Saturday, August 5, 2017

Hodgepodge 280/365 - Carmel Valley Fiesta

Pretty much every year the Carmel Valley Kiwanis Club puts on a weekend-long Fiesta in the Community Park: food stands, craft booths, games for the kids, live music, each day kicking off with a pancake breakfast. The Friday night, there's a dinner and dance for the grown-ups; the following Saturday there's a 10K run in hilly Garland Park. It's quite the event.

Every year, too, our Search & Rescue volunteers set up a zip line as a little fund-raiser for ourselves. One of our number climbs very high into a pine tree to attach the high-line ropes, while several others assemble a tripod down below and far away to which the ropes attach. Then a carriage—a big honkin' pulley—is placed on the ropes, to which our young riders and the guiding line are attached. Once the rider is secure, a team of runners pulls the guiding line, and the zip-liner ascends on high, honks a wheezy horn, and then we drop the rope, and zzzzzziiiiiip! Down they come! With one of the line tenders serving as a brake.

It's pretty fun, for pretty much everyone.

This morning I helped dress the kids in harnesses, either full-body for the smaller ones, or waist-plus-chest harness for the bigger ones, and helmets. Or, rather, mostly I helped them undress (I'm not patient enough to get all the tabs pulled snug enough: undressing is easier). In the afternoon, I joined the runners, a good sweaty workout.

The joy in the kids' faces was a treat. Even some adults got in the action (which meant more runners were needed). And at the very end, the grandfather of the very last kid in line helped us pull. He was a breath of fresh air. (Grandfathers come younger and younger all the time!)

Here's some photos, all but the last from a few years ago—but the idea's the same, year after enjoyable year. (Oh, and we made almost $750, at $5 a pop. Not bad!)

Steve perfecting the top rigging
One of our deputies cheering his boy on
The boy in question: he had a great time flying!
Alain (right) was there today, attaching the kids to the carriage
The girls' outfits are great: today's standout outfit
featured pink cowboy boots and a matching top
Todd, no longer on the team alas (he was a
valuable member), testing the ride: note the carriage
Today: Thomas, one of us runners, waiting for the "go" signal
Oh, and wait: here are a couple more that Alain took today: looking from the tripod end-point up to the pine tree starting point; and the view from aloft (Alain was our tester today).

And finally: the rigger's view, courtesy of Eric Fitzgerald—

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