09 September, 2009

Labor Day Weekend - At the Fair

Labor Day Weekend... Time to go camping for a long weekend - friends, food, fire... how can you beat that?!? And then, it's the last weekend of the Alaska state fair. If you combine the two, how much better can it get?? Not much, I say!
Took Friday off, so we could head out to King Mountain campground Thursday night. It'll definitely be the last campout of the season - nights are cold enough that even the tent heater doesn't help long. I suppose it'd last longer if we left it on all night, but it might not be the best alternative. I'm sure the fumes would dissipate, as the top of the tent is all mesh and heat rises, but I'm fine with not testing that theory. Except that I wake up at night when my nose is cold... but because we have the super-cold rated sleeping bags, at least I don't wake up because my feet are blocks of ice. =)
We ate our way through the fair on Friday. Started the morning with some bacon & eggs around the fire. And what's a little breakfast without a nice bacon s'more? It was too early in the morning for me to be brave enough to try it, but I *know* bacon makes everything better. Greg didn't even mind that the graham cracker was cinnamon. Cinnamon, toasted marshmallows, and bacon - and he said it was really tasty... Maybe I'll give it a go next time. =)

We knew we'd be staying the whole day at the fair, so we dressed accordingly. For me, that was tennis shoes (good soles and really comfy); Greg wore his pants where the leg zips off to make shorts; and James, you may ask? He wore his utili-kilt. Lots of pockets, apparently really comfortable, and he didn't over-heat. Good choice, James! =)

Just as we entered the fair grounds, we encountered an acrobatic equestrian group. You know those movies (or books)? The ones where the long-haired horsemen jump into the saddle from the ground - and they duel with long sharp swords (rapiers?) as they're crashing through the underbrush... this was like that, only with pointy toes and girls in short leotards. Amazing to see the horsemanship and athleticism of the participants, but my camera didn't get any pictures to do it justice. Always just a click behind the action. Oh well.

From there, we headed in to see the *enormous* vegetables. I saw sunflowers that were probably 15' tall, and a 594 pound pumpkin (imagine how many pies that'd make!!). There was a 147# watermelon (wonder if it had seeds?), a record breaking 22# radish (not red, like I imagined), and of course the record breaking cabbage - weighing in at 125 pounds. Have to make a lot of corned beef to go with *that* cabbage!

And then it's time for food. Turkey leg, cream puff (I really think you *should* eat dessert first, whenever you can!), deep fried cheese curds, roasted corn on the cob, and deep fried pickles. Good thing we were sharing - if it'd been just me, eating full servings of all that, I might've had to succumb to a food coma. As it was, we took a break to sit for a bit and rest our barkin' dawgs.

I wanted to get my face painted, so Nita & I split from the group (rides, schmides!) - only to wait in line for almost an hour and have the only person who could paint the designs we picked go on "break". By that time, we decided we'd spent enough time in line - too bad it was for nothing... so, what to do? I'm glad you asked. Time to get fresh dipped corn dogs!

And then it's on to the demolition derby. First time I've been. Apparently this year they (amorphous people from the fair) decided to do it differently, so it wasn't as exciting as in years previous. But since I'd never gone, I have nothing to compare. It's marvelously invigorating to watch cars purposefully crash into each other until only one is mobile. It's also amazing to see how much damage these cars can take and keep moving. I'd never treat my car this way, but it'd be fun to get into a beater and ram it around a few times to see how many lickin's before there's no more tickin'... (as long as it doesn't explode!)

And after all that, it must be time for more food, right?!? Black beans & rice, halibut tacos, and the piece de resistance (insert accents over the first "e" in all but "de"): the powdered sugar coated funnel cake (and a bit of Greg's elephant ear). And then we're heading out to the car, so we can get a good view of the fireworks - only they started before we were there, so it was an exercise in looking up and walking without mowing someone over or tripping and splitting my skull on something (and landing in gum).

A magnificent day full of food, friends, and fun... and then we headed to the campground to sit around a fire. A truly lovely day, and even better that we still have three more days of camping goodness to enjoy. Ahhhhhhhhhh. =)

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