Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Just When You Think You've Seen It All....

Tierra checks out Rodrigo.
For my next hike, I asked my sister, Tierra, if she'd like to join me. She said yes, and after waiting around for the better part of an hour, she got to a good stopping point of her new favorite game (Aion) and got off the computer. But I got a lot done. I took a shower, had my mom buzz the hair off my head, and fixed a bug on AQ during the time it took my sister to get off the computer. Whew!

We headed out to the Irish Hills. If that sounds familiar, it's because I hiked those trails last year for the Hike-a-Thon.

It didn't take long before we saw it: a unicorn. Yes, a real, honest-to-goodness pinata unicorn attached to the railing of a bridge. What an unusual place to find a pinata! And a unicorn for that matter! On the back of it as attached a note explaining that his name was Rodrigo, the pinata unicorn, and that it was a "wish shelter." We were to write down a wish (a logbook and pencil were provided) then place your wish in the pinata through a slot that was cut into it. Kind of like a piggy bank for wishes.

How utterly cute and bizarre. Why was it left here? Who left it? How long were they going to leave it there? What would they do with the wishes once it was collected? The note on Rodrigo did have a website listed: www.NothingHappenedHere.org. I absolutely love the domain name, and I went to it, but it answered none of my questions. However, it did open a few new ones. The last post to their blog had a prominent title with Inga Swearingen in it--it's a name I recognize from my high school days. I had classes with her. It was a little surprising to go to this website and see a name from the past, but it appears to be a post about Inga, not by Inga.

So my sister wrote a wish--something she wouldn't let me see--and stuffed it into the slot in the unicorn's ass. (I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!) Then I wrote out a wish, and in retaliation, I wouldn't let Tierra see it, and stuffed it into Rodrigo.

Directions taped to Rodrigo.
We continued hiking. Once again, I was checking up on letterboxes I had planted. I was amazed when I went to check on my first box and discovered the tree it had been hidden in had fallen over. Yeah, I know, trees fall over all the time, but I knew this tree. We were friends in a sense. It was a neat little box too, where I attached it to the end of a stick and threw it down a deep hole in the tree. To retrieve the box, you had to pull it out with the stick. That was no longer necessary, though--the split right down the middle and exposed all the way down to ground level. It must have been fairly recent too--the leaves on the tree were still all green and fresh. We had a lightning storm here a few days ago and some pretty strong winds and I wonder if perhaps it played a role in the tree's demise? I found no sign of my box, though. Alas, those things happen. *shrug*

My other letterbox was still doing well, but the logbook was full so I added a new one.

The next unexpected surprise--for me, at least--was finding a trail that I know did not exist last year because I actually looked for it last year! The trail showed up on a map so I had tried looking for it, but came to the conclusion that it must have been a trail that hadn't been built yet. It's definitely built now! Or at least part of it is. It didn't appear to go back as far as the map showed, so perhaps it's still a work in progress? The trail runs into a dirt road, though, and the map doesn't show a road at all, so I'm not entirely certain what was supposed to happen there.

My letterbox tree split in half!
On our way back, the trail goes behind the Coscto, and Tierra and I decided to follow a small path beat down to the Costco. It's not a named trail so far as I know, and did not appear to be official in any sense of the word, so we called it the "Costco Hot Dog Trail," and hiked down to Costco for a $1.50 dog and soda. =) I also got a berry smoothie. Delicious.

From here, Tierra walked back to her car and drove back to Mom's house. I, of course, walked back. =) But none of those miles will count towards the Hike-a-Thon. And if you haven't, it's not too late to sponsor me!

Thanks to my sponsors so far: Snowfire, Mathhead, dmc and gr, dbltall, JabberJoBob, speedsquare, di and her guy, the Evans Family, and my very own sister, Tierra. =) I'm now slightly more than halfway to my personal $500 goal, and our team (Amanda and I make up a team) are about halfway to our team goal as well ($515 out of our $1000 goal).

This might be the very first time I've ever used my "proof of visit."
I usually forget about it. =) The large building just above my knee
is Costco, which is where we'll end up hiking to. =)
The end of the Costco Hot Dog Trail--a happy ending if there ever was one. =)
Oh, yeah, and I've buzzed my head of all its hair. I'm ready for thru-hiking
El Camino de Santiago!


MO UR4Me said...

You may have renewed Cheesapalooza's interest in letterboxing. She's hoping that Rodrigo is still there the next time we're in CA. He looks much like the unicorn she smashed into little pieces at her last b'day party!

Ryan said...

I think it's doubtful that Rodrigo will still be there for very long. Eventually the rain would ruin the pinata. Being summer, that might be a long time off, but it seems unlikely that this will be here for more than a month. I'd be shocked if it was intended to be out there for longer than that!

But if you know of a hike you want to do soon, you could set up your own "Rodrigo" then take Cheeseapalooza to "discover" the pinata "by accident." ;o)

-- Ryan

-- Ryan