Even though I blog about horses, I feel the need to share a bit about winter guard. That's what has kept me on the road so much this season.
You know when a marching band comes out and there are people on the field tossing flags? Those folks are part of the color guard. The color guard, much like eventing, has military roots. They toss flags, rifles and sabres. Winter guard is an extension of color guard, performed indoors and without the band. A strong influence of ballet and gymnastics is incorporated into the winter season.
My daughter is on her high school guard team and I have traveled with them to every long distance competition this year. Four trips total. On three of them I drove. We rented 2 eight passenger SUVs for the girls and formed a three part convoy with the truck pulling our small band trailer. Most competitions were held on college campuses. It was a great experience to visit all the schools and to drive the different vehicles.
- Activity bus to Norfolk Va. Thank God we didn't go farther than 4 hours away, I don't miss those buses at all. Cold, uncomfortable, smelly...Lysol all the things upon return.
- Nissan Armada to Princeton. By far the most practical SUV for me, and the nicest school/town to visit. Loved the atmosphere in the college district. Interstate 95 and NJ Turnpike = No Fun At All
- Chevy Tahoe to Monmouth. This car was the nicest of the three but HUGE. The university is small but very nice. The traffic beyond DC is just too damn much for me, however I now have a small love affair with the DelMarVa peninsula.
- Ford Expedition to Xavier, U of Dayton, and Miami of OH. This was our world finals trip and competition was spread out between all three schools. The Ford was the easiest to drive of the three but still huge. Ohio has some beautiful countryside and their cities are easy enough to navigate.
We finished 38th out of 120. Respectable, yes, but no where near our 10th place finish last year. We were a little bummed at first, but our scores improved over ten points from the previous outing. And since we didn't make finals we had an entire Saturday to play. Free time on these trips usually comes in the form of an hour here or two hours there so the whole day was a real treat, and the perfect way to end. I also became an expert at parking large cars in small spaces.
I am grateful to have been able to accompany my daughter's team this season. Of the twelve girls only one other mom joined us. Fortunately she and I are very good friends and we will forever be travel pardners.
If you enjoy performing arts at all consider watching the video below. It will give you an idea of what I was immersed in while removed from my bubble. These guys won top honors in the highest division this year. Skip the first minute unless you really wanna watch them set up their floor.
And now that we have all this out of the way, we can continue on with our epic equine adventures...