Sunday, August 11, 2013

Flight of the Raven

Ever wonder what happens to the Iron Raven when no one is watching?  Well, so do I, and I can't answer that here.  If we are fortunate enough to win it again this year, maybe I'll set up some hidden cameras for that next time.  That said, I *can* share with you how the Raven got from its temporary home in Los Altos back into the hopefully even more temporary hands of the Ravenchase Game Master Josh Czarda this week.

It all started with the Raven happy at home on my desk, complete with its faux bamboo habitat and sporting friends.
The blissful Raven unaware of what lies ahead.
When the day came for us to leave on the trip, the Raven might have known something was up.  First I took its vital signs...
It must have been a bit panicked - its weight was normal, but there was no heartbeat.
Then I stuffed it into a bag with a bunch of clothes.
The Raven was smothered by the netting of some swim trunks inside.
Then it was off the airport!  Since for some reason, some people think it isn't appropriate to bring an iron bird with sharp claws as a carry-on, despite the fact the bird itself often carries its own carrion, and plus could even have been just fine in MY carry-on. So sadly I checked the bag when the Raven inside, and the bird and I lost contact for most of the day.

I can't tell you *exactly* what happened from the time we left San Jose, stopped in Dallas, and then eventually arrived in Pittsburgh, but the surprise of the trip was when we went to the baggage claim to reunite, it seemed the Iron Raven had broken free from its cottony habitat, and arrived free as a bird!
The Raven's great escape surely happened after the layover, since it showed up without a luggage tag of its own.
The tear-jerking reunion between the Raven and its caretaker, a la Christian and the lion.
After such a close call with a runaway iron bird, I kept the Raven within arms reach until the start of the race, knowing full well that a potential final farewell could be in store within days.  It wasn't until we handed the Raven off to Josh at the start (not pictured - it was too emotional for photography) that it really started to sink in that there was only one way to spend another great year with our dear "feathered" friend.  We would have to do the unthinkable....  We would have to win the world's most epic race again this year.

Stay strong, Raven!  We're working on getting you back!


  1. And then you and the bird shall be parted nevermore.

  2. Such emotion! This post tore me up. I know you are ravenous to be reunited.