How will you celebrate your Independence this year on July 4th? In the middle of a lake, sitting in a boat made out of cardboard and duct tape? Somehow, coming out of Anna's mouth one summer night a few years back, this sounded like an excellent idea!
And so we spent the next week in the Richie garage constructing the best cardboard boat ever. We were going for strength, speed, and sweet victory. How many rolls of duct tape do you think that equals? Well, at least one more was usually the answer. Bill would even sneak an extra roll on late at night after everyone else had gone home, just to make sure this boat will float!
Once the structure was final, it was time to decorate our fine vessel in none other than Illini Orange and Blue, complete with Chief Illiniwek.
Race Day, July 4th at the Sheedy Lake. To claim the title, you had to race your boat across the lake and back not just once, but twice. We needed to take first or second place in our heat, and still have something left that could do it all over again in the final round. Analyzing the weights, strength and abilities of our team, we decided to put Bill and Ted on the oars and conquer this Excellent Adventure. A fine job they did, boats were sinking to their left and to their right, but onward ho! They claimed victory and we even took our boat back home that year rather than to the boat graveyard.
We missed the next year on account of a vacation on a non-cardboard boat. But we came back strong in 2009 with an entirely new and not so original theme of a pirate ship. Come on, who has never wanted to build and sail a Pirate Ship!
It was a beautiful site, and we decided we were likely not in the running for first place this time around, so we loaded up the kids, along with Bill and Ted for an even more excellent adventure. Dain snuck along some water balloon cannonballs and tried them out on during the race. We did make it across the lake and back once, but the second time around it was more like a Fred and Barney Flintstone finish as their feet went thru the floorboards and they walked her to shore.
One day we hope to be as cool as the Sheedy's and host our own cardboard boat race. 100% in the name of good fun.