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Hillside Wrestling Weekend XVIII, July 2011

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Hillside Wrestling Weekend XVIII was held July 20-24, 2011, though some came early or stayed late.

It was the 18th annual wrestling weekend and my 16th consecutive one (I only missed the first two ones in 1994 & 1995; there were a few other wrestlers there who had only missed two of the weekends since its inception). There was a mix of new guys experiencing Hillside for the first time, and Hillside veterans coming back for more mat action. The new guys did really well on the mats, and we look forward to seeing them in the future at the wrestling weekends.

The weather was generally very hot and dry, though it cooled off a little later in the weekend. The second-hottest Wrestling Weekend (the hottest was in 2006, but all but 2 wrestlers had left by the time that heat had hit). It was great to be able to wrestle and hang out into the wee hours of the morning without a jacket or even a shirt on. Daytime highs reached the 90’s which was better than New York City’s high of 106 at the height of the heat wave. There's usually a 10-15° difference in temperature between NYC and Hillside, which was less this year but still nice.

Ride to Hillside mostly via the same direct route as last year. As it was hot and dry throughout, without even a small shower, there was a fine layer of dust on my bike and I when I arrived, perhaps mostly from going through Newark, NJ. No “fresh oil and chips” though. ;-) Notable towns I went through included Newark, Dover, Sparta, Lord’s Valley, Hawley, Honesdale, Carbondale, Gibson. Maintained a good pace; this was the second time I monitored my heart rate on a Hillside ride, and for the first 90 miles or so, my average heart rate was about 20 bpm higher than last year, before I went back to a similar average as last year. Due to construction, took a detour towards the end of Old Newburgh Turnpike, then on reaching PA 92, another detour over the last pass to take on an alternate route I'd occasionally used in the past which also has some nice steep ascents.

Getting ready for the ride


Putting the sprung elastic of an old jockstrap to good use -- it makes very good handlebar tape!

Hillside Wrestling Weekend banner

At Hillside

(Elevation 1350 ft.)

Arrive at Hillside 6:25 pm Wednesday, and have a sub match with Rob right away, then hit the shower and have dinner. Ride time 15:28, which is 4 minutes more than last year, but my average speed was higher as I took a longer route this year. Total Calories burned 5366 (vs. 5095 for the ride in in 2010, i.e. 271 Cal more this year). That is approximately 347 Cal/hr vs. 331 Cal/hr in 2010 according to the heartrate monitor, which again seems too low).

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Blast from the Past:
Upper Site 60 in 1998 (Wrestling Weekend V),
before the raspberry bushes took over:

   Site 60 in 1998

Around the camp

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Regardless of which thermometer you look at, it was hot!

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Drilling at the annual Freestyle Clinic, and then Open Mats

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Let’s check out the submission wrestling area....


Replenish the calories at lunch then off to the pro show, after which the ring was disassembled and carried by tractor to the shed where it’s stored till next year.

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More photos of the pro show, from Paul, the Buffalo Bulldog!

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After getting together for the group picture, horseplay breaks out on the grass. In the case of Steve and Frank, they pause the grass match to take it to the real mats. Then I get jumped and we also take it to the mats!

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Nick vs. Maya, Saturday, July 23, 2011

Was having a conversation with Coach Kevin late Saturday afternoon when photographer Gary comes by with his buddy Maya. Maya pretends to be a beginner until we lock up on the mats (which perhaps was his strategy? I believe "maya" means “illusion” or “deception” in Sanskrit). He asks me to show him some basic moves and then all of a sudden he attacks. Quickly switch to all-out wrestling mode! It was a memorable, hard-fought submission match. Here are some of the photos Gary took.

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Wake Sunday morning to find a huge millipede in my tent. It’s harmless of course, makes a good excuse to whip out the camera. Normally there isn’t much wrestling on Sunday but this time a bunch of us were up early and headed to the submission mat for some great matches. Breakfast can wait! ;-)

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Start breaking down the tents and mats

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It’s cooled off a little (76.1°). Retrieve the weekend’s maximum (102.2°) and minimum (64.6°) temperatures saved on JR’s thermometer. The minimum is well above the typical high 50’s at night, so there were no “steaming wrestlers” seen at night, which requires temperatures at 57° or below.

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A musical interlude....

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And the freestyle mat is rolled up and ready to be returned.


Get a campfire going that night. Hear a loud thumping noise in the kitchen and it turns out to be from a large insect that’s flopping around in the sink. Find a cool orange lizard on a rock in the morning. There are low clouds on the mountain visible from the rec center, where we spent an afternoon playing Scrabble.

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Hillside 2011: The Ride Back

Ride home; the weather is not as hot, and aside from some thundershowers near the PA-NJ state line, the sun tans my right side (whereas it is mostly the left side that gets tanned on the way up). Check out the garden as soon as I get back, then after showering I note a tick on the back of my right knee. There's also a zit near where I found it. I stick it in a container in the freezer and later do some research to see what kind of tick it was. It appears to be a male American dog (wood) tick. The design on its back in particular pegged it as a male Dermacentor variabilis, which apparently does not even bite at that stage of its life. It was not engorged, so I concluded that it had just been hanging out on the back of my leg unnoticed for half the ride (He was likely not from Hillside but from long grass during a stop in Sandyston Twp., NJ or the adjacent part of PA). As for the zit, I watched it a few days, especially when it itched a bit, but as of this writing on August 9, 2011 I noticed neither ringworm nor a rash. I did put bleach on it once when it itched; which stopped the itching and it formed a tiny scab on the way out. So no ringworm either. If you should get ringworm, check out my ringworm page on the Metro Wrestling site. Or if you want to check out the last tick that made my acquaintance ten years ago, when it hitched a ride home from the beach on my then-roommate, check out the 2001 Low-Res Multimedia Tick Page.

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Hillside moss &
ferns at home
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Previous Hillside Wrestling Weekend pages:
Hillside 1996 | 1997: Digest & Pictures | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011

General Information about the next Hillside Wrestling Weekend
Wrestling Page / Other Pictures
The Palaestra

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Page created:   Aug.  9, 2011
Last modified:  Aug. 10, 2011