Monday, July 10, 2006

Mike the Headless Chicken Festival Trip Report

Ok, so before I go into my Bugaboos trip report I have to clear the back log of trips I've taken and not reported to the proper officials. So here goes...

Last May M. and I traveled down to Fruita Colorado for the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival. The Festival got its start with a famous chicken who in the 1930's, give or take a few decades, was decapitated by a farmer in Fruita in just the right way so that the brainstem that controls the basic physiological functions was left intact and connected so the chicken could runabout and live out the rest of its days as a circus sideshow act, making said farmer a tidy sum. Fruita does not have much else to brag about so they made a yearly festival for the chicken. The festival is on par with that of a small county fair, but without the FFA or any livestock competitions. Fruita is also a good place to ride your mountain bike on lots of singletrack. Of course just about everybody there has about 3-6 mountainbikes straped to their cars at all times.

Both M. and I entered in the "Run like a headless chicken 5K", so before the race we did the obligitory small town festival thing and looked at all the classic car stuff. This one was my favorite

but there were lots of other more standard "classic" cars like mustangs and studebakers that all exuded the mid-life crisis anxiety of their owners, with their emaculately detailed and dirtless exhaust manifolds.

I've never run a 5K before so I derived my strategy from bike racing: I'd figure I would make up my time in the corners by finding the "inside line" as I explained assuredly to M.. This did not really work. Perhaps if there were more corners, I don't know... I can't remember what my time was but they had orange juice and bananas at the end which was a bonus...

After the 5K we settled in to some of the best parts of the festival. First there was raw chicken flag football

Neither of us wanted to participate in this event. Salmonilla.... ick! but it was fun to watch. The annoucers for the event had to tell all the kids not to lick their hands and to wash them throughly after the game. The raw chicken football of course landed all over the grass contaminating everything...


Next there was the wing eating contest that I decided to enter in. I had no ambitions to eat very fast. I just was hungry after the race and free BBQ wings sounded pretty good, so I got in line. Whilst everyone was feverishly stuffing wings in their gullets, I causally nibbled, making sure to get all the meat from the bone, then carfully dabing my napkin to clean the sauce from my lips. The announcer accused me of freeloading but this accusation seemed strange with me sitting next to six other contestants in their orgy of glutony.

After the wing contest there was the most anticipated event for M., the peeps eating contest. Yes, thats right, Peeps, those easteresque, multicolor, shugar-coated marshmallow things. M. loves them, especially she says after they have been left out for a week and are slightly crisp (stale). The contestants all lined up. There was M. and about 20 or so children and a few other adults all vying for the glory. They layed down on three or four folding tables more Peeps than I have ever seen. M. thought is was a glorious sight.

M. did not win despite her love for the Peep. In part because she felt rediculous at 5' 8" and towering over the other excited pre-teen contestants, and in part because she miscalculated her strategy: With Peeps, with their marshmallow properties, stuffing is a more effective strategy than chewing, she found out.

After the festival we did our share of camping, biking, and hiking and all that yuppie REI stuff. Every afternoon though it got so hot that we had to go down to the city beach to cool off and commune with our jet-ski loving, bud drinking, BBQing brothers and sisters.

All in all it was a great trip. Definitely imbuildingarockwallable...


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