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Hillside Wrestling Weekend XVI, July-August 2009

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Hillside Wrestling Weekend XVI was held July 29-August 2, 2009. It was the 16th annual wrestling weekend and my 14th. As with last year, there was a mix of new guys experiencing Hillside for the first time, and Hillside veterans coming back for more mat action. The weird weather didn't prevent us from having lots of memorable matches. There was a freestyle tournament, plenty of submission wrestling, and the pro show.

Many pictures have been resized for quick loading; e-mail me if you want to see particular originals. If all the thumbnails don’t load, just hit the Refresh button or click the blue rectangle to see the full-size picture.

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The Ride There and Back (NY, NJ & PA)     |     At Hillside: Wrestling and other photos from Hillside Campground

Riding to Hillside 2009

Ride to Hillside via the direct route: Bayonne Bridge, Dover, Sparta, Lord’s Valley, Hawley, Honesdale, Carbondale, Gibson. Take many of the usual upgrades in a higher gear than last year. Return via Port Jervis and the scenic Lackawaxen River Valley. The ride there involved alternating sun and rain, much like the weather at Hillside last year. During the last 25 miles or so, a light rain started and became steady, at first seeming lighter than the similar weather on the final approach last year. Take the same shortcut via Old Newburgh Turnpike (elevation about 2000 feet) and Kennedy Hill (1600 feet, separated from the former by a valley at 1000 feet). From the descent into the valley, over Kennedy Hill and up to the outskirts of Gibson, it’s an unpaved excursion into the wilderness. The last hill before Gibson featured great views with their own sound and light show, a rather impressive thunderstorm. Not much grit accumulated in the chain, just a bit of difficulty shifting down on PA 547 and Creek Rd. (so took hill in a higher gear, which was fine since I was fired up from being on the home stretch to Hillside). Checked in at camp and went up the hill by the pool -- this now appeared to be the wettest wrestling weekend so far. No mud wrestling was observed. ;-) Parts of the road on the hill were more like a river with channels carrying the flow off the mountain, and the level stretches were like a shallow lake. The strip and Utica Way were also flooded.

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At home, packing
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Fast food stops in Saddle Brook and Rockaway, NJ and now Lord’s Valley, PA
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Photo stop at scenic lake near Hawley, PA
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Getting close to Hillside: Honesdale and Stillwater Lake, PA

At Hillside

(Elevation 1350 ft.)

Wrestling and campsite photos

Get to camp around 1:30pm on Wednesday and wrestle through Sunday, including a Sunday evening match by the creek after the mats were rolled up, a rematch with a wrestler I met there last year. The weather alternated between torrential rains and sunny nice weather -- Wednesday, Friday and early Sunday was rainy, while Thursday, Saturday and later on Sunday through the following week were sunny and warm. Much like last year, Wednesday afternoon was very soggy with more heavy rain at night. The mats were all protected with tents. I set up my tent on Wednesday under the submission tent until the downpour subsided, then put it out on the grass. On Thursday I left the tent’s vent open to air it out, but forgot it open when it poured on Friday. However, there was only a small puddle to one side of the tent as a result so I just closed the vent and slept on the other side of the tent.

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Once again, our dedicated cooks prepared three delicious meals a day, and the unlimited seconds, thirds, etc. were perfect for the ravenous appetite whipped up during the weekend. If you need them for your own event, feel free to contact them: JR and Burnie.

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Wrestling Weekend getting underway. Early arrivals set up the mats and tents as the weather clears.

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A stray cat wandered up from the nether regions of the camp and stayed all weekend, clearly preferring the company of us wrestlers. ;-) Particularly when he saw us eating; he also took a liking to this year’s Hillside T-shirt and to my blue jacket.

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Wrestling on and off the mats, the campfire at site 60, and the gibbous Gibson moon (try saying that five times fast!) at camp, compared with the full moon just after Hillside which occurred at 8:55 pm on Wednesday, August 5 (full moon photographed from Staten Island).

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The freestyle clinic and tournament was held on Saturday at the main mat area. Our coach emphasized good technique with principles such as keeping one’s center of gravity and hips low, i.e. “POTM”, and of course, where the head goes, the body will follow. Two matches were held simultaneously in the tournament, so it was concluded just in time for lunch. My camera was working just fine when Gene was setting up the matches (“I knew you wouldn’t mind being paired with a bigger guy” ;-) ), but unfortunately the camera fogged up during the tournament itself. Several others took good photos of the tournament, which will be posted here when received.

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Break for lunch, photos of bruises, then down to the Village Circle. The pro show was a blast on the new and improved ring (check back soon for pro show photos)

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Most of the tents and mats were packed up on Sunday morning; had that one last match by the creek on Sunday evening and stayed at camp through Monday, along with the Hillside pussycat, a chipmunk and the three skunks. Didn’t see any reappearance of that raccoon which had wolfed down 4 muffins early in the weekend.
Monday was sunny and warm, with an overnight low of about 57 rapidly giving way to the 80’s and a high of at least 88 and probably over 90. I brought my UV Index meter to camp to see how bright the sun is here compared with Staten Island (it reads low during the summer but is about 0.5 higher here than at home, perhaps from the higher altitude). The UV Index is a measurement of primarily the UVB band of sunlight, which can be used along with skin type to estimate both the good and bad of that band, i.e. sunburn risk and vitamin D generation -- some say a rough estimate of vitamin D IU per minute is the UVI times 7.

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Ride back via similar route, then detour to Sullivan County, NY through bald eagle country, and then Old Mine Road in New Jersey. Same mountain-style hairpin turn approaching the Hudson River on NJ Rte. 5, right before the return to sea level. then a mostly flat ride through Hoboken, Jersey City, Liberty State Park and Bayonne and back to Staten Island. Overnight low temperature was 20 degrees higher at home (77 vs. 57 at camp).
Lots of tomatoes had ripened while away, as well as the first red hot pepper of the season, which is apparently an Asian variety that is comparable to an orange habanero (the habaneros are still all green but hopefully will be ripening soon -- the previous cool weather is probably delaying them).

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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

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

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Page created:   Aug. 6, 2009 16:46
Last modified:  Aug. 8, 2009 00:54