Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Raft Race Reunion

Back when I was a kid, my parents were prone to doing mad things, one of which was the Great Tanana Raft Classic. Forty years later, the instigators of that watery lunacy are having a reunion. Given that by the fourth year of the race, there were hundreds of rafts at the LeMans start at the campground off Chena Pump Road, that is potentially quite a lot of people who may come up for this reunion.

The Red Green Regatta is a fun event, but hasn't got a candle to the spring craziness that was the Raft Race. Nothing like spinning around in circles for hours to keep you imbalanced.

The reunion will be on the 9th and 10th of August. The big shindig and finale will be on the Riverboat Discovery. The reunion organizers are selling tickets in person, through the mail, at Gulliver's Books, and at the International Hotel. Somehow I ended up with a packet of them, too, so you can get them from me also. Here's the basic details:
August 9
tall tale recording, FNSB assembly room, 1 to 5 pm
picnic, Chena Pump Wayside, 5 pm

August 10
6 to 9 pm (6 pm boarding) Riverboat Discovery ride & reunion, with snacks and no-host bar, $25 (reserve/pay in advance, please) per ticket, to cover cost of trip

tickets available at Gulliver's Books & the International, or call Merritt Helfferich at 479-2846 or Neal Brown at 479-2773
The most recent issue of the Republic has an article by Neal Brown about the original trip down the Nenana back in 1967 that inspired the race (that, and a few insults the next year at the Switzerland. The May issue has another story about it, from the perspective of a would-be film crew from the Geophysical Institute immortalizing the LeMans start (the GeoFizz had a LOT of its people involved in this shindig, many of them scientists to whom the idea of bangs and projectiles at a race was a hoot). I'm hoping to get one more story for the Republic, some suitably colorful tale of action, hilarity, and derring-do during one of the races. And of course, I shall be at the various events in my reporterly mode, which will result in some newsyish story, too.


Merritt said...

When you were young your parents were prone to do mad things...Now that you are an adult your parents are still prone to doing mad things, and also, now as you grow older, YOU are prone to doing mad things!
Your Father

Deirdre Helfferich said...

Hah! now was that heredity, environment, or my personal predestiny (given the former)?