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The Ice People of Hike It and Spike It

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Mike and Michelle Pettit may have the coolest jobs this weekend at Hike It and Spike It.

Both of them are in charge of delivering ice to the many people who will be hanging out at the Cielo Grande Recreation area for the charity 4-on-4 flag football tournament.

When Mike is not delivering ice, he is the new car sales manager at Desert Sun Motors. Some former co-workers started distributing ice during Hike It and Spike It.

“Once they left or stopped doing it, we took it over and we’ve been doing it ever since,” Mike Pettit said.

He estimates that he and his wife have been in charge of the ice for nearly a decade and getting the frozen water for Hike It and Spike It starts months before the event takes place.

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Once they contact a supplier, thousands of pounds ice and a big truck are delivered to Cielo Grande and the Pettits start working on Friday.

“I kind of set up a little bit to make sure the generators are hooked up and the ice is out there that night,” Mike Pettit said. “There’s really not much work done the day before.”

On Friday, Michelle Pettit will ask the vendors if they need anything.

“Some of them want to start icing stuff down the day before,” Michelle Pettit said. “Sometimes they’ll tell us, ‘we’re good.’ So we kind of have an idea on who to hit first, so we can hit the ground running on Saturday morning.”

The Pettits feel that early morning is the busiest for them at Hike It and Spike It. As the day wears on, the need for ice tends to wind down.

“The first half, we’ll go to the truck and load up around twenty 25 pound bags and just getting everything loaded for the day,” Michelle Pettit said. “Once we have everything loaded up, we have some lulls (and) it kind of goes through spells. They have our phone number and so we get calls throughout the day. It’s just sort of running around and we also supply ice for the MASH tent and they primarily use it for the players who have injuries.”

Last year, 7,650 pounds of ice were used at Hike It and Spike It. Michelle Pettit adds that there was trouble with a vendor in 2017.

“People were having to get it from Sam’s Club and they were different sized bags,” Michelle Pettit said.

This year, people shouldn’t have to worry about ice as a major supermarket chain is offering a life line.

“Albertsons has stepped up in a major way to become our ice supplier and they are donating close to 20,000 pounds of ice,” Michelle Pettit said.

Temperatures for Hike It and Spike It are expected to be around 100 and the Pettits know they will be popular this weekend.

“We’re gonna be busy,” Mike Pettit said. “We can only carry a few bags at a time. By the time we get from the refrigerator truck to someone’s booth or the food truck, the stuff has melted. One of the nice things delivering ice is when it’s 100 degrees, we get a chance to walk inside the refrigerated truck and cool off.”

Those attending this year’s Hike It and Spike It will notice something different from past events.

“This year, they’re actually going to have two booths set up,” Michelle Pettit said. “Specifically to sell ice to the public, which is for people who are trying to carry all of their chairs and have little kids, so that’s going to be nice for them — they can actually buy (ice) at those booths.”

Albertsons will have one booth and the Chaves County Economic Foundation will have another one. Besides ice, Michelle Pettit said water and sports drinks will be available as well.

“That’s going to allow them to stay hydrated without having to haul it all into the park,” Michelle Pettit said.

Many people involved with Hike It and Spike It say it’s a great event for the community and the Pettits concur.

“This brings in tons of people and tons of money for all the restaurants and hotels and I think this is just a great event for the whole town,” Mike Pettit said. “I think it’s second or third in size to the (Albuquerque International) Balloon Fiesta in our state.”

Michelle Pettit feels that those involved with Hike It and Spike It base their lives on Character Counts, which is a program that teaches young people morals and civility.

“When you look at every single person that is involved with the event, they exemplify that,” Michelle Pettit said. “It is just fun to work with that many people that are just that amazing.”

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