I spent the weekend in Idaho with Blue Eyes.
Blue Eyes likes football and participates in a Fantasy Football League (?) – the league he’s part of has been together for 10 years. The lot of them consists of 9 men and 1 woman. Interestingly, the woman’s husband was the original member of the group, but he sucked at it and kind of lost interest because he sucked so badly. The wife took over his spot about 4 years ago. While she hasn’t won, she doesn’t suck and she and her husband have divorced.
Originally all ten members lived in the Portland/Vancouver metro area. About 7 years ago, however, one of the members moved to Idaho. Every August he makes the trek back to the Pacific Northwest for the draft. A couple of years ago he asked if the group would be open to making the trip to Idaho for the 10 year anniversary. Everyone agreed it would be a nice change, so that’s what was planned and this past weekend that’s what took place.
Blue Eyes invited me along a few months ago. Originally I said no. While I like to travel and see new places I’d heard some scary stories about racism in Idaho and I really had no desire to have my own first-hand accounts. Obviously I changed my mind. Pretty happy that I did.
I left my house a little after 6 a.m., on Friday morning to drive to Blue Eye’s house in Washington. I got there before 7 and we left his house by 7:30 and headed to Hood River. In Hood River we met up with some of his closest friends (and my favorites, thus far, of his friends I’ve met) who were also going to the draft. Then we set out.
Now, if you look at a map, and you know I live in the Portland area you might assume it wasn’t really too much of a drive. After all if you drive East from Portland, across Oregon and into Idaho you hit Boise. Easy. We weren’t going to Boise, however. We went to Bonners Ferry. Here is a map of Idaho. . .
We were 14 miles from the Montana border and less than 25 miles from Canada. Beautiful country, but man what a drive. Probably 8 hours of straight driving, but all told, I was in a car for 11 hours. Made for a long day, but we got there before 5:30 and enjoyed a BBQ and beer at the hosts beautiful house in the middle of a quiet forest area. I’m a vegetarian, though, which is a foreign concept in an area where they eat Buffalo on the regular, so I ate side dishes with my beer.
Exhausted from the drive we were back at the hotel by 10.
Saturday we drove into Sandpoint and had breakfast at a cute little café that used all local and organic veggies – the food was wonderful and filling.
After breakfast we walked through the Sandpoint farmers market where Blue Eyes bought me a couple of sunflower art pieces (I love Sunflowers)
And then we walked over to the Sandpoint city beach. Sandpoint is beautiful. I’m convinced.
The draft started at 1:00 p.m. at a local bar in Bonners Ferry.
Having never been to a fantasy football draft before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. There was some set up involved – the draft board, for one. . .
And then two of the guys weren’t able to make the trip so they participated by phone via Facetime. The two Iphones being used were set up at the table in each guy’s respective drafting position, so it was kind of like they were there. . . Kind of.
First order of business was to congratulate the prior year’s winner and present him/her with the money and trophy. Blue Eyes won last year, for the first time so he accepted his trophy and the cashola. It was nice.
And then the 16 rounds of drafting began. There was a lot of shit talking and LOTS of beer. In the four hours we were there Blue Eyes and I shared two pitchers of beer. That equated to four pints of beer for me in four hours. Not a ton in the grand scheme of beer drinking, but as much as I like beer, I’m a light weight and four pints of an IPA with an ABV of 6.8% pretty much put me on my ass.
Draft complete – everyone sufficiently liquored up for a picture – including the two guys on the Iphones!
After the draft we went back out to the host’s home and had a second BBQ and more alcohol. I stayed away from the beer and switched to Fireball. Um yeah. That shits dangerous. A shot of Fireball tastes just like a mouthful of redhots. Dangerous. If you like redhots, that is. Sadly, I do.
I remember very little about that evening, but I believe it was fun.
Sunday we were headed back to Oregon. We got off the freeway in Spokane, Washington to try to find the waterfall through the center of downtown we’d heard about and in the process of looking for that we drove through Gonzaga’s campus –
Then we went to Riverfront Park and walked around. Waterfalls, flowers, fountains, running sculptures. It all made me really like Spokane. Which surprised me.
After lunch we headed on home, taking one quick detour off the highway to tool around Ritzville, Washington. It took all of 5 minutes, but it was interesting in that you could tell that at one time in history Ritzville was a pretty happening place – now, however, it’s a run-down town in the middle of absolutely nothing. It was at one time the wheat capital of the world, but now, while they are still growing wheat, it’s not nearly as much as it was in their heyday and now there is nothing going on in Ritzville. Nothing.
After Ritzville we drove through the Columbia Gorge in a lightning storm with lots of rain. I managed to get home by 8:45 p.m. and fall into bed. To get up at 4:00 a.m. and wonder why I hadn’t asked for Monday off as well. It’s surprising how much driving can take out of you – and I wasn’t driving, except to get myself home – but I’m exhausted.
I didn’t do any running while I was out-of-town, probably because I chose drinking instead, but I had a great time and have no regrets.
Working on when and where I can take my next trip out-of-town. Trying to figure out how to get to Hawaii before year’s end – not sure I can actually make it happen, but I haven’t given up on the idea!
Sigh. . . . I love Hawaii.
I hope you all had lovely weekends and have a fantastic week!