I've been playing at the Orange County Curling Club since their second league -- missing the first by a scant couple of weeks. Our winter league ends April 9th, and because of some obscure sport called "hockey" we had a bye on April 2nd.
When my teammates said "no curling next week -- see you for playoffs on the 9th" I thought, there has to be another way.
Last night I made the 55 mile trek to beautiful downtown Escondido, and I'm happy to report two visits, and two games.
Just not the way you'd expect.
My first visit was for a "drop in" and they had a number of people show up who had never curled before. I volunteered to help teach, and we did a fairly standard Learn-to-Curl: two groups, one at each end of the sheet, cover the fundamentals, and then a quick "game" but the emphasis on teaching, and not playing.
Last night is the third night in their league. 12 teams, two draws.
This was very much last minute. I left shortly after saying I'd try to make it for their early draw, not sure I'd make it by 6:00.
I arrived just in time for the first draw, and played with "Stone Cold" -- an interesting aside, my OCCC team was originally called "Stone Cold" but changed their name before I joined because that was how they played in the first league -- Stone Cold.
I'd met their skip before, and as with most curlers, we had fun.
The second draw was with Team Roberts, and arranged some time before. Two of my rink-mates for this draw also play in Orange County.
This was a tougher match, fought down to the last rock.
First night wearing gloves because the week before had been so awfully cold at Westminster Ice. Iceoplex Escondido is warmer.
We're having a minor problem at our club, and Curl San Diego has the same issue. If you put a little bit of effort into "pace" you can play an end in 15 minutes, and that means a full 8 end game in two hours. We rarely complete 8 ends, and both games last night went 6 or 7 ends.
Call that three miles running on ice -- and my first time playing two games back to back.
League Play at OCC ends on the 9th, and I'll likely make the trip to San Diego again on the 16th.