May 27 , 2002
Sandwiched in between the frostbitten winds of spring and deer fly-biting summer comes Moonfest. The trick to Moonfest is to find a weekend that our friends can get together, pick a good-weather weekend and of course, have it during a full moon. Once in a blue moon, all things fall into place and Memorial Day weekend was perfect for a Moonfest.
So what is Moonfest anyway? To sum it up, an excuse to have a party... or is it a party waiting for an excuse? Whatever the case, it's always a good time.
This year's Moonfest included a few contests: The Men's Caber Toss, The Women's Skillet Toss and a Moonfest Poem reading. As you may recall (if you do, you are reading these journals a wee bit too much), last year's Moonfest had a pajama outfit contest and there was a bit of jealousy that occurred because of it. Now, I'm not going to name any names (Eileen and Debbie) but I have learned that Norwegians are quite competitive.
|Gordon Jr.'s caber toss technique.|
So where was I? Ah yes, the contests. Since a few of our guests are from Scotland, and we just kinda felt like tossing logs around we decided to have a caber toss. There is quite an art to caber tossing. The log has to be balanced just right to get the maximum lift. It took a few practice tries, but within a matter of minutes we were all transformed into Scotsman -- okay, maybe not Scotsman, but at least we could pick up the log and run with it. I'm sure professional caber tossers would have had a good laugh watching us, but to us men -- we were quite proud of our caber tosses.
The caber toss was quite entertaining to say the least and we even had to have a tiebreaker match to determine a winner. The suspense in the final round was unbelievable. (I didn't believe it either.) Ron (sheepishly) won the contest.
|Debbie points to the UFS (Unidentified Flying Skillet) as it shoots across the sky.|
After the caber toss, it was time for the women to show their stuff. I'm not sure how many skillets had been tossed (and at whom) prior to the competition, but the women were incredibly strong. (If I hadn't known better, I'd say they were from Lake Wobegon.) The skillet weighed at least 50 lbs., but they made it seem like it was only a couple of pounds. I guess all those years of bowling finally paid off.
Interestingly, each of the women had their own style: Robo (Roberta) liked the worm-burner approach, flinging the skillet just above dandalion-level. Although this approach worked well in the practice round, it appeared not to be the strategy of choice during the championship.
Debbie seemed to be going for style. (Maybe it was because she was reigning queen from last Moonfest and she just walked with a certain kind of nobility.) Her follow-through and poise was breathtaking.
Eileen's Minnesotan upbringing definitely showed during this championship. There was no doubt in my mind that she was from Minnesota. She flung that skillet like she was flinging manure back on the farm.
|The proud winners of the Caber and Skillet Toss: Ron and Debbie.|
And then there was my dear wife who (in my opinion) had perfect grace and style. If it wasn't for the bad bounces caused by mole hills, I'm sure she would have won. (Based on what I saw, I don't ever want to see her mad with a skillet in her hand.)
Just like the caber toss, there was a play-off between Queen Debbie and Minnesotan Eileen. Our reigning Moonfest queen won.
After an afternoon of festivities, it was on to the Trempeleau Hotel for Walnut Burgers and various carcass meals for the meat lovers. It was a pleasant drive to Trempeleau, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and road rage was in the air. The two vehicles in front of us were playing games with each other and almost caused an accident between our three cars. It's a scary world out there!
We did make it to the hotel unscathed and had a wonderful walnut burger dinner. Afterwards it was back to Day Creek for poem readings, moon music, a campfire and gazing under the stars. Some poems were quite elegant while others were short and sweet. We even had a write-in poem from one of our friends who couldn't make it. Robo took the honors for the best poem.
With a clear sky, Dale and I set up our telescopes to view the night skies. Although the sky was bright with moonlight, everyone got to see Venus, Jupiter and of course the moon.
Our neighbors (Bill and Mandi) stopped over and we all sat around telling jokes by the campfire until 2:30 in the morning. I never heard so many jokes in one night. I think my side still hurts from all of the laughing.
Sunday was just a day to relax and catch up on a few Zzz's. It rained on and off in the evening prompting us to move the picnic table in and out of the house a couple of times, but we did manage to play cards and periodically wash the floor from Eileen's spills. By Monday morning everyone had packed up and left, so it was back to building walls again.
|The Moonfest attendees from left to right: Gordon, Debbie, Gordon Jr., Robo, Kirk, Jo, Alan, Ron, Eileen, Dale|