Monday, August 5, 2013

Reunion: Farragut State Park

Spending time with family is time well spent. Luckily for me, I have a family that gets together out in the woods every year for the annual Morley Family Reunion. We come together from all around the northwest, mostly from Spokane and central Washington, but also from as far away as southern California and Colorado. For the past 8 years (I think) we've had our reunion at Farragut State Park in north Idaho on Lake Pend Orielle. It's a great spot in a thick pine forest with plenty of shade and everything we need for 4 days of family fun. 

My nephew Mason
In recent years, our reunion has centered around one epic family event. The annual Buzz Cup Horseshoe Tournament, named after my Uncle Buzz who was a big horseshoe lover, and a great thrower too. Every year my cousin Scott organizes the big event which usually involves 10 or so teams of randomly selected partners in a two-day long double elimination tournament. The winning team is presented The Buzz Cup (which they must bring back the following year) at a ceremony around a bonfire on the last night. It's all stooped in tradition and lots of fun. To ensure a continuing crop of players, we even have a Junior Buzz Cup Tournament, so all the little ones can learn the game of horseshoes, and be ready for the day they're old enough for the big show. This year, I'm proud to say, my girlfriend Sarah won the trophy with my Uncle Shawn, and he was gracious enough to let us bring the cup here to Phoenix, were it will sit proudly on our mantle above the fireplace.

Uncle Ozzy teaching Bianca how to horseshoe.

It's not all about horseshoes though. We play volleyball, hike, bike, explore, and generally just enjoy each others company. Saturday is the big day of the reunion. On Saturday morning we cook a huge breakfast on big cast iron skillets over a wood fire, and Saturday night is a big potluck. After the potluck we move over to a large stone fire-pit left over from World War 2 when Farragut was the largest inland Naval base in the United States, and we have a talent show, the trophy presentations, and talk about any family issues that may have arisen over the course of the reunion. One thing we always discuss is where to have the next year's reunion, but we all love Farragut so much that no one wants to leave.


The consensus was that this year may have been the 50th year of the Morley Family Reunion. I don't know about you, but I think it's pretty awesome that we've been getting together for so long. The reunion has given me so many great memories over the years that I hope it will always be there for the younger generations. Its important that family get together, and its even better when family gets together in the woods. 

Me, relaxing.

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