Long Live the Tent

I'm back in Minnesota now and, to my utter lack of surprise, I didn't have any time to blog during the last two days of the Hunt. At that point, minutes (whether of work or, much more rarely, sleep) are pretty valuable. But I took a goodly number of pictures that I'll be sharing over the next who knows how long.

A large chunk of chaos on Judgment Day had relatively little to do with the end of the Hunt, in fact. Instead, a storm blew through that morning. Not terribly heavy, but quite windy. Especially in certain places where the campus buildings seem to channel the wind. Much like the site where we located our Tent Headquarters.

In the end nobody was hurt; I'll say that up front. But sometime overnight while I was away working on a Zeusaphone, the apex rope started to give and the roof began to collect water. It was a bit of a shock to walk in and find a small swimming pool suspended before me (and a few sleeping teammates) at eye level -- keep in mind that originally the tent roof was about twelve feet high -- and the frame creaking and sagging under the weight. Not as shocked as the person asleep under said pool once we woke him up, though. Thankfully we happened to have a bunch of PVC pipe on hand, so I was able to very quickly jury-rig some drainage and empty the roof. (I did get some horrified looks when, facing hundreds of gallons of rainwater suspended in a tarp above our heads, I got set to slash it open. But it did work! And I did wait until after we'd cut the power, just in case.)

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We at first tried to bolt the frame back together; here SPH has just about given up on that and decided to manually hold up the wall until we got everything out.

The damage was already done, though, and shortly thereafter joints started giving way to the wind. We held things together as best we could while we evacuated stuff in rough order of risk: people, computers, items to be judged, power tools, personal effects, etc. A couple of truckloads later (thank heavens for the Moomers pickup) we decided that everything left was either worthless or could fend for itself and abandoned ship.

That being said, we still had a blast this year; the tent thing is now just a particularly awesome story to tell (the capstone to the tale of how we're so hardcore that we ran a Scavhunt team out of a TENT) and proof that when we fail, we only ever do so spectacularly.

In the end, we took 7th place this year (results at the Judges' site). That's a step down from our usual slot as perennial third, but we don't mind, because that was getting boring and one of the FIST's core motives is to shake things up. We were pleased to see the Burton-Judson team, a long-running underdog, really step up their game this year and take 3rd place for themselves. We were also beaten by the GASH, a new coalition of grad students, alumni, and others, but we don't mind that either, because we like them. Many once played for the FIST. When I stopped into their headquarters (a rented abandoned storefront -- also totally sweet) they were as sorry to see me go as anyone on my own team.

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What was left of Tent-HQ when we got back from Judgment, after we pulled back the tarp.

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on May 12, 2008 7:26 PM.

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