The Roast we all Boast about!
Sept. 13-15, 1996
by Ed Render
It was once again that time of year cavers near and far come together and celebrate the most important event known to man. Yes ladies and gentleman I am referring to PIG ROAST! One colossal party where all the former members of the club since 1977 come down and get drunk, I mean catch up on old times. One of the biggest traditions at Pig Roast is “the sauna” which is usually pre-built ahead of time during the summer over “work weekend.” Ya see, “THE SAUNA” is this wooden construction in the middle of Mike Artz farm, that has a iron barrel in the middle. You put in wood on the outside of the structure, and the heat is felt on the inside. It’s fairly simple. The wall and other sides are all covered with heavy plastic. Now the sauna requires water, heat, and people. (To find out what type of people, just ask anyone who has gone to Pig Roast.)
This years student turn out was phenomenal. When I got a phone call from Jodie on Friday asking me what she needed to bring to the Pig Roast- I knew that this years club would be different from years past. It was likely that we would have a decent turnout! All together the club managed to bring 6, yes count them, 1,2,3,4,5,6 freshman to PIG ROAST! What a heist. True, none of them knew about the sauna, or other Pig Roast events, but it ended up that quite a few warmed up (good pun) to the traditions.
Now Friday when I arrived with Chris and Faye, I helped build the sauna, set up camp, and just biked around to see the site. It was at that time when the five freshman showed up out of no where! I was very impressed. When the sun went down, so did our clothes, -I mean we all went in the sauna. When I had had enough of the sauna I crashed, looking forward to the event of the year- THE PIG ROAST!
So let’s review- as of Friday evening- the students that were present were: Chris, Ed, Linne, Faye, Kevin, Jodie, Ellan, Caroline, Emily, Chris, and Liselle. Good turnout. Now Saturday is the actual “PIG ROAST.” I was up at 9:00(am) and the group played Ultimate Frisbee until 10 or so. It was about that time that we broke for lunch. We later proceeded to help shuck corn for the evening meal. Good times. Everyone crammed into Kent’s sport utility vehicle. Some people, in seats, others in laps, and the privileged on the hood and roof. After the corn shucking was over the ground decided to go rock climbing and repelling. Kent, one of the younger alumni is a serious rock climber and he brought ALL his climbing gear with him. (thousands of dollars worth of stuff) It was an awesome opportunity! We drove into the valley for another 30 or 40 minutes to the site. The cliff was along this gorgeous road encompassed by mountains on all sides. Climbing is like nothing that I have ever done before. In caving you use a lot of different parts of your body to support you, however, in rock climbing you have to use your only your arms and legs- no ass support. We were all “balayed” or attached to a safety rope. So if you were climbing and fell, which all of us did, the rope and the belayer would have control of you and you would be lowered down like you were repelling! It kicked so much ass that Chris and I went out the other day and purchased rock climbing equipment! The day was GORGEOUS! Especially on top of this mountain filled with fresh evergreens and wet waterfalls! So picturesque! So when were done with the climbing we planned on biking back to the ROAST! This is the real heist of the afternoon. Four people brought their bikes with them to the climb. We did not follow the road back, but rather went along trails that led us over two mountains! IT TOOK FOREVER! Not only was the distance twice as long, but it went over two! The scenery was incredibly gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, it was just so far. We biked on these trails that were as wide as my bike at times. “Trails” funny they were basically deer paths at times. Now keep in mind, hurricane Fran left us many unexpected surprises. About fourteen of them to be exact. Yes, Fourteen fallen trees, avalanches, and other obstructions were blocking many portions of the paths. We had to carry our bicycles over these obstructions, some of them getting to be 15 feet in the air! Scary stuff when your carrying your $600 bike! Now the worst part was the climb to 2,000 feet. The peak mountain, “woodstock tower”. It was hell. We started I think at 1,000 ft climbed to 2,000. When we did reach the top there was a lookout tower looking over the valley. I have never seen a more beautiful sight in my life. It took my breath away, (literally because I had just biked up 2000 feet and then had to climb 50 feet of stairs up this lookout tower.) It was awesome and well worth the effort in the end. Now the fun part was the way down. It was pretty scary, but at least we didn’t have to pedal. There was a dirt road covered with rocks that we biked down. I was going 30mph down this mountain, very fast. Even crazier was the one who goes by the name of Liselle. She was going even faster than I- but it caught up with her. She ended up going out of my sight, and when I caught up to her I saw her in the middle of the path with no bike. The bike had lost control, and she went flying down the mountain thirty feet on her chest. She was a little injured and so was her bike. The bike was rideable and she hopped back on claiming that she was just fine despite the gushing broken arteries out of her arm and thigh. Now you think she would be a little more cautious after her fall right? Wrong- she cruised down the rest of the way.When the dirt road turned to asphalt I started to haul ass down because I was sure of my steering and stability. I hit 42mph! The trip was great and 22 miles and two hours and fifteen minutes later we were back at the sight. I immediately ran for one of the kegs- I mean the water.
The rest of evening continued to be awesome. The food was served around 8pm or so and it ruled! Corn, potatoes, different pastas, BEvERages, PIG, and bread was all there. Keep in mind, we are in the middle of a field next to a river and eating our faces off! Especially Liselle, who ate an entire rack for a ribs. (show how big with hands.) It was so good- especially after that bike ride. The rest of the evening was for relaxing. A few students left after the Pig Roast, but luckily Rich showed up for the festivities. The rest of the crew left on Sunday and spent the day in recuperation. Thus ended PIG ROAST ’96. Number 17.
The Novel By Ed Render