Oh the fun we have here in Golden thanks to the city’s unique annual traditions and celebrations. As I mentioned earlier, this weekend was E-Days, which is a festival celebrating the engineers at the Colorado School of Mines, located just down the road from where we live.

Since I had to work until 1:30, I missed out on a few of the key events but Ryan was there to take photos and videos for me to enjoy later. He had the pleasure of watching students and their homemade cardboard & duct tape boats float, sink or fall apart as they cruised down Clear Creek, see the successes and failures of the downhill “soapbox” car race, as well as be confused by some sort of drilling competition. Since I can’t get a quote from Ryan on his time (ha) and I wasn’t an eye witness to the events, I’ll let the videos and photos speak for themselves.

The lovely Fatticci’s joined him in the festivities in the early afternoon, together witnessing the trebuchet contest, participating in carnival-type games (the winning prizes were Chinese finger traps and 90s neon bracelets…sweet!) and throwing themselves against a giant, inflatable Velcro wall.

Ryan's in a sticky situation.

When I arrived around 2:30, I was able to catch the tail end of the trebuchet contest, got to join in the fun juvenile games (winning a prize, of course), listen to the live band and grab some free refreshments. To my surprise, the three of them had kindly waited to ride the mechanical bull until I got there – oh goody, my favorite…not. (yeah, that’s right…I threw in the old-school sarcastic “not” comeback). Well I’m sorry, something about being whipped around on a fake animal and throwing my back out just doesn’t sound appealing. But the guys still wanted their chance at conquering the monster so while we waited in line, the boys tried to convince us to take the proverbial bull by the horns for a great experience. Yet despite all their pleas, Meghan and I weren’t so keen on the idea and were very thankful when the rider before us managed to pop a spring off, deeming it temporarily out of order – our big break.

This is just funny.

While they were dismantling and reconfiguring the damaged bull, we thought we’d ride the real thing…or at least another animal starting with the letter “b” – so burro racing it was! They were wrapping things up, but fortunately for us, offered to let one more group do the race – hooray! They would soon find out they made an excellent decision. While we were getting the racing instructions, the owner of the burros wanted to assure us we wouldn’t get kicked and illustrated this by standing very close behind me explaining my ability to react violently was much less powerful than if he was farther away. During this demonstration, I may or may not have gotten a “cheek tweak” from the old man. And I don’t mean face cheek. Yeeaahh…um…awkward.

Anyway, the race consisted of bridling the burros, leading them out of the gate, racing down the field to secure the saddle, circling three barrels with full 360 turns, racing down the field and over three planks of wood, strapping on two saddle bags, then finishing by collecting some gold mining tools to put in the bags and racing back to the finish line. We girls decided to spice things up by actually riding the burros bareback down the other end of the field before saddling up – yippee-ky-yie-yay! Hey, when in Golden…

Note that I am standing far away from the "friendly" old man.

Just another day in Golden.

Struggling a bit with the stubborn mule.

In it to win it, quickly strapping the saddle on.

Ryan had some good moves, closing in on the finish line.

Throughout the entire race we were neck-in-neck and upon our exhausted completion, we were praised and told that we were the best and closest race of the day. Excellent! A great way to send those scrappy beasts on home. And although victory was not ours, the Fatticcis did admit to cheating so we’ll just call it a forfeit.

Shortly after the race, the bull was up and running again so Ryan and Greg eagerly hopped on – Ryan was a natural and held on for a while, but Greg decided it wasn’t as fun as it looked. Glad we girls opted out…my bouncy bareback burro ride was enough for me.

Check out that form!

Since the festivities were coming to an end, we headed over to play with some baby farm animals and got to meet the most darling little lamb that you ever did see along with my favorite, baby pygmy goats. Two weekends in a row, how glorious. We soon parted ways with plans to meet up with other friends for the fireworks show later on that evening.

Precious! (also, Greg's shirt proudly boasted the saying, "EngiNERD"

After resting for a bit, our friends Tony and Christian (also from our Bible study small group and mention in this post) met at our place. And once Meghan and Greg arrived with our picnic food items, we were off to save our front row spot on the field to get an up-close viewing of the fireworks display. We played a bit of Ultimate Frisbee, most of us sadly exhausting ourselves after 30 mins (though Ryan was still going strong) and then we sat down to eat. Worlds collided an hour later when our other friends from our activities small group joined us and met each other for the first time. Everyone seemed to get along (only a minor jealousy brawl for our affections) and together we enjoyed a spectacular pyro show. The Grand Haven Coastguard fireworks in Michigan are still hard to beat, but you know you’re witnessing a great spectacle when the crowd is constantly cheering, giant flames shoot up, you’re physically vibrating in your seat due to the intensity of the booms and car alarms keep going off. Unfortunately, this year they did not light rows of dynamite – we were super disappointed because that was one of the draws to the show, but it was still an amazing fiery performance.

The crew (minus Shane and Bridget...they got cut out, sorry!)

On Sunday, our Bible study small group met up after church for lunch and a full-day service project, furnishing and decorating a room at the Father Ed Judy House women’s shelter. We all had a great time shopping together – we got some great items to make the room more homey and got to see our collaboration and work come together beautifully. We hope the woman and her kids enjoy their newly remodeled room and are excited to provide a home cooked meal for the entire house (nine families) for our next visit.

So that was our weekend! We had a great time experiencing some kooky events with friends and also serving those who are less fortunate than us, hopefully offering a sense of hope.

Did anyone else do anything new, fun or interesting this weekend? I would love to hear! Everyone is too quiet and it’s driving me crazy, but that’s a topic for another post…

Until then,