This batch makes the last of the photos from the Kinetic Sculpture Race. Whew! Then I can write up what's being going on in my actual life for the past few days.
I guess I should explain the photo on the previous page. Pru and I were given noisemakers, but mine was broken. I tried to blow it at Georg standing across the water, but it hardly made a sound and pointed straight down. Some guy came over and asked me to do it again so he could take my picture. I asked for a copy of the photo and he gave me his card so I could email him. It was nice of him to send the photo!
Okay, back to the race. Here's the eyeball people heading through the sand trap. As you can see they had lost their big eyeball. We saw it on a truck at the water obstacle; wish I'd taken a photo of that! Their entry looked a bit forlorn without the eyeball. Georg said he heard someone ask them "Hey, what happened to your eyeball?" to which they replied, "What eyeball?" At least they had a sense of humor about it.
And this is my favorite Shrimptastics getting stuck in the sand. Like I said, a rousing cheer of "We're SHRIMPTASTIC!" accompanied them through every obstacle. Their pit crew, who had to tow them through the sand, had shrimp costumes too.
At this point we decided that everyone was going to go through the sand the same way: get a running start, hit the sand as fast as possible, drive a few feet in (depending on their weight), then get stuck and have to be towed out. So we decided to head up to the mud obstacle. Actually the mud turned out to be exactly the same, except more fun to watch because they were going through a mud pit 18" thick in places.
A few entries had already been through the mud -- when we got to the park, the dragon that Hunter loved was already heading up the hill to the "pagoda climb" (up a steep hill to the pagoda, get a flag to prove they'd made it, then back down and on to the second water obstacle). And we could see another entry getting the mud hosed off when we went down to the sand. But we still got to see most of them go through the mud.
Here's Bumpo getting towed through the mud. As you can see it didn't make it very far on its own power, I guess because of the weight. No one made it all the way through without towing; I heard the mud was thicker this year and that last year a few had actually been able to get through. The Bumpo pilots got mud all over their pretty costumes. Actually that happened to a lot of people. You can see that the woman in purple had lost her shoes in the mud, which also happened to a lot of people. There was a team of mud volunteers (the people in white overalls) who helped with towing and retrieval of objects stuck in the mud. Someone from Bumpo's team retreived her shoes from them.
Like I said, falling in the mud wasn't unusual. These guys also lost the toy bone off the front into the mud. It seemed like the mud was thicker near the building, so the ones that steered towards that area had a particularly bad time of it.
Here's the big dog going through. I think I see the little boy pushing underneath, so maybe they got their "child on board" bonus points after all.
At one point a bunch of dumb kids started running through the mud and jumping in. Three or four did it, until this guy ran too far, jumped into the shallow part and cracked his head open. The ambulance came for him and I heard he only needed a few stitches. However, some guy with a big video camera jumped out in front of me to film the mud-diving kids, which annoyed me greatly. It's kind of weird how people with video cameras act like they have the right to push you out of the way or block your view. Then again, his camera looked professional, and maybe if taking photos or video was my job I'd be pushier about it too. I'd like to think I wouldn't, but maybe I would. Anyway the rude guy must not have gotten his footage, because he tried to coax more kids into cracking their heads too, but no one else was game, so he went away eventually. Yay!
One thing I regret about the mud obstacle is I never got a good photo of an entry at the moment it got stuck. There was always a splash of mud, sometimes a big impressive one. But my timing was always off. In any case, here's the SARS patrol trying to extricate themselves. The smaller, lighter entries generally had an easier time of it. They often end up lifting up their entries and carrying them over the mud. The guy in the blue scrubs got totally stuck and almost fell over. Good thing he had the wall to lean against. It took him a long time to pull himself out.
On the other hand, Alice's Tea Party was huge so required a lot of towing. Alice led the charge, and she looked like she's been pumping iron! You could see her working it. At one point the Queen of Hearts got out of the teapot and started shouting and waving her fists, but I couldn't get a decent photo of her. I really appreciated the theatricality of this group.
I didn't see these guys go through the water, but they were good natured about the mud as you can see. One of Bumpo's pilots came and helped them with towing. After they got out, I heard the guy say, "Remind me why we do this?"
Here's the eyeball people going through. You can see how much mud got all over everything. Everyone had to get hosed off afterwards. We noticed that their pilots stayed on board, and we wondered if they got more points for that.
This guy was watching from the balcony, dropped something and climbed down to retrieve it. He tried to hang from the ledge and reach it (whatever it was) without having to get in the mud, but never was able to reach. The Shrimptastics taunted him about it (they came through while he was climbing down) but eventually one of the mud people gave it to him.
And here are the Shrimptastics giving their customary cheer. In case you hadn't figured it out, they're SHRIMPTASTIC! They had a really hard time getting through the mud. Maybe they were particularly heavy with low clearance? Anyway they needed the mud people to help tow them. In the background of the photo you can see the guy sitting on the ledge, he hadn't gotten his whatever-it-was back yet.
Next came the duck, which also had a hard time getting through. Not so much because of its size, but because most of its pit crew were children (the "ducklings" I mentioned before). The funny thing is, a handful of the ducklings decided to go through with the entry. The duck got towed away but the ducklings were left behind, totally stuck in the mud! It was a hilarious scene watching them trying to pull each other out and falling in again and again.
My last photo of the race was the frog. They did pretty well on the mud; the drivers were big guys & didn't have too much trouble pulling it out. I guess they must have lost a lot of ground on the way to Patterson Park, because I remembered them being earlier into the water.
After everyone went through the mud we decided to head out. It was almost 3 pm, we hadn't eaten anything, and Hunter was getting tired. I must say, she handled the day really well. There was a lot going on and a lot of walking, but she kept her spirits up throughout the day, never got crabby. So anyway, we missed the second water obstacle and the finish line, but we decided at that point that we'd rather have lunch and dry clothes.
On the way back to the car we saw this sculpture in the park. It was in a rough stone circle, with no sign or explanation. Pretty cool thing to find in the middle of a public park.
And that's all of my photos! Whew! Only took me three days to post them.