Team Bo Jackson
June 23rd is a day that lives in infamy.
Not only was Journey to the end of the night part of this day, it was also the day that Toom was turning another year older. Which managed to secure me some more friends out to this event? I don't know why people are afraid of being chased, and afraid of running through SF for 4~5 hours.
Non-SF0 players Zak and his Girlfriend met up with me at my apartment and we got us a slice of pizza to sustain us for the eve's events.
We were in a taxi going like 80mph through union square to get to the ferry building.
We arrived, signed up as team Bo Jackson
and hung out until the rest of our reinforcements arrived.
One of my oldest friends Christina was in town from Eureka, and another friend from High School Sam was in town, and I managed to get them on my piggyback for this adventure.
New SF0 member, Matt (player name Clan
) met us shortly afterwards as well.
The game started and we were off!
I was spun around, completely retarded or both. I ran my troupe the wrong direction.
Upon finding the first bus map I was like "hey guys, down to Fremont street, the bus 10 runs us pretty darn close!"
and then I noticed the time schedules on the bus (it was a post, not a bus stop) were a bit weather worn. I hopped on the rail to reach up and bend the curled paper down to read it. Alas! It only runs Monday through Friday!
The first big hike begins.
We avoided the stairwell (safezone) up to Coit tower, and instead were on the large paved streets that got increasingly steeper each block. Our party member with Asthma was struggling a bit, but all in all it paid off as Agent Robinson was captured right there! We were given "get out of jail free" cards that were actually more useful than described. Curse us for not reading the fine print until after the 6th stop!
Upon reaching the Coit tower (whewwww!) we had some water and met 2 players (one of which is from my place of work). Maggie and Lisa will be mentioned sooner, as they are an important part in the groups crumbling.
Ascending down Coit tower was easy. It was a bit bottlenecked since going down any other way would take you behind the cliffs, making you do a lot more travel. So into North Beach we went. We started the "scout" formation here. With 1 person leading the group a good 20 feet or so ahead. Trouble can be spotted by the scout and give the large group a few seconds of "OH MY GOD RUN!" and scatter opportunities.
We saw our first Chaser at one of the main north beach crossroads and I don't think he saw us!
We were soon climbing up Jackson street, with our checkpoint just 2 or 3 blocks ahead.
At the final crosswalk, a guy I recognize from other SF0 events runs up to use with a camcorder and a large backpack. It was poon!
me: "I recognize you! therefore I don't trust you!"
Him: "oh! Do you recognize my dog?"
He spins around and shows us his tiny dog sticking out of the backpack.
me: "That's cute"
Him: "did you notice the collar?"
At that moment, our entire group does an "oh shit" in unison and bolts up the street towards "the couple" on jackson street.
It was my friend Cam and his girly friend Al with her new cutey haircut.
Cam wishes me a happy birthday and says "I got a gift for you!"
Wanting to stay lightweight, I refuse "give it to me later please...I don't wanna carry it around!"
"You'll want this..." as he reaches into his bag and pulls out a Dasani Water.
FYI: Dasani is not a sponsor of this event.
I share the water with my group; I thank Cam heartily and cut off a chunk of my ribbon to give to some late arrivals.
"Don't go up the hill."
Cam clarifies, "Going up the hill is the shortest way to the next checkpoint. consider it a birthday tip. go down, and around. And happy birthday!"
I found out later that Cam was actually sending us into a trap, because my friend Orion wanted to give my group a good chase!
We had a slight change of plans as we went down the street. A bus 30 was incoming and we just hopped right on it to Sutter Street. Hooray for good timing!
Sam actually went over the hill because he wanted some more excitement. Part of me wanted to go, but my group of almost all non-SF people would have been stranded.
Directly after getting off the bus, we saw another transfer bus! a quick sprint secured us on a Bus 3 towards Hyde Street.
Our next tip was "the Morton Salt Girl" and our next safezone was "the CALA Foods parking lot". Since this is my neck of the woods now, I knew just where this CALA is. We were talking about this on the bus, and when getting off, a lady told Zak "goto the salt section inside the store". Which kinda freaked Zak out. "How many people are involved in this game?!"
We used our scouting technique yet again to reach this parking lot. No danger at all!
Inside CALA was a girl dressed up as the Morton’s Salt girl with a shopping cart full of Morton’s Salt.
She signed our sheet and told us to look for "a man in an orange shirt reading".
Still being in my neighborhood, I knew the best way there. However, I've never done the walk with chasers out to get me.
Rounding our first corner out of the safezone... I see Orion walking quickly towards me on the sidewalk.
"BACK TO THE SAFEZONE! NOW!" I yell as my group bolts.
from there I had a small chit-chat session with Orion before he used his phone and tried to get reinforcements (which could have been fake...)
We bolt down California Street at unsafe speeds and reach a bus stop on polk street to regroup.
Everyone was there cept for Zak! Oh god! (And Sam! Sam had bravely distracted the nearby chasers by dangling his energy bar at them. Then he nipped down Pine and never saw his team again.)
Rydalia and Christina actually both got tagged and played their "get out of jail free cards" and met up with us.
It appears Zak and his girlfriend were running from a chaser, rounded a corner and saw Maggie and Lisa (from Coit tower) in the distance. They were being helpful and said "don't go around the corner! There are chasers!"
From there, Maggie reached out and touched Zak and pointed at her Red band. Zak was busted... and our first loss of the night. He was gonna try and get us at the next checkpoint, and we fell out of communication loop with him pretty much at this point.
We swung by my apartment (on the way to Japan Town...stop 4) to drop layers of clothes, restroom and get some cold drinks. I've never had such a good shot of Yager in my life. As this has been in my freezer unopened for many months now.
Sam called us, asking for our location. And I didn't want to trust him, since he could very well be a chaser now. We told him we were on our way to stop 4, and he could meet us there.
Japan Town was SWARMING with evil-doers. We Squatted in some bushes and behind some cars for a while just watching loiterers and people dressed in black patrol the entrance to the safezone. Were they playing? Were we just paranoid? Eventually we saw Maggie and Lisa again, start walking down Post street towards the Richmond, and we made our move! We figured they are far enough away. We used our amazing scout system again, and I was taking the point.
A man dressed in all black with a backpack walked right past me. I was trying to get eye contact with him, while still keeping an eye out for a red ribbon. Nothing. As soon as he passed me, he sprinted towards my group and managed to tag poor Karrin. Who was now down at Fillmore and Geary of all places.
Christina was gone for a while but actually made it to Japantown when we thought we had lost her!
We went inside Denny's (the address!) and saw another SF0 friend of mine Alan. Not really reading, but conversing with a girl whom a broken leg in a booth.
We made our way to Laguna street and headed up to catch a Bus 1 to California & Parker. According to nextbus.com (on my cell phone...is this cheating??) we had 8 minutes to get to the top of a really steep hill! We make it up, and I kinda sprinted because I had a lot of excess energy it seems.
Rydalia snapped another group picture here. Awesome.
Bus was pretty much on time, and Rydalia (now tagged and not really playing, just traveling with us) was gonna make her way to the presidio checkpoint and she got off at the Masonic stop to get back into the game. I gave her directions to catch the 43 bus, or walk up the hill towards checkpoint 6.
Rydalia sez in Tooms words:
I waited for the bus, and eventually walked up to Jackson Street and met another player named Tom.
This is Tom!
Note from Toom to Rydalia: Add more stuff here!!!
Team Bo Jackson story continues:
At California and Parker, we got our bearings and saw our safezone. just a quick dash across the street.
A very quick dash. Across a wide California street.
I yell "GO GO GO!" and we all sprint it...
at that moment a figure in a hood rounds the corner of the safezone. an older man. I want to say in his 60's! I did however recognize him from the starting line!
"DON'T GO! TURN AROUND" As we do a quick 180 and get back to our bus stop safezone.
We watch the old man cross the street and walk past us, like we weren't even there.
We resprint, and make it with no real challenge.
We knock on the door to the address, and enter one of the nicest San Francisco Apartments I've ever been in.
We get our signature and are asked to write our life story in 10 words or less into a piece of scrap paper and put it into a bag. Mine was almost too serious, and I don't feel like sharing it. Sorry!
We march our way out and are planning to catch the same bus (10 mins or so away says nextbus.com)
A few Steps after we leave the safezone, footsteps from behind us. Out of the safezone, a chaser emerges and almost grabs Christina, but thanks to some very limber moves, she dodges the hand by a few inches before running back into the safezone.
I start sprinting to the bus stop at the end of the block and I hear the footsteps behind me. No idea if they are getting closer, but I just keep running. My first real sprint of the game. Exciting.
I make it to the stop and the guy slows down...we laugh at each other and he says "nice run!" and walks down California. I signal my group, and they join me as we wait for the bus.
Hopping back into the fray at Presidio/Masonic (where Rydalia was dropped off) we make our way up Presidio Avenue and head into the heart of the wilderness of the presidio. Approaching Jackson street I see a familiar figure. A hooded Man. Wait a second...it's the same old man in his 60's! When I ran from him last time, he didn't chase me, but he didn't signal that he is blue either! Maybe he is just old and unable to run, and uses his oldness as a handicap to get close to players and then just touches them and laughs as he collects more blue ribbons! I try not to alert my group and I keep eye contact on him as he just walks slowly past us.
How did he get there before us? confusing...and why was he walking the wrong way?
Rydalia's side in Toom's words
After waiting a long time For the bus 43 at Jackson and presidio with new travel companion, "Tom".
An old man in a black hoodie also approached me and said that he is going to go home because his car will get stolen down at the ferry building. Rydalia and Tom#2 adventured into the presidio after the 43 bus drove by and didn't stop for us, even though we were waving/signaling!
Team Bo Jackson story Continues:
Walking on the well lit road we realize we should cut through the wilderness into the darker residential areas ahead. What seemed like a good idea was a failed lesson in stealth. Crushing shrubbery and stumbling through brush seemed to put a large "WE ARE OVER HERE" sign on our heads. Since the map we were given didn't have much detail on the presidio section, we were trying to find our location by best guess. Good thing we are right near Morton Street Field, where I play ultimate Frisbee every Wednesday and Friday at 12:15 to 1:30. Walk-ins welcome to the game, FYI!
We tip toed through a foot trail staying in the dark and started hearing a lot of chatter.
Rydalia called me up as we were doing our best to sneak. She said she was at the checkpoint drinking whiskey. I asked her to fake cough loudly... and sure enough my entire group heard the cough. As I scout out the short path ahead a hooded figure emerges down the road behind me, and I slowly increase my walk speed towards the checkpoint.
The figure appears to be Josh, from team eXXXtreme! I signal my group it's clear and we all reunite.... sans Sam and Zak and Anya.
Smile Toom! You are drinking Johnny Walker!
Rydalia decides to join us for the walk to the finish line. This is where Team Bo Jackson met Tom#2.
He joined our final walk to the finish line...the Wave Organ.
We strutted our funky stuff through the Lucas Empire, and ended up hitting Marina Blvd by going under the freeway. From there we relayed with Cam and Al, who if you recall were working checkpoint #2.
A quick chat, and then our final approach was in sight. At this point we read the fine print of our "get out of jail free cards" and now knew it was a "freeze all chasers for 60 seconds"! So we slowly made our walk to the finish line, with safety card in tow. Any sign of danger, we will freeze em for a minute, and we had 3 more of these cards just in case we had additional problems.
Rydalia was getting so sore from the sprinting, I ended up giving her a piggyback for a good chunk of the final walk. Good thing I had so much energy/adrenaline. No threats or no dangers got us to the checkpoint where Chaser Orion greeted us and congratulated us. Hooray!
Out finishing time was about 12:30 am i'd wager. Sam was already there ahead of us, and never got caught! good on him!
Since I was in shorts and a T-shirt, sitting down at the finish line was absurdly cold. Moving around at fast speeds seemed to work quite well with me, but once it slowed down I wanted a bullet in my brain. Preferably the part of my brain that tells my body that it is cold.
We took off shortly after we got there... in a hobble since our muscles got to relax at the finish line and restarting the movement was not a good feeling. Team Bo Jackson walked up to Lombard and caught a Taxi to Grubstake where dinner was had by all.
Clan had a mushroom and cheddar omelet
Toom had a Ham and Jack Omelet
Christina had a BLT
and Rydalia had a Cheeseburger with French fries.
Man, I remember a lot of Misc shit.