*laying in the Red River*
“The sun is coming out any minute now. I can feel it.”
Flash back to about a week ago Patrick Hewitt asks me if I’m still going to Shreveport. “Yeah, pick me up” and sure enough, he does! A 3 hour drive to Shreveport later and half of the drive is getting out of Dallas. Anytime someone from Oklahoma is here and we’re riding around, you always hear them bitching about traffic. First of all, there’s traffic here because people want to be here. Second of all, see the first of all.
We get to Shreveport around 15:30 and are looking for people to hang out with but apparently everyone is busy working so we go looking for food. I pull up some recommendations on Yelp and we decide to hit up the Blind Tiger and I start to get a funny feeling that I’ve been here before.
Flashback: Bomber Bash 2015
After a night of drinking, we get in the one cab in all of Shreveport (The Mexican’s friend) and head into downtown Shreveport. We can’t get into certain clubs/bars because someone in the group was wearing Texas Flag short shorts so Evil Dave turns them away. The group then proceeds to Blind Tiger and gets in.
Holy shit I have been here before. Small world. Or small Shreveport.
Overheard at the bar when talking about another place “it’s like a white trash Dave and Buster’s” and that’s how you know this place is cool.
Little did we know this place had amazing food. Red beans and rice, blackened catfish, fried catfish – all delicious!
So instead of hanging out at one bar and restaurant all day, we went to Fatty Arbuckles a block over where we proceeded to hydrate our asses off. Beers 3-6 were had here. We also linked up with some GRTs (hi Charlie, Chris, Harry Potter)
Ran into Mar at Straycats aka the official Ruckoff. He ordered pizza and I had a few slices despite my “no dairy before an event” rule because #lactose
We leave the Ruckoff and proceed a few blocks over to the parking lot by the start point. Here’s where the fun starts. I’m not sure what other people are doing but I’m taping up my Achilles so I don’t get any raw spots and then I lube up my inner thighs. Probably spent a little too much time there and made everyone uncomfortable but hey, that’s how GORUCK goes.
I think I’ve touched on this in past blogs but here’s where you see your friends, old and new, and start talking about nerves. Or in some cases, where to pee. GORUCK events teach you some cool shit, like how to lead, how to follow, how to crab walk up a hill. But some of the more useful skills are how to drink water out of someone else’s bladder, zip up your ruck on the fly, and taking off the ruck and putting it on really quickly. Seriously, I can put my ruck on fast as hell.
We’re lined up at the memorial and Cadres Cody and Brett talk to us about why we’re here – to honor those who lost their lives on Extortion 17. They showed us how SEALs honored their fallen brothers and I thought that was pretty cool. Next up- first movement to a target 1.8 miles away. I don’t recall the exact path but I do know where we ended up – the Shreveport Central Fire Station. It’s a very nice facility with a nice, clean driveway. Want to know how I know this?
There was lots of me showing the world I’m out of shape here. Let’s be honest though, nobody was surprised.
Highlights: used a rope bridge, low crawling aka just crawling ’cause cadre weren’t around to yell through some disgusting stagnant, muddy water, followed by crawling through a drain pipe not dissimilar to tinhorn drainage, rocking chairs in the Red River, I am the guy who gets a heavy thing to carry and then gives up right away, focus on the task at hand or you’ll have to wear an ill-fitting bicycle helmet, learning my water bladder wasn’t leaking and that yes, I was sweating so much it was dripping down my legs.
Rocking chairs. We had to do them in water where our head was touching sand and our nose was out of the water. Then we upgraded and did them where our feet were resting on the water’s edge. Either way, I didn’t do ’em correctly. So we kept having to repeat them and Brett was watching me:
“Bee, why can’t you do a rocking chair?”
*gets up to run to the edge with more room*
“My abs are weak and my belly is too big!”
I successfully did 1/50 rocking chairs.
When we got to the Red River earlier, I swore up and down the sun was about to come out any minute now. It looked like it was getting brighter but only later did I learn that it was around 02:00 when we got to the beach.
Really, no lowlights from this event. Maybe crab walking up a hill. Or bear crawling backwards. But those are weak maybes. Weak like my triceps.
After the event, we’re sitting around at endex drinking these not-cold (but free) beers and then cadre Cody comes by and asks “dude why didn’t you get them the cold beer from the cooler?”
“There’s a cooler?”
…Bomber moved the cooler of cold beer out of the way to get us these room temperature beers.
After the event, we napped in the truck, napped in the hotel, Patrick tried to kill us by going down a one way road. I saw another car do it ahead of us and it didn’t look right (they immediately exited into a parking lot while getting honked at. I was unable to articulate why we shouldn’t go down the street as Patrick is turning so I yelled “no no no no no” like 18 times and Patrick started laughing so hard his abs started hurting. My abs felt fine…probably ’cause I didn’t do rocking chairs.
“I’m Irish!” *opens shirt*
One great thing about taking a road trip somewhere is you get to find out more about your co-pilot. I’ve done this a few times this year alone. Good talking with you Patrick.
“What’d you think about this weekend?” I asked Patrick.
“It was good but the company could’ve been better.” – Patrick Hewitt
Hey thanks man.
You’ll have better memories when the sun comes out, I can feel it.