Monday, January 29, 2007

Have you ever played fish ball?

Growing up in Loveland Colorado, I was exposed to a lot of golfing... In fact, my high school even had a golf team. My Dad told me that Loveland High used to also have a water skiing team but then the lake was sold back to the residents living on it (which was a sweat deal for them) and it became private. So these days golfing is the outdoor activity of choice for the young and old of L-town (aside from skiing the Rockies, Hiking Devil's Backbone, and ice skating on the ditches).

My good friend Max lived right off of Cattail Creek Golf Course and we spent a lot of time either exploring the course, practicing our golf swing, or sledding and snowboarding on it's hills. Sometimes we would trudge through the swampy "cattail" areas of the course and collect golf balls. My favorite times were spent at the driving range or the time we dragged a rail to the it would snow we would go sledding and snowboarding there. You can catch a bit of video from Cattail in the first part of Hidden where Dave falls on the rail, that is at Cattail Creek...

So anyways, one day it was raining extremely hard outside. The weather in Colorado is all over the map and this was truly a torrential downpour. It was raining so hard that the pond on the East end of the course began to overflow a bit. The course was set up to handle these sorts of things, in fact, Lake Loveland is just across the street so most of the water is sent over there via flood grates.

On this day in particular the flood gates were functioning at full capacity and something unfortunate was happening. The lakes on Loveland golf courses are stocked with fish to keep them clean and healthy and those fish were beginning to spill out of the pond and get stuck to the flood grate near the seventh hole! Max and I spotted this and decided to don our rain ponchos and save the fish.

We probably spent a good pulling fish off of the grate and hucking them back into the pond. Even as hard as we were trying, many of the fish were just too tired or beat up from being piled on by other fish to make it. When we first got there the fish were probably two and a half layers thick... We decided to make a pile of the dead fish so they wouldn't keep floating back to the grate.

Well, the sun finally came back out and we were left with a pile of rotting dead fish. We felt great for saving so many and it had been quite the adventure, but there was still time for one more activity. We ran back to Max's house and grabbed a bat (he used to pitch on the LHS baseball team but I think this happened before that time). We took the bat and practiced our swing on the fish.

Let me tell you, this is not as easy done as is said! Fish are super slippery and there were only a few good hits. It was a lot of fun and really stands out in my mind of crazy adventures from childhood. I don't condone fish torture or anything, these were dead fish, and we had just saved dozens of other fish that would have died. It was just good old fashioned fun :)