A slow start to the day, soon escalated to a rather incredible evening. I started the day off writing blog entries, loading the van and cleaning the house, as I was planning on heading home to my parents’ house for the weekend, my dad excited to do a weekend kayaking trip, sounded like fun, so I’m in. Upon finding out I don’t actually work until Monday at camp (there has been some confusion there the last few days, but I think it’s all straightened out now), I figured I could catch the Bobaflex/Downstait show again in Mankato on the way to my parents’ house near Albert Lea. Then the thought process expanded to sampling a disc golf course in Mankato, or at least that was the plan.
I drove to Mankato by 5:00 pm, the first disc golf course in St. Peter, was completely underwater, I should have expected that. The second Disc golf course, also completely underwater. Ok, so that plan wasn’t going to work. I did some quick research and found the next nearest course in New Ulm, about a 25 mile drive. I figured what the hell, I’m not doing anything anyway, and made the drive. I pulled in, grabbed my stuff, got Forest on a leash and headed past a group of guys practicing putting. I inquired about the course, and they asked if I wanted to play in a doubles match, $5 to enter, and an extra $1 for the ace pot (a cumulative reward for the next person to get an ace, valued at over $250), didn’t sound bad, I was in.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” - Lao Tzu
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They split us into pairs randomly (separating the longest throwers, that included me), I got paired up with a guy, his name was Max or something, he’s from the cities and drove down with some friends to play. 8 in total, each puts in $5, $40 to the winning team divided by two, $20 per person. Not bad, I don’t usually make any money playing disc golf. But, I figured I didn’t have a chance, only have been playing for about six months, while these league players have been playing for years. They talk the talk, looking at my discs saying things like “Is that all you’re throwing, look at this one, it flies just so” Yeah, they all look the same to me. But I suppose if I start to figure out these little differences in discs and learn some more throws, maybe I could be good.
I can rip it off the tee, my short game still needs work. We started out well, with a few early birdies, followed by a streak of pars and even a bogey before grabbing a few more birdies. The course was nice, long and mostly wide open, with a few interesting obstacles thrown in, even the playground came into play a little bit. Forest had fun running around getting in everyone’s way, but everyone loved Forest, one guy in particular was real impressed with his frisbee tricks, I taught him one trick and he did it over and over and thought it was the greatest thing ever. We finished the round just as it was getting dark, at 4 under, the pair that we played with came in at 3 under. As the last teams came in, the best was also a minus 4, and I never thought I had a chance at winning! But, we had a playoff, and lost on the first hole.
It was an exciting round of disc golf, I definitely enjoyed my time, I might have to join them for another round or two this spring sometime, whenever I come down to my parents’ I might try to work it in. So, I went from there to B-Dubs for some wings, beer, and basketball. Then it was off to Buster’s, I made it in a little after 10, and what a difference in atmosphere from Monday night. I talked to Shaun and he says it’s because they play the music on the radio on Mankato, so people actually know who they are, there was several hundred more people than Monday night in St. Cloud, considering I was about the only fan at the St. Cloud show. And what a difference a crowd makes. The crowd has much more energy than one guy yelling “Born again” “You guys rock” “Go Tommy!”, the band feeds on this energy and the overall show feels so much more powerful. Now, Monday night was incredible in its own right, it’s not very often that a fan of a rather large name band will get a private performance. But tonight just had the raw energy of a high powered rock show. You could see it in both bands.
I got a chance to chat briefly with each band member, definitely not the intimate setting of Monday, it was more of a hectic “Hey thanks for the show, you were great tonight.” I again talked to the lead singer from Downstait, and he was so happy that I returned for another show that he gave me a free t-shirt. They impressed me, I think if I’m ever in an area where Downstait is playing, I’m going to try to make it to a show, it was enjoyable, and the band, they’re friendly I feel like I could sit down with them and have a few beers over some chow (though I think most of them are not old enough to drink). Bobaflex played a great set, several more songs than Monday night, and even came back on for an encore. I left with a drumstick from Tommy and a goodbye to the band, I’m sure I’ll see them again someday. It was a 45 minute drive home and I was soon passed out in bed.