later that night)
Queen: Umm, Lowly, I hear rain.
Lowly: It's got to be the wind, it's not supposed to rain.
Queen: Well, the tent is getting wet. Quick, let's get out there and put the sun canopy over the tent... Lowly, why are the holes in the canopy?
Lowly: Hey, I patched those holes with duct tape, it'll be fine.
Queen: My sleeping bag better not get wet Lowly!
Lowly: Don't worry my Queen, we will be fine.

Scene 3: Saturday morning, pre-bike ride, 70 degrees.
Queen: Keep the tent flap open, string up the bags so the tent dries out Lowly.
Lowly: Okay, okay, so it rained a bit, we are fine.
Queen: What's for breakfast?
Lowly: We were going to have eggs, bacon, homefries. But no electric and no time to start a fire. We need to get riding!
Queen: I'm not riding for hours without eating, I'm hungry.
Lowly: Okay, here, we have juice, Hammer Bars, dry cereal, bananas, this is great!
Queen: My banana is rotten. Where's my coffee?

Scene 4: The duo are on their bikes. Lowly forgot his Garmin and his bike computer doesn't work. He can't tell distance, speed or cadence.
Lowly: (to himself) Oh, isn't that cute, someone put a sign on the road saying, "Cherry Patch". Hey, we are going up a hill. Hey, look at that, a sign "baby bear", a bigger hill. Oh no, "mama bear", a bigger hill. Gdammit. Here it comes, "papa bear". They are killing me here and we are only 7 miles from the campground!
Lowly: Are all of these bikers in the race? How can they be riding miles the day before an Ironman? They can't be in the race.
Queen: I guess they are in shape.
Lowly: I'm in shape dammit!
Queen: I guess not IM shape.
Lowly: But they are miles away from Lake Placid. This doesn't make sense.
Queen: Maybe they are just riding the course for fun, like us.
Lowly: (in his lowest granny gear, climbing up some mountain heading to Keene) This is fun? How can they fly by me like that? Ugh.
Queen: Look, a downhill sign, are you ready?
Queen and Lowly fly downhill for over 7 miles. It is treacherous reaching speeds Lowly never thought possible. His brakes are smoking from overuse.
Lowly: We have to stop, my hands are tired from braking. Did you see that woman go past me? She must have been doing 45mph or more! That is crazy.
Queen and Lowly continue from Keene to Jay. A fairly flat section that was actually fun and beautiful to ride, a smile almost appeared on Lowly's face.
Queen: Okay, Lowly, we have a three mile climb to Wilmington, just turn left.
Two bikers pass Lowly. Two more, then more, and more.
Lowly: I made it! Wilmington, wow, Queenie, look behind us at the climb we just did! Now we are only 7 miles from our campground.
Queen: First we have to take a right turn on Haselton road and go out for 7 miles, then back to here.
Lowly: Hah, hah. Funny Queen.
Queen: Let's go.
Queen and Lowly head out on the 14 mile loop. It begins to rain, then stops, then rains and stops, then rains and stops. Finally they are back in Wilmington.
Lowly: Hey Queen, that wasn't too bad a section, except for the rain and wind.
Queen: I need a bathroom.
Lowly: Well, it's the day before the IM, surely there are port-a-pots all over Wilmington?
Queen: They are locked Lowly, what will I do now?
Lowly: Hey, a tourist information center, let's stop.
Queen: There better be a bathroom. (there was, thankfully)
Later, Queen and Lowly head up route 86 to the campground.
Lowly: (as Queen passes him) Why aren't I going anywhere? I'm pedaling like hell, it doesn't look uphill, but I'm hardly moving!
Queen: I know, it doesn't make sense. Look up there, the campground sign.
Lowly: Uh, Queenie, it's not.
Queen: Oh my god. where is it? This is all uphill! I'm going to cry.

Back at camp.
Lowly: I'm sorry Queen, I can't do another loop. You go, I'll follow in the SUV.
Queen: It's okay, I'm done for today too.
After a fine dinner of hot dogs, potatoes and carrots cooked over a roaring fire that the Queen started, with a bottle of wine of course, the duo climb into the tent for the night.
(Lowly wakes up, checks his watch, it's 6am and raining) At 7:30am the Queen wakes up. It's pouring.
Queen: I'm getting wet.
Lowly: I know, this stinks. I can't take it. Let's eat the bagels we bought yesterday.
Queen: I want coffee.
Lowly: I can't start a fire, the wood is all wet. We can't drive to town, the roads are closed for the race. Hey, let's run to town!
Queen: So, I have to run 4 miles downhill to get coffee and then back uphill 4 miles? In the rain?
Lowly: It'll be really good coffee.
Lowly and the Queen do the run and come back to watch and cheer for the bikers. These athletes are riding 112 miles in a torrential downpour. The rain continues throughout the day, over 3 inches fell in Lake Placid on Sunday.
The campground is a mudpit.
End of Act 1.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

laughing hysterical,. again