Wow! We had a great weekend that began, for some of us, on Friday. Several of us managed to escape work/school to enjoy an afternoon of swimming and frivolity in the beautiful Ozark National Forest and the Blanchard Springs Camp Ground. Phil, Davis, Marquise and Denzel arrived just ahead of the entire Maxwell crew to get us back-to-back camp sites. Charles arrived about dark and Rody and I were not able to arrive until about 10:00 p.m. We stayed up another hour chit-chatting and transitioning to our new home in the Ozark Mountains.
The next morning, after an amazing full-blown breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, etc., etc., we had a birthday celebration engineered by Rody and the Maxwells. Rody had a t-shirt printed for all of us with a Greg Cravens designed silk-screen featuring a caricature of me riding my uni and the words, “Tommy’s Fifty!”
We then took a beautiful, full-group ride up the mountainside with our hikers/runners bringing up the rear. This was Davis’ first off-road experience and he did wonderfully and was right in the thick of the action at all times. After a brief reminder about basic orienteering we returned to the camp after a blazing downhill run where we enjoyed a quick picnic lunch and the cutting of the most amazing birthday cake ever! The Maxwells had a birthday cake created as a replica of the Ozark Mountains complete with trees and angel food mountains. T-Max used his extensive art background to hand-make a unicycle centerpiece for the cake that was made from his kid’s toys using a torch and a flathead screw driver. It is really cool and now serves as my dashboard reminder of the event. Both, the cake and the cake uni center piece are true works of art! James and Doug from Oklahoma then joined us after a 6 hour drive from as Oklahoma City and 4 hours from Tulsa. The afternoon was filled with some world-class MUni action for five of us while the rest of the expedition either enjoy the beauty and quiet of the camp and the mountains or caught rainbow trout and swam. This day was full of firsts for many of us. Denzel and Marquise caught their first fish. Davis’ first off-road ride. It was Charles’, Doug’s and my first ride in the Ozarks. We had our traditional MUni Rendezvous pot luck on Saturday night with Phil’s campfire baked blueberry cobbler winning most of the praise.
On Sunday, following the same breakfast extravaganza as the day before, we headed over to a trials play ground were a few of us toyed with natural and man-made trials obstacles. We then took a group tour of Blanchard Springs Caverns. After an amazing lunch of assorted camp goodies, including steaks (Yes, steaks for lunch, thanks to Doug!). Davis, Marquise, James, Tom, Doug, Rody and me set out to do a short, 2-hour MUni ride before heading home. The arduous climb was well worth it as the descent was fast and furious. Again, Davis stole the show as he climbed and he persevered through several UPDs that would have shaken the teeth out of most of us. The next time you ride with Davis give him a MUC, “Atta-Boy.”
We all bugged-out by 4:00. As I rolled into Memphis my thoughts were with the Oklahoma boys. These guys had as much as 3 more hours of driving in front of them. Special thanks to James and Doug for making the trek to play with us. As always, a good time was had by all. Pictures will be posted on the MUC site as soon as I get a chance. up-load them and T-Max sends me what he took. I look forward to our next MUni Rendezvous.