And Now, For The Last…

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that all good things must come to an end. Traditionally, the Texas Challenge weekend ends with a CITO. It is only mete and proper that we give something back to the community that has spent the weekend hosting us (and by “hosting us,” I mean putting up with our shenanigans). Usually, that has meant some park cleanup and maintenance, but this year we bagged oak saplings for the city for transport to Dallas and other parts north (or our own homes, if so desired).

After scooping up handfuls of dirt and tying many bags, we held our final gathering (there was a barbeque lunch Event later, but I won’t count that because I wasn’t there), where the winners of the Challenge were announced! Once again, as per tradition, the winners of the individual competitions were named and garlanded.

Unfortunately, I missed a poignant moment here. Among the many winners, the matriarch of a family was given a special prize. Not only did three of her children bring home medals themselves, but she also (unlike any other competitor) completed the entire course while carrying a one-year-old on her back! The European contingent (there’s a trio of cachers from France, Belgium, and Germany who come every year that the planet isn’t locked down because of a pandemic) took home many superlatives themselves. And finally, the winners of the Team event were called! And the winner of the Golden Ammo Can was …

… unfortunately, not Team CenTex, but those foul and most foreign infidels from North Texas! Seriously though, congratulations to them! More comically, though, NEXT YEAR!!! Team CenTex shall pull down their golden thrones beneath our sandaled feet! Or some kind of crap like that…

The funny thing is that this wasn’t even the most important announcement of the day. An earlier breakfast Event involved one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve ever had at a Mexican restaurant. I had enough willpower to resist the donuts. But the churros? I consumed at least a couple. What really mattered was that the location of the 2023 Challenge was announced. We knew it would be in East Texas, but otherwise, we were in the dark (I’m on the board of the TXGA who puts these things on, and I didn’t even know!). Once our bellies were full of eggs and bacon and churros, our East Texas Rep addressed us all and revealed the secret location:

Longview!

Looks like I may have some special guests with me at Challenge next year!

The long trek home began soon after. We ate together. We laughed together. Some of us even danced together. Most importantly, though, we cached together and made memories. It’s always sad to leave, like coming down from an intoxicating drug, but we’re glad it happened, and we’ll get to do it again next year.

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