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Field of Psychopaths

Soooo, West Virginia Ragnar.

It sucks. Hard.

But there are always lessons to be learned from these adventure challenges.

Here’s what I learned at Ragnar Trail West Virginia.

First, why does Ragnar throw their descriptive words after the subject like they Mexican or something. It should be Trail Ragnar, not Ragnar Trail, right?

Anyway, here’s what you need to know.

Any promises of coffee are lies. If you go to, say, Ragnar Trail Carolinas and experience the most delicious coffee truck in the world serving you free coffee almost 24/7, you’re gonna get your hopes up for Ragnar Trail West Virginia to do the same. It won’t. It will give you that same luke warm disappointment water that Ragnar Road DC gave you. Bring your own or make friends with the group that prepared for this going in.

If you can, always bunk with Danny. He’s gonna be super-prepared with air matresses and 18 person tents with plenty of space for all of the party-sized bags of Doritos everyone brought to keep you sedated and it will almost be like staying in a luxury suite. Except, you can’t ever bunk with Danny. I’m claiming him. But maybe find somebody like him to bunk with. Good luck with that. Took my 43 years…


At some point, Julia is probably going to use her teacher voice on you. And it will probably come in the middle of the night when you’re sound asleep. And it will probably scare the hell out of you. Your first instinct is going to be to throw the other person she’s addressing under the bus and say whatever happened is his fault. Don’t do that. Just stay quiet for a moment and she’ll probably just follow it up with a notification of some kind. You’re probably not in trouble. Unless your name is Ercilia.


Don’t ever travel by the seat of Dale’s pants. Dale shouldn’t even be in the navigator’s seat. I’m not sure why you would even let that happen. If you follow Dale’s pants, you’re gonna hear banjo music. And not the chipper upbeat kind of banjo music that Courtney hears in her head. It’s gonna be the scary kind that’s big and hairy and chews tobacco and tells you that you look real pretty in them jeans, boy.

Ercilia is gonna sing. But not actual words. Or when she finds a word, it’s not gonna be the actual words of the song. But she’s adorable, so it’s gonna be entertaining, so just let it happen.


Courtney thinks Jurassic Park is a horror movie. That felt like information the world should have. Just watch Star Wars instead.


The monsoon tornado thunderstorm is gonna scare Rob Holloway (who must always be addressed in the third person) into hiding out in his tent while you and the other two shortest people on the team stand out in the flood waters and lightening holding the busted ass canopy in place. But he drove most of you the 6 hours down (because of Dale’s pants) and he’s going to have to drive you 4 1/2 hours back on little to no sleep while you’re funking up his nice truck, so let him have that tent time. Remember. He’s scared.


Dale is gonna maybe try to be helpful by starting to dig a moat to divert the water away from you, but then he’s going to remember that the neighbors across the road have a kegerator. You know how that ends.

If you set up camp by the port-a-potties, it’s gonna be super convenient for the midnight peeing and such. I mean, some of us will just hold it for five hours until it’s daylight again and I can be sure that the rattlesnakes that Vickie saw out on the red trail that morning aren’t lying in wait in the port-a-potties that night. But still. It’s nice to have them right there. Until you’re trying to sleep at night. And 5,326 people descend upon them, one by one, being certain to slam the doors shut as hard as humanly possible.

But, really, you’re probably gonna get woken up by Julia’s teacher voice anyway, so…

Justine is gonna sleep outside. Because she’s a badass. Or maybe it’s a French thing? But when the monsoon tornado storms kick in, she’s sure as hell gonna find some shelter. But that’s smart. Standing out in said storm holding onto the canopy frame as lightening strikes around you while you’re standing in puddles of water … probably not so smart.

And find a spot in your house for the cool ass rocks that Vickie’s gonna paint to memorialize your adventure. I’ve got this amazing collection just sitting in my kitchen and it really needs to be displayed better. Because one of them has officially declared me a badass. People need to see that.

Also, know that West Virginia trails are basically just rocks and roots with a little dirt thrown here and there. So, don’t just go all out on the green loop because it’s the easiest and you think you can be fast like Dale. Because you’re probably going to superman your ass right across those rocks at the very start of the trail and spend the next week explaining to people why your arms and legs look like that.

And when you get a chance, just take a moment to look around at all of the tents. All of the mud. All of the amazing people around you. Because there are few experiences like a trail Ragnar. As Danny put it, it’s like an entire field of psychopaths. And those are my people. And you’re sure as hell gonna find your inner wild out there. It’s not gonna smell too good, but it’s gonna be a blast.


Just reading and writing and running and looking for my happy place.

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