Monday, August 27, 2007

Fall back!

A synonym for "retreat." Except, well, retreat can mean something exceptionally civilized, something families and companies do from time to time. Such was the case ... our annual company retreat. Besides, I prefer to, and usually do, fall forward.
Now, many are averse to hanging out with a hundred or so co-workers and their families. Well, maybe because I grew up in trailers and saw the worst (and showed the worst I and) my family had to offer, I'm not as shy. This was one rip-roarin' good time. As the postcard might read: "Wish you were here." We all made memories the rest of you ill-inclined folks will hear about for a while to come. The following images are from the Cable area in northern Wisconsin, Land of Beer and Liquor Sales -- Seven Days a Week!

Chequamegon National Forest: Rock Lake Trailhead. Freakin' phenomenal trails (thanks to CAMBA). Bill is giddy already.

The singlespeed ladies -- Amy, Holly and Alix -- say, 'Quit gawking and start riding, fools!'

Reid expresses disdain for governmental intervention in his wilderness experience.

Halfway through the challenging loop -- Hildebrand Lake Loop -- and spirits are somewhat high.

The Karate Monkey overlooks Hildebrand Lake. I connected very well with my Karate Monkey and did not once feel as if it was looking at something without me (i.e. I did not go over the bars or otherwise disconnect from the bike.) Vive le 29er!

The redneck remedy for a plaguing malady -- the thrown chain! Some sticks and a hair tie. Yee haw!

The group back at the trailhead. "Man, those were awesome trails! Let's go drink a beer ..."

Geoff asks, "Does this headband make me look like a dork?" The Schley is sly, but he's still "The Schlayer!"

Trail scars ...

And more trail scars. Hardly worth a mention, but I'm not sure many of you (distant friends) have seen my relatively new tattoo, professing my love for a certain componentry.

Critical Mass Northwoods style!

The Karate Monkey is on autopilot. On One Midge Bars are nice, but not easy to set up.

Ben takes a break from mixing 'wop' to take the Brown Beast for a spin at the lodge.

Dinner beneath a blue Wisconsin sky and 75 degree temps. It was horrible.

Well, Skiles is into see-food. That part was horrible.

It wasn't all fun and games -- we actually had to work on some team building exercises including a scavenger hunt.

But we did get to drink beer while doing so. I think Joe is signing a certain lack of a bevvy in his free hand.

Sylvia dances for mama while the scavenger hunt continues.

Yep, our team is weaving a basket out of discarded plastic strapping. I was shocked and amazed. Carlos is pretty jazzed about it as well. Zeigle and Miker discuss the finer points of aesthetics while the hysteria ensues.

Two faces only a mother could love. Skiles and me at the meeting. He's my favorite Cat 6 guy hands down. The party kept going because the beer took a while to run dry. There are other pictures of Skiles and me from the evening. I'm sure they'll make someone else's blog. I turned in rather early for a party night, but I had an awesome time making new friends and napping in their hotel room.

The next day (Sunday) arrived far too soon. I rolled over in bed and wondered whether any of us would get fired for the frivolity. April and Sylvia went for breakfast. I got up for a shower and checked for a pink slip under the door. In the clear this time. We loaded up Dirty Kop and made a stop off at Rock Lake trailhead again for a hike. It was another beautiful day and an amazing chance to enjoy the Northwoods before returning to the city.

Sylvia and her walking stick.

The stick became a spear ... and later a shovel ... and eventually just something else Daddy had to carry!

A really neat tree discovered by the Kop -- growing atop the remains of a much older tree.

April got to hike off alone for a bit. That was good for her. She was a good sport letting me go on a killer mtn bike ride and stay out late with friends. Thanks, honey!

1 comment:

Andy said...

Mr. Fleck,

It was a privilege hanging with you and your significants and, I hope, many more to come. You and your family are a flame stoked to warm the heart of steely conundrum and rediculous soliloquy...etc.