The Amazing Race

The last night Allison was here Christopher and I participated in another Amazing Race competition–this time it was couples only. We started at Pine Lake Park:

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Our first clue was to find a hollowed-out tree in the park. We managed to find it after looking a little too long, as a few couples got out ahead of us. The next clue (inside the tree) sent us across the street to the elementary school, where Christopher had to ice block down the hill. He sat, I pushed, we raced out of there and headed to Ebright Creek Park, where we partnered with the Olmsteads to use a water-balloon launcher to land a tennis ball in a hula hoop target in the distance. After a sweet shot by Brent, the next clue sent us to Evans Creek Preserve. This was where the endurance portion of the event slowed us down. We had to run throughout the preserve looking for cones with letters on them, thirteen in all. Christopher did fine but I was about to die. Unfortunately there were two very athletic couples (the ones just to the left of us in the picture) ahead of us. Once we found the letters, we managed to solve the puzzle quickly and get out of there.

In a close third place, we headed to Loutsis Park in Carnation, where we had to play disc golf. Christopher, who is a fantastic frisbee thrower, managed to throw one right in the blackberry bushes. Completely unrecoverable. Thankfully we were able to grab a second disc, finish our three baskets, and run over to Kris, who was standing at the end of the golf course. There, she had us blow up an inflatable tube. A quarter mile south of the park on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail was the Tolt River. Since I had volunteered to get wet I was doing the challenge–tubing down the Tolt River. I gave my clothes to Christopher, who drove the car down to the meeting point. I was concerned that I was going on a river in a cheap plastic tube with no life jacket, but Kris assured me the water was only about six inches deep, and she was right. Still, I was out there all alone. The two guys ahead of me were nowhere in sight, and no one was close behind me. The water felt amazing, and it was really shallow, but I thought, I could trip on these rocks, or hit my head on a log, and I COULD DIE! Christopher laughed when I mentioned it, but later, after the race, everyone else said the same thing! And the two guys ahead of me said, “Yeah, when we floated near those logs and stuff, we just got out and walked on the trail. That looked dangerous.” Facepalm.

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The next clue sent us to the Velodrome at Marymoor Park where some “cute teachers” were waiting for us. They turned out to be students of highland dance (we picked the girl on the far right), and we had to learn the first two steps (there are four) of the traditional Scottish dance. And then be judged by Laura Glasgow. After soaking my sneakers in the river, I was wearing my Chacos, and I’ll blame that for my complete inability to dance. At any rate, it took us probably half an hour and two tries to pass Laura’s muster. Still, we left the Velodrome in second place.

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The next clue sent us to Redmond Town Center, where we had to ask strangers to take our picture in front of store fronts that started with the first five letters of our names. We raced through that part, hoping to catch up to the Berretts who were ahead of us.

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Finally, we had to take all the previous clues and find our final destination. Each clue had a letter on it, and we ended up with something like ADFOORRSSS. Christopher had mentioned about two hours back that it was probably Crossroads, but there was no “C” so that was out. After fifteen minutes of scratching our heads I realized we were missing some clues, and it turns out we had thrown two in the back seat. As soon as we saw the “C” we headed to Crossroads Mall in Bellevue. All we had was CROSSROADS F, so we headed to the “F” section of the mall, and in the end it was Crossroads Food, and the Allens were waiting in the food court. And the Berretts. Unfortunately, we never did catch up to them, but I felt reasonably proud that we came in second. We spent another hour or so hanging out there, eating dinner, and chatting with everyone before heading home.

We sure love the Allens and their awesomeness. We can’t wait for the next Amazing Race.

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