As I rode on the 16L bus down South Golden Road at eight in the morning on Saturday, April 13th to cover the cardboard boat races, I thought that nobody in their right mind would participate. My weather app said it was 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and that snow would begin to fall any second. Spending any amount of time in the frigid waters of Clear Creek would be, at best, incredibly uncomfortable, if not hypothermia-inducing. To my surprise (and amusement), whether by sheer determination or through E-Days fueled madness, hundreds of Orediggers sacrificed their bodies in the spirit of tradition.
The 85th edition of E-Days had already experienced a bit of a setback. After local meteorologists predicted blizzard conditions on Wednesday, Mines decided to close campus at two o’clock. This was fantastic news for students with pre-E-Days common hours exams, but ended up canceling the scheduled magician and poker tournament. Thursday’s festivities went according to plan, featuring comedian Pete Lee (a Wisconsinite who was likely not bothered at all by the snow), a combined casino night/poker tournament, and the always dazzling pageantry of Mr. Bigdigger. Skies stayed relatively clear on Friday, allowing Mines students to make the annual pilgrimage to the state capitol and enjoy the friendly competition of field day. Things took a turn on Friday night, as snow began to fall during the EDM concert, and began to threaten the following morning’s regatta.
The crowd lining the banks of Clear Creek was not about to be thwarted by the weather again. The Oredigger’s very own Daniel Renkert commanded the Mines Little Theater vessel. After making it past the first fall, the schooner began to capsize and left Renkert no other choice but to abandon ship. He proceeded to calmly backstroke his way down the stream until reaching land. “I spent the next hour or so shivering at Table Mountain Inn over brunch,” said Renkert, “despite the fact I was under three warm blankets.”
After the winter weather in the morning trying its best to dissuade Mines’ brave mariners, the sun came out, and temperatures rose as soon as the E-Days carnival opened its gates. Smallpools brought down the house as the concert opener. And B.o.B., well you have your own opinion of B.o.B.’s performance. Personally, I thought it fell a little flat.
All in all, this E-Days was one for books. It was a tribute to what it means to be an Oredigger: no matter what the world throws our way, we will persevere. Especially to celebrate E-Days.