The past few days have been busy but not particularly productive. Let me start by telling you about my weekend.
Several of the warrant officers in my Company invited me to go dirt bike riding with them at a National Recreation Area called "Land Between the Lakes (LBL)" (http://www.lbl.org/Home.html). The area is about 40 minutes from here and is covered with trails for both motorized and non-motorized use. We went to the Turkey Creek OHV area which is reserved for motorized off-highway vehicles.
Many of you know that I own a KLX-650 motorcycle. This is considered a "dual sport" bike meaning that is can be used on or off-road. It is kind of like the SUV of motorcycles. I rode my KLX to LBL where I met my friends. They brought their motorcycles on trailers because, unlike me, that had machines dedicated to difficult trail riding. Their bikes were much smaller and lighter than mine. Moreover, my friends are experienced dirt bike riders. This was my first time bringing my motorcycle off-road.
I got bloody and muddy, and tired and frustrated and had a great time! We spent the day riding trails that I never imagined could be ridden on my motorcycle. I spent a lot of time floundering in deep mud pits trying to pick my very heavy bike back up. The rest of the time was spent chasing my buddies over jumps, around trees, through boulders and up steep hills. It was great fun and good bonding with the guys I will be training (and fighting) with.
The rest of the week has not been nearly as much fun or as good for morale. It is the "Week of the Eagles" at Fort Campbell. This is supposed to be a week of self-congratulatory, esprit de corps events. In reality, it is a lot of group runs and parades and inspections.
I spent Monday morning from 0415 -0900 was getting ready for, and then participating in, a Division Run. This means that 30,000+ soldiers had to coordinate going on a four mile formation run together. You can only begin to imagine how much of a logistical task this was. The beginning of the group is almost done running by the time the end of the group starts.
I spent Tuesday shopping for, and stocking the Fridge and, believe it or not, flying. Well, not really flying. One of the instructors needed a body to sit next to the Colonel in the simulator while he got some needed simulator time. I was drafted. It was good, nonetheless, to get a little flight time (even if it was in a box).
Today was the practice Division Review. We spent five hours outside in the sun, in our new uniforms, marching around, standing at attention, listening to bugle calls, and being inspected. We will do it again tomorrow for real. It was uncomfortable, boring, and seemed like a general waste of time. I dont really feel my esprit de corps increasing.
I have a four day weekend for Memorial day starting on Friday. I am looking forward to the break and the time to study because, at least according to the flight schedule, I will be in the air on Tuesday for my initial flight evaluation. I hope so.