Woodtick Races….

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Have you ever raced woodticks? If not, you should.

My family started this tradition of woodtick racing years ago (before my time) and the family fun continues year to year. Last weekend was the 2009 woodtick races in Ino, Wisconsin and unfortunately we weren’t able to participate in the fun.

Before I can continue with explaining any of this, I first have to set the image in your head of how this all works. First of all, the races take place in Ino, WI. Yes, Ino. I can guarantee you have never heard of this little town unless of course you are a family member or long time friend of mine. The little town is in the middle of nowhere and there are approximately 6 houses and a bar. Of course, the owners of all 6 of those houses are somehow related to me.

The woodtick races occur at the tracks. It’s a clearing in the woods with a little red cabin (one room which is probably smaller than your family room), an outhouse (yes, an OUTHOUSE!) and a homemade canopy cover over a homemade kitchen that was built out of cinder blocks. It’s actually a pretty cool setup.

There is an area for the poker table which is of course built from an old wooden wagon wheel or something like that. The chairs consist of tree stumps (or your own lawn chair if you brought one from home).

A keg (or more!) are always on hand and the bonfire is always going day or night. Marshmellows are always being roasted and the food is endless. Everyone pitches in and brings something and there is never a shortage of options to eat.

Now on to some of the fun memories…..

I remember when I was about 5 years old all of us kids would look so forward to jumping off the big rock. It was this absolutely HUGE boulder that was in the woods and a birch tree hung over the rock. We would jump off of the rock, grab on to the birch tree and swing to see how far we could make it before letting go. We’d have contest after contest to see who could go the furthest. I’m not kidding; us kids would spend hours doing this and would only run back to the rest of the family to grab some kool-aid or another cookie before it was our turn to jump again.

Well about 8 years ago (in my mid-20’s) I went back to the tracks and was going to make a “jump” to see how far I could now make it since I’m that much older and more experienced. Well the huge boulder that I remembered…. not so huge to a 20 something year old. It was only up to about my knees!! Oh well. All that matters is that we enjoyed our many, many countless hours of jumping & swinging and stayed out of the hair of our parents.

I also remember that we would have contests to see who was the dirtiest at the end of the day. Yes, crazy, I know, but it was so fun to see who had more sand, dirt and grime on them when bathing each night. I always remember that it did not matter how late it was or how tired my parents or I were, I still had to take a bath each night after a day at the tracks. We were disgustingly dirty.

I also remember sitting around the bonfire really late at night roasting marshmellows and looking at all the stars. One of the best things about being in the middle of nowhere is that there are no city lights to distract from all the stars and such. It is amazing to just watch all the shooting stars and claim to know all the different constellations.

Such good, good memories of childhood. I hope that next year we will be able to make the trip to Ino, Wisconsin for the woodtick races. I want my boys to enjoy this family experience as much as I have over the years. And yes, I will let them get just as dirty as I once did and I will let them skip their naps and eat as much junkfood and have as much kool-aid as they want. I will let them walk around with red kool-aid mustaches just like I did.

And now, enjoy a little video clip from the 2009 woodtick races as recorded by Fox news! I have to admit, I have a pretty cool family!

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  1. […] But this year there was a sort of comfort with the approaching date of his passing.  I was able to spend it with the entire extended family at the Woodtick Races. […]

  2. […] weekends when the Woodtick Races were happening?  Well that was a whole different kind of fun!  I’m so bummed that I have […]

  3. […] weekends when the Woodtick Races were happening?  Well that was a whole different kind of fun!  I’m so bummed that I have […]

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