It’s week-old news by now, but it’s still news-worthy in our world. Two of the finest summer days yet. Elihu and I spend eight hours each visit, and we still didn’t manage to do all the things we would have liked. The whole experience was nothing short of magical. My son surprised both of us when he ventured onto rides I’d thought far too daring for him – and I surprised both of us by finding the favorite rides of my youth just a bit beyond my comfort level these days. We ate fair food, visited the animals, the craft tents, went on the rides, played a game on the midway (and won!) and ran into old friends. The sun shone bright, the breeze kept us just cool enough. There will be plenty of summer excursions we may not remember, but it’s likely we won’t ever forget this year’s trip to the Washington County Fair. (There are no chicken pics here; they will get special treatment in their own poultry post shortly.)
Hugging a gigantic cow is a great way to start the day.
Didn’t get to see the draft horses, except for the enormous rear end of this gal. Just too much to see.
There’s a chainsaw artist doing his thing…
What a beautiful bird he’s made!
Next you got your standard sheep shearing…
And I guess this is the style that freshly-shorn sheep sport these days to keep away the chill. !
Elihu gets a little demonstration on how wool is turned into yarn.
Then it’s the goat line up. They’re cute, yes, but not really our thing.
Elihu loved the cows. Gentle giants.
It was nice to meet some other animal-loving kids.
Elihu meets a cute girl and an award-winning cow. !
They watch the milking. Love that everyone was so laid back about the kids hanging out there.
Aside from the birds, Elihu spend a lot of time just hanging with the cows.
Total shop talk. Crazy cow sub-culture. !
We visit Paul H. Van Arnum and his wife, Betsy. Known him since I was four. His daughter Sherry and I have been friends since then. (She was matron of honor at my wedding.) Paul was once a tree man and is now widely known for his greenhouses and his lava rock sculptures. Here he’s explaining a bit of his technique to Elihu. We love Paul. No one like him.
He sells these little critters to adorn your potted plants.
But why assemble your own when Paul’s done the work? Tiny vignettes are his thing.
Like an HO train set scene.
Bye, Paul! Thanks for all your work! Hope you sell a lot before the fair closes (so you don’t have to pack em all up again!)
We’re gonna do some rides now…
But wait – Look! It’s pal Keithie! How cool that we ran into him.
Elihu is on the right. This is about as crazy a ride as Keith will go on. We find that ironic – in that it was rather tame as rides go, and Keith is talented and gutsy when it comes to riding motorcycles. He’ll jump anything, try any stunt. But he’s a big ol wimp when it comes to carnival rides. Go figure.
We both really like this one. Feels like you’re flying…
And of course this one’s simple and fun. That’s my boy on the right.
This is a much, much taller version of the swing ride above. Elihu insisted I challenge myself and ride it (it’s called ‘Vertigo’). No longer can I enjoy the circular rides like this; while it looks easy enough, my inner ear can’t seem to deal with it. If I’d kept my eyes open I mighta lost my lunch. I took the quickest peek at the view. Sorry I wasn’t able to fully enjoy the ride.
The must-ride classic.
One of the views near the top…
…And another view from the other side. I must admit, after years of living panic attack-free, they began to suggest a comeback when we stayed suspended at the top for a few seconds. I knew I was perfectly safe, but panic has nothing to do with what you know. It’s irrational and can sometimes simply ruin an experience for no apparent reason. Ich. Still enjoyed the ride though.
Always enjoy this ride. Plus my dad’s name is Bob, so it makes me chuckle to myself.
The Hansen’s family act of juggling and high wire stunts.
Mom helps eldest daughter of three onto the ring. Although she had that professional smile plastered on her face throughout her daughter’s routine, I couldn’t help but wonder how she was really feeling inside.
This girls is Elihu’s age… wow
And now her mother…
Upside down, essentially hanging on by her butt. !!
Getting momentum up for this heart stopping moment…
Never has Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ been so forgiven for its over-use; for this is exactly what this woman did – she jumped forward and landed in ropes around her ankles – with NO safety harness, and NO net below. Unfucking real. She is another kind of human being the likes of which absolutely mystifies me. Plus she’s had three kids. And she’s beautiful. Huh?
The Hansens concluding their act. Then they pack the whole shebang up themselves, and head off in their RV to the next show. Plus the mom home schools the kids while they’re on the road. Props to this hard-working family.
I was very surprised – and impressed – when Elihu insisted he go on this ride. Alone. He LOVED it. He’s the lone rider under the flag.
My baby’s little feet are wearing white socks, second from the left. The floor has dropped out. Oh dear.
And now he’s being spun while being swung upside down. This one’s called ‘The Wild Claw’. All I can think is ‘my baby’s on that thing. My baby…’
Time to settle our stomachs the American way.
I told him to resist, but since the prize involves a living creature, he just can’t…
Signature Elihu pitch…
And the legally blind kid actually wins a goldfish! In his own words: “I can’t believe I won it fair and square!”. Me neither. (The fish, which he named ‘Sinbad’, now lives happily in our pond with four fishy companions.)
Now it’s time to join the crowds in the grandstand for the….
Personally, we prefer steam traction engine shows, but this is a close second.
On the way out we notice our tiny hamlet is represented in the ‘antique farm tractors’ exhibit.
Good-bye and good night to the lights of the Washington County Fair! See you next year…