A spine surgeon, a fireman, a weapons trainer, and puppet maker all walk into a bar. (No, this is not the beginning of a joke) This is how Huggies, Backdraft, Flounder, and YHC Geppetto, otherwise known as Team Depends began our Friday night ruck story. Since litterally 90% of our “pie slice” was behind DO NOT ENTER chain linked fence, we decided to place our flag out in the open, as the rules clearly stated, at a little know oasis in the midst of Bowman Field, The Aero Club. I’ve luckily known of this place for years. It originally was a place where pilots could take the edge off before getting behind the controls of a thousand pounds of metal and jet fuel and flying from Louisville to Lexington. It now is a semi-private club for anyone that is smart enough to read a map and find it. They actually really do have the cheapest drinks in town and have some great live music from time to time. They have a Rolling Stones tribute band this Friday, Tatoo Babylon. I may have to check that out…but I digress.
We clown car-ed up to the Club and decided it would be best to alert the management of our intentions. Because as normal routine as a ruck has become to the F3 pax, backpacked men walking/moseying around airports in today’s climate could be cause for concern to some. We walked in and told the nice young lady behind the bar that we, four grown ass men, were playing capture the flag, and that she should expect to see a bunch of other grown ass men coming by and taking selfies. Without so much as a blink, she said “I don’t give a shit what y’all do…do you want something to drink?” Next thing I know we all have a beer and shot of bourbon in front of us. Slammed those down, it’s go time!
The pics of black smudges and mismarked Xs on maps started coming in fast and furious. (Side note: when YHC is not carving puppets, I manage the surveying department for a large highway contractor. Read maps and plans all day. Somewhat of an expert you might say. Clearly a skill that some of you pharma boys and law dogs need some help in) We mis-marked our map to match the photos sent and set our course. We set off for flag #5.
We had barely left the parking lot of the Aero Club and already here comes Snowman, Starchild, Zima, and Thumbtack. (I’m not saying, I’m just saying.) We exchange some pleasantries and decide we need to pick up the pace. We arrive at the mark on the map they sent. A huge smudge of an X that is apparently inside the parking area of Rafferty’s and Red Lobster. It’s got to be here somewhere…10 minutes go by…20…we’re right here, it has to be here…maybe some kid saw the glow stick and picked up the whole thing and ran…25 minutes…someone call Starchild, this is bullshit!…he said it’s in a cemetery…there’s no cemetery in Rafferty’s…hell with it, we’re taking this pic and it will have to count!
Frustrated, from wasting so much time and still not having found the flag, shoulders already starting to burn. We set off for #4. Surely they will have better map marking skills. We just happened to pass Team 3 on the way. We laughed at them for what they were about to have to endure, the invisible team 5 flag. We made it to Flag #4 where team #2 was looking as well. Well played CI. Gamesmanship. After two or three nopes, we finally found the real deal. Took a group shot with our competition.
On to flag #3. Backdraft knew exactly where to go to find this one. Luckily he had put out some forest fires back there or rescued a cat or something. Dusk was setting in at this point. This is where the glow stick was essential. Let’s just look for the light. There it is…nope a lightning bug. Thousands and thousands of lightning bugs. Pretty but not at all helpful. We finally stumble upon the real deal.
We are at a critical point in the competition now. If we can find a way to cross the RR tracks we may have a shot at making it to Flag #2. After a calculated risk we go a little out of the way hoping to find a yard without a fence. Denied. We have to cut our losses and make our way to Hubbards Ln. Possible chance we could still hit Flag #1 at Coachgate and finish strong with a stop at #10 on the way to Molly’s. Time is 10:20 and we’re at Hubbards/Westport Rd. We debate and once at Massie Ave decide to forgo #1 and go for #10 on Elmwood.
Headed for home! See those punks from team #5 again. Make it to Molly’s with about 5 minutes to spare.
Misery loves company. Or something like that. Three days later and my shoulders are still burning. But the camaraderie of that night was ten times worth the pain. I’ve known Backdraft for 100 years so we just get on each others nerves at this point, but it was great to get to know Flounder and Huggies. Two bad ass dudes for sure. Once at the Molly’s, seeing all the usual guys I see from the Mutt and occasional trips to the O was good, but also finally putting some nicknames with faces with the rest of F3 Louisville was awesome. Proud of my team for our ruck efforts and especially proud of F3 Louisville as whole for our efforts in raising money for Team Vince. Thanks to CI, Kilo, and all of the HIM that helped organize and participated in this event!