It was a busy weekend here in Northwest Montana albeit a hot one. Skies were clear and humidity low, but temperatures hovering around 80 to 83 meant summertime heat for Saturday’s track meet and Sunday’s threshing bee.
M and E have been going to cross country track and their first meet was held at the Kidsports Complex in Kalispell. The Highlander Track program is sponsored by a local bank and free for all Flathead Valley kids who want to participate. Practices are held at Woodland Park with volunteer high school coaches.
At Saturday’s invitational, one of their coaches, fourteen year old Zach Perrin won first place in the 3-mile race for the Flathead boy’s team in record time of 16:01. When it was M and E’s turn to run, they lined up at the starting line and took off at the sound of the gun. They had to run around the gravel track for 1 mile in intense sunshine. M took off fast and came in second but was no match for the speedy little girl with the muscles.
Here’s what M has to say about the race.
“The first lap of the race was pretty easy, and I kept my breathing as steady as possible. Heading into the 2nd lap, I struggled to keep my speed. E was nowhere to be seen, and I gasped for breath in the sweltering heat. It was only 80°, but it felt like 100° out there in the open sun. My throat was starting to close up, and I swallowed without any spit. It seemed as though I was a mile behind the leader, and a mile ahead of the people behind me. I had once read about a boy who wore himself out and barfed after a race. I wondered if that would happen to me, and I told myself not to. Puking in front of so many people would scar me eternally with embarrassment. Looking at my newly painted blue fingernails, I thought, “I can do this! I have blue fingernails!” I slowed down to a slow jog, then sped up to a slow run. I did this function, and at last got to the last part. I gasped for air as I received my ribbon, and collapsed to the ground in exhaustion.”
E says, “I started off slow, while everyone sprinted away. M made me want to grab her, the way she ran away so fast! I was way behind, going slow to save my energy. I sped up a little bit and left the slowest people way behind. I jogged, but it was hard anyway. After reaching the halfway point, I realized the length of this race. I ran as fast as I possibly could near the end, even though I started to feel horrible. I got 7thplace, which is better than the last two girls. I flopped myself onto the grass, and poured water on my head.”
After the race we went to Dairy Queen for dipped cones, then home to relax.
Next day, Sunday, was spent at the 16th annual Northwest Antique Tractor Show and Threshing Bee. It was an all day affair with scheduled events held at Pioneer Olsen Park in Columbia Falls. We saw lots of old engines and demonstrations of saw mills and shingle mills. M and E each made a piece of rope
and learned a lot from David about tractors, worm gears, and PTO shafts.
I got some free cornmeal with a biscuit recipe that I intend to try soon. After riding the miniature train, we browsed around in the washeteria trailer that housed antique washing machines and irons. We looked in the old one room schoolhouse and I always enjoy that kind of thing because I like to place myself in the situation, kind of “Little House on the Prairie” style.
The “Parade of Old Power” was neat with tractors parading past the grandstands as a precursor to the threshing demonstration.
I couldn’t help but think of how, me, a city gal from New Orleans was now living in Montana and watching tractor parades instead of Mardi Gras parades. I felt truly blessed. Anything is possible, so keep dreaming.
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