A week ago today I was hanging out with my buddies for our second annual Mancation. It was an adventure, foreshadowing. Last year my wife coordinated the festivities with my friends as a surprise weekend getaway. It was extremely awesome as I had no idea it was happening and so giddy when my pals showed up at my house to whisk me away.
This year we didn’t have the element of surprise going in our favor. We had a desire for five college friends to get out of town and relax. Last year we went mountain biking in Eastern Washington. This year we planned something similar on the Columbia River Gorge.
I took last Thursday and Friday off work and drive down to Portland with my amigo Jason. Thursday night we hung out in The Rose City and watched a soccer game with another friend from college. It was a really fun time and something I plan to do again.
Friday and Saturday we rented a sweet house on the Columbia River Gorge. If you’ve never been to the Columbia River Gorge, then put it on your list of places to see. It’s quite a remarkable area. Our plans once again centered on mountain biking. Although fishing got thrown into the mix. I don’t fish though, but I do drive a kickass Subaru so I shuttled the guys back and forth from the fishing hole to the house.
Saturday rolls around and I’m just not feeling the mountain bike thing. Call me a year older or just lazy, but we opted out of the mountain bikes. We sat around our portable electronic devices tagging each other in photos Saturday morning. Then we officially cancelled the bike reservation and had to find a new activity.
For those not in the know, disc golf is golf with frisbees. This would be your chance to laugh. Five dudes in their mid 30s skip out on mountain biking to play disc golf instead. The course was nine holes, however we didn’t play all nine even though it took us a good half an hour to find suitable playing “discs”. We arrive at the disc golf park and at hole one there’s a warning sign that says something like “see that crap near your feet, that’s poison oak. It will be everywhere on the course so I hope you brought Calamine lotion”. I may have embellished.
We saw the sign and for some reason decide to play a few holes. We lose one of our five discs on hole two and miraculously none of us contracts poison oak. After hole three we decide enough is enough. The course was overgrown and rather shitty. We thought we’d have a glamorous story to tell at the end of our Mancation 2009, but really… I can sum it up with the following keywords.
Basement ping pong, no fish caught, poison oak, watching kiteboarders, Hood River, portable devices, Leeroy Jenkins, coffee, beer, relationships, good friends, and scary toll bridge.
On the drive home Sunday I got stuck in really bad traffic, adding two hours to the drive. The Mancation wasn’t nearly as awesome as the previous year, but it’s not about the activities. It truly is about the company. I’m cool with just hanging out doing nothing, which is pretty much what we did for a couple days. It’s hard to find time as adults to hang out with my college friends so this is what our annual gathering is all about, friends. Thanks for playing!