This weekend was quite the event. It was the Fisk-a-Friendzy Regional Crop in Virginia City. It was a busy day full of adventures, and our field trip to the train station was definitely a highlight. But, behind every story is another story, and here it is:
Scene 1 – The Three Stooges Act: This story starts in the parking lot of the Virginia City Ramada. Angela gathered Amy, Hisaho and myself up so that we can go spread some Fisk-a-Magic at the train station. Her instructions were simple, “Find Tom and spread the Fisk-a-Magic”. OK….so those weren’t her exact words, but I can’t give away all the details, he he. We first haul all of the boxes out of Angela’s car to place them in Amy’s car. Here is where we encounter problem #1. There are just too many boxes of goodies (darn, right? LOL). “Yeah, uh, this isn’t going to happen,” says Angela. So, we haul them back to Angela’s car and decide to drive it, much to Angela’s horror, to the train station. At first I thought she horrified at the thought of one of us driving her van, but it turns out that she just didn’t want us to see the inside of her “messy mom van”. Not a problem, Angela! Except for the smattering of rain dots all over the floor, your van looks a lot like the inside of my car. If anything, it’s a bit cleaner!! This is when we ask Angela where the train station is. She says, “Um, I was hoping that you guys knew”. Crickets chirping, as we all look at each other without a clue as to where we are driving off to. But, that doesn’t scare the Nifty Fifties. So, we pile into the van and attempt to drive off into the sunset. But, we hear this constant chiming. Angela to the rescue…..we have a door slightly ajar and she explains to Amy that the car has to be in “park” before the door will reopen and then close fully. No problem. Door closed and we drive off into the sunset, again. Nope……we only get a few feet and the chiming continues. Sigh. It turns out that I left another door open. As Amy attempts to put the van in “park” and press the “door open” button, she instead hits the wiper button and the window washer button, haha! Finally we pull ourselves, and the van, together, and drive off into the sunset, again. Well, except, it’s really not sunset. It’s 11am, but more on that later.
Scene 2 - What a Crazy Little Town: So we head out on E street. We know it’s E street because the Ramada is on E street. But, that is our only clue. Apparently street signs didn’t exist back when Virginia City was founded, and it hasn’t occurred to the residents to erect any. This, in turn, confuses the Yahoo Maps, Google Maps, and Mapquest people. Just ask any Fiskateer who tried to find the Ramada using written instructions! And forget using a GPS system up in the mountains. So, we were on our own, winding our way through this tiny town. Hisaho and I had come across a “train this way” sign the night before, and that memory got us going in the right direction. Unfortunately, E street comes to a premature dead end. As we approach the end, we see a road sign that isn’t in any DMV book I’ve ever seen. We drive toward it, leaning forward, squinting, and it is a sign with a crooked arrow that says, “Keep Going”. Hahahahaha!!! Eventually we arrive at the train station, which we almost passed because it’s pretty small. In a “do as I say, not as I do” moment, I get out of the van and run across the railroad tracks. I could see a parent, sitting next to his child, just shaking his head and no doubt thinking, “What a stupid lady”. I approach an old train car turned ticket booth turned gift and candy shop, and a very “Virginia City” looking man, dressed in complete western wear, steps out. At this point I begin the first of many charming, but incredibly awkward, conversations with “Western Guy” (yeah, I never got his name). I ask, “Are you Tom?”. In complete character he tells me, “Tom? No Tom here. I expect he’ll be here ’round about 11:30, maybe noon”. It’s now about 10 minutes after 11, and the Fiskateers are due at the train station at 11:30 and I’m starting to panic just a wee bit. I explain that I’m with Fiskars and he says, “Oh, yeah, the ‘orange’ train. Well, ma’am, I reckon that the train will be pulling in about 11:30”. Yes…..the train WE are supposed to spread Fisk-a-magic on. Now I’m really starting to panic. So Western Guy asks, “Are you Angela?” nope, not Angela. “Are you Julie?” I say, “No”, but then start to panic more. Were we supposed to bring Julie with us? Did we forget Julie? Where is Julie?!!!?!! Now I’m really confused. Western Guy acts like he has no clue, but he knows of Angela, and somehow knows about Julie. He asks who I am, and then points to the van and wants to know Amy and Hisahos' names (I thought I was going to lose him Hishaso’s name, lol). He tells me, “Well, ma’am, if you’re not Angela and you’re not Julie, then I don’t reckon I can help you.” This is when I remember that there isn’t much cell reception way up here, so the little bit of panic I’m feeling turns into full blown panic. As it slowly dawns on me that this guy really isn’t “in character”, that this is his true persona, things start to get even more interesting.
Scene 3 – You Want us to do What?: As Western Guy continues to give me a bad time, another man steps out in an attempt to rescue me. I explain the situation to him, and then Western Guy translates what I said into his own Wild West lingo. They both take note that they can see Tom’s car “down yonder”, and proceed to point it out to me, asking me if I can see Tom’s car. Um, no…..I’ve never seen Tom’s car in my life, so, no, I don’t see it. The two then argue about whether or not they should send us over to Tom, because, as they so chillingly point out, “You’ll never find it on your own”. So Western Guy chuckles at the thought of us heading out into the unknown and proceeds to enlighten me with directions. “Well, Ma’am, you need to head out down this here road. Now you head over the railroad tracks just down over there. You see those tracks?” Um….we’re at a railroad station…..there are tracks everywhere!! “So you go over the railroad tracks, then take the road a ways and you’re gonna go ‘round the “S” bend in the road. So you take that “S” and then keep driving a while. Now you’re gonna come to these two old buildings, and when ya’ do, turn left and go down that there dirt road.” And famous last words, “You’ll know you’re there when you’re there”. And if I’m not??? Oy!
Scene 4 – Off-Roading in Angela’s Mom Van, Yee Haw!!: So as I run back over the railroad tracks, I’m thinking, “Huh?”. I jump into the van and repeat what I can remember and off we go, trying to figure out these directions. It was easier than I thought it would be, but one wrong turn would have resulted in a search party being formed instead of a train ride! So we hit the dirt road and the off-roading fun begins. Poor Angela……her poor car, nearly bottoming out. Oh well, the show must go on and sacrifices must be made! We eventually arrive at a sign that says, “No Trespassing”. So, of course, we trespassed. We were on a Fisk-a-mission, after all! Amy later wrote that she felt like a rebel. I think, deep down, all 3 of us did, hahaha! We arrive at our final destination within the train yard and pull up to a wreck of a train. Amy’s turn to panic….she says, “Is THAT our train?” hahahahaha…thankfully, no, it wasn’t. The actual train was still a bit further. We get out and head over to a train with orange lights on it (of course). I feel like we’ve reached the promised land! We find Tom on our first try. Thank goodness!! Not only was Tom nice, but he was sane. A plus in my book any day.
Scene 5 – The Fisk-a-Magic begins: What??? I can’t tell you this part!! This is where the Fisk-a-Magic happens, so I’ll leave this part up to your Fisk-a-magination.
Scene 6 – The Fisk-a-Bug: As we head back to the railroad station, mission accomplished, we pass a green and orange bug. We screech to a stop (Angela, your van has great brakes, he he he). Of course, we did what any good Fiskateer would do, despite a pressing timeline, and we jump out and take pictures. I realize later that the Fisk-a-Bug is probably older than young Amy. I realize even later, that it’s probably older than all 3 of us. Ha!
Scene 7 – Mission Accomplished: As we cross back over the railroad tracks, we are met with a sea of orange people. Our people. We sneak the van into the lot and go over to show Angela a picture of the “train”. Of course, we show her a broken down train. The look on her face was priceless! What an adventure (and, yes, I took pictures of the Fisk-a-magic, he he).
And, THAT, is the rest of the story: