T-USA 19 End of Tour Report

The Trundlers officially assembled in Seattle on Thurs 1st Aug to commence T-USA 19, some arrived earlier and later.

Tourists were #’s 3, 3.5, 16, 17, 18, 18.5, 26, 26.5, 44, 44.5, 45, 47, 48, 91, 91.5, 92 and 93 making it a very easy total group of 17 for the Headcount Portfolio (#17) to manage.

After checking into the luxurious Kings Inn (see Tripadvisor review by Jockey #26 highlighting the top points) and adopting the neighbouring Pineapple Hotel as a temporary h/q, the first team meeting involved portfolio allocations, rooming arrangements and a special welcome for first time tourists.

“Valuables Event #1” captured the fines master’s attention when Josh #93 (loaning his Dad’s number) disclosed he had left his tour backpack with all required tour kit and cricket whites in the safe possession of his Mother on Qld’s Sunshine Coast, some 7,357 miles away! No happy ending here.

Our first game was a T20 (which could have been the opposition average age also) against a combined team playing as Microsoft CC starting at 5pm the next day. Some eventful self-driving with Harmi #16 in complete control of the larger van followed some interesting navigation after the collection of our vehicles in Downtown Seattle earlier in the day.

The match was fairly one sided and introduced us to playing fields with very long grass and much younger opposition while exposing our lack of catching practice to spill no less than 9 opportunities. Back to the outfield grass, it was in fact long enough for debutant Leon #92 to lose his wedding ring in it during one of his acrobatic fielding efforts.

Other memorable highlights from our USA debut game included the full team unsuccessfully searching for the lost ring during the innings break and into nightfall, wicketkeeper Burgundy 44’s collecting of a “Joffra Archer” pace ball with his chest/shoulder (fortunately not neck!) instead of his gloves and our guest player Dillon who contributed strongly. We were also introduced to scoring in a technology driven world, with #93 having to log into a mobile phone to record activities.

The following day was one of much welcomed rest and included a tour of the Boeing factory, about 45 mins drive from our hotel before gathering at the Pineapple for a fines session with Casualty #48 and a very entertaining and closely fought quiz conducted by Jockey #26.

Sunday arrived after a late night dinner and drinks event with games 2 and 3 scheduled as T20’s at a different venue in Seattle but with the now familiar long grass, thus robbing many Trundlers of traditional run scoring opportunities.

Results and the very hot weather were similar to the first game, however the hospitality and friendliness of the host teams was absolutely outstanding, along with guest Dillon’s follow up performances for us.

Even better news arrived later in the day when #92 confirmed his ring-seeking metal detecting contractor had found the lost item on the Match 1 field after 10 hours of paid searching. “Valuables Event #2” solved with a happy ending.

A free night was called to celebrate the 18’s delayed arrival and allow tourists the opportunity to farewell Seattle in their own way.

Monday saw the challenges of check-out, luggage loading and a 3 vehicle navigation/driving formation out of Seattle handled fairly smoothly as we departed for Spokane some 5-6 hours inland into Washington State on a very hot day.

Lunch in a historic German town Leavenworth was about half way and our next 3 vehicle meeting point.

This will always be remembered as “Burgundy 44’s USA Diner Experience” when he decided that the safest place for his back-pack containing his cash/passport/airline tickets/last testament and will/POD card was under the table in the diner for the next few days. The good news was #44.5 didn’t get to the stage of requiring the “will” although rumours were strong she was considering it and the backpack with all contents in-tact were reunited with #44 a few days later courtesy of FedEx and some helpful hosts.

“Valuables Event #3” also solved to the relief of #44, imagine going the rest of the tour without a POD Card!

Arrival into Spokane on a hot afternoon was met with a tremendous gathering of hosts and friends on a tennis court organised by Andy #00 and Helen #00.5, all in celebratory mood to show us their beloved part of Washington State. Bbq food, lots of strong beer and great wine and numerous games/activities delivered new friends instantly and quelled any nerves of both hosts and billets.

“Valuables Event #4” also arrived with us in Spokane when Baldy #47 confirmed the Kings Inn in Seattle were taking good care of his passport some 6 hours drive behind us! More local help and a return of the FedEx courier van solved the problem before our departure to Oregon on Friday.

Activities organised by hosts during our 4 day stay included tennis, pickleball, river floating, kayaking, fishing, lakes, darts, shopping and a group cycling day on the Hiawatha Trail in Montana where we travelled through Idaho also to get there.

Our games during this leg of the tour included an extremely hot day in Pullman for a 40/40 on Tuesday (Match 4), travel was scenic 2 hours from Spokane to this popular University town who fielded a mostly younger and fitter team to earn victory in a very friendly and hospitable game. Our Man of the Match that day was definitely Willy #17, standing both ends on the hottest day imaginable. When asked how he manages such extreme conditions, he simply replied “ Commando”!

A definite tour highlight was the T20 in Spokane (Match 5) starting at 5pm the next evening and after a full day of local activities. Agai, the long grass and very friendly, younger opposition conspired to defeat us but the vocal support of a record number of local hosts, friends and supporters made the match very memorable. With food and beers at the nearby No-Li Craft Brewery after the match, no complaints were registered as Brewery #45 continued to excel throughout the whole tour in his Drinks/hydration portfolio.

After a day of cycling in Montana on the Hiawatha Rail Trail, “Valuables Event #5” had a happy ending after Saint #18 decided to leave his back-pack and undisclosed contents behind when entering the final mile-long tunnel before performing the first ever mid-tunnel turnaround in the dark. Fortunately the search was cut short when a Good Samaritan cyclist handed it over to a very relieved #18.

After a meal in the historic town of Wallace, Idaho we returned to our host accommodation for the final sleep before heading to Portland, Oregon the next morning. Our 8.30am meeting point was special in that all hosts were there for a final group photo and goodbyes, the hospitality, generosity and friendship of this remarkable group of Washington State locals will be unlikely beaten.

The 6-7 hour drive to Portland included a lunch stop at a craft brewery in the Tri Cities before arriving at the Doubletree by Hilton in central Portland for an expected easy late afternoon check-in. The trip took in amazing scenery, particularly along the enormous Columbia River and was relatively uneventful until Sarah #91.5 decided to go one better than #92 and lose her wedding and engagement ring in either the car or the hotel car park. “Valuables Event #6” triggered an extensive search by frantic tourists, concerned hotel staff and curious onlookers before resulting in a random local finding them in the parking lot. Remarkably, the rings were unscathed and still wearable after vehicle movement to assist in the search process.

A free Friday night in Portland after a team fines session and some blue tablet prescription entertainment from Dr Jockey #26 saw splinter groups seeking different food and entertainment options in advance of the 8am assembly the following day for Match 6 at a venue in Salem, about a 1 hour drive from Portland.

Again the hospitality was exceptional, weather very hot and our cricket improved significantly to register our maiden tour victory with good catching, improved bowling and a match winning batting partnership between Brewery #45 & Rhino #91 saw us leave the ground and headed for the local Vagabond Craft Brewery in high spirits.

Battle hymn territory had finally arrived and with thanks to Willy#17, the welcome sounds of Trundler victory were belted out in the Lemongrass Thai restaurant. This was followed by a left-over food drop to the homeless on our way back to the Doubletree for a night cap and review of “where it all went right!”, a pleasant change.

Match 7 in Gresham, Portland saw the Oregon Cricket League field a much older team with a social mindset, thus resulting in another Battle Hymn opportunity for Willy #17. After exchanges of thank yous, gifts including salmon and chocolate, the Trundlers handed over our excess kit and tour items to the grateful appreciation of our very friendly opposition. After a drinks stop at their local English pub we returned victorious to the Doubletree for our in-house EOT Dinner.

With lots of food and drink, we were again entertained by #26 and celebrated Baldy #47’s stand-out and thoroughly deserved Man of Tour (MOT) award, followed by a closing Battle Hymn.

With thanks to everyone who participated in a wonderful tour full of life long memories, experiences and new friends, the efforts by all have been very worthwhile. And, as a little bonus, we have some multi-coloured entries for permanent addition to the duck shirt and have been introduced to the new age of scoring on a mobile device!

Until next time, Trundle safely and happily…do good.

#3

Honest Trundlers T-USA 19

Battle Hymn (With thanks to Willy #17)

<<WITH APOLOGIES TO WHISPERING TED>>

We met up in Seattle at the beginning of the tour,
Just what lay ahead of us no-one was really sure,
So we met at the Pineapple and we had a beer or four,
And the team goes trundling on.

The Kings Inn was no palace, of that there is no doubt,
But the beds were very comfy so we really shouldn’t pout,
With Jockey as their publicist they’ll soon sort it out,
And the team goes trundling on.

First game in Seattle, mind and spirit were willin’,
But 12 young Indian guys turned up & made a real killin’,
Our team also had its star – a ladies’ man called Dhillon,
And the team goes trundling on.

Stuey is our skipper, on tour he is the boss,
Our playing record’s not his fault, he never lost a toss!
He kept our spirits up when the score was Loss Loss Loss Loss Loss
And the team went trundling on.

3.5 Janine does a lot without us knowing,
She does heaps behind the scenes & really keeps us going,
She organised the tour to the factory of Boeing,
And the team goes trundling on.

Brewery & Baldy from Bowral they do hail,
They kept us well hydrated in that they did not fail,
Baldy even found some time to go out hunting quail,
And the team goes trundling on.

Senior tourist Harmi gets very easily bored,
He sent a What’s App message that proved to be a fraud,
So fines master Casualty put him to the sword!
And the team goes trundling on.

A little guy called Jockey is our entertainment man,
He brought along his .5, a lovely lass called Ann,
He donated his sunglasses to the Little Spokane,
And the team goes trundling on.

Burgundy’s from Tauranga and Ann-Marie is too,
A spell of wicketkeeping left his right tit black and blue,
So he turned his hand to bowling, he had them in the poo,
And the team goes trundling on

When Casualty went fishing he had a smile a mile wide,
The very stylish batsman takes most things in his stride,
But he was well and truly buggered when the grass was two feet high,
And the team goes trundling on.

The guy we all call Saint paid a late arrival tax,
He brought Jackie with him to keep him on the tracks,
A mid-tunnel liaison retrieved his backpack
And the team goes trundling on.

Rhino and Sarah make such a lovely pair,
She hadn’t watched a game of cricket till  she came over here,
Rhino holds our pursestrings and never turns a hair,
And the team goes trundling on.

Josh is a Yandina boy, his first two games were duds,
By the time he got to Spokane he hit form with a thud,
It was quite apparent he had trundling in his blood,
And the team goes trundling on.

Josh’s mate Leon lost a little bit of bling,
Two teams did a grid search but they couldn’t find a thing,
Ten hours with a detector and they found that bloody ring!
And the team goes trundling on.

Willy stands out in the sun all day – it seems a real feat,
But he has a simple strategy – it’s one you cannot beat,
He simply goes commando and it counteracts the heat,
And the team goes trundling on.

I feel sorry for you but there are verses still,
When Jockey spies tailenders he moves in for the kill,
But we’re all glad he’s got a supply of the blue pill,
And the team goes trundling on.

Passports and backpacks, of each we lost just two,
Burgundy and Baldy were in a real stew,
Then up stepped Fed Ex – they soon pulled them through,
And the team goes trundling on.

We have a wicketkeeper who we all know as Saint,
But it became apparent that a keeper he ain’t,
He had a gap between his hands as wide as Bass Strait,
And the team goes trundling on.

Ann-Marie’s a shopper, she goes from store to store,
And poor old Burgundy’s been out of luck all tour,
Once he got the blue pill he struck gold for sure,
And the team goes trundling on.

Portland’s our favorite venue, we put the locals in,
Rhino and Brewery took us to a win,
Did you notice that the skipper had an ear to ear grin?
And the team goes trundling on.

So now the tour is over we must say our goodbyes,
Isn’t it amazing the way that time just flies?
Congratulations Baldy on winning the big prize,
And the team goes trundling on.

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