Life

Friends, Royalty, Milking, and Puppies ~ I LOVE the Fair!

Another great day at The Fair today!  Actually, it was the best one so far.

I was chatting with a friend today and we both quietly agreed that Opening Day was a little rough.  It was so crowded!  Today’s crowd was the perfect size, though.  Small enough to get around and not stand in long lines; large enough for ample people watching opportunities.

We got to the parking lot at about 1:00pm, just in time for lunch.  We poked around here and there, strolled back and forth between the horse barn and the Goat Ring and the Dock Dogs, and pulled up a bench now and then to watch the Fair world walk by.  As a result, my mileage today was significantly less.  Just 2.22 miles.  That’s still pretty good exercise without even realizing it.  But I doubt it’s sufficient to work off my snacking.

I think my favorite thing about today was a bunch of little things that happened.  Like:

Running into some dear friends in the horse arena and really having some time to catch up on each other’s lives.  This is one of the things I love most about our Fair; it really feels like a community event.

Horse surfing! We were in the horse arena to watch draft horses. Until recently, I thought they were either windblown horses or ones being placed into military service. What it actually refers to is horses that pull stuff, like wagons and carriages. There was a competition today in which human drivers had to control a team of two horses as the horses pulled a pair of logs through a slalom of pylons. It was rather impressive to watch, as the horses were huge and yet very deftly maneuvered by the driver. What was a total hoot, though, was watching the drivers stand on the logs and surf through the dirt as the horses pulled them along. That would be worth at least 3 tickets in the carnival.

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Finally seeing the Crazy Hat Lady!  She is a fixture at The Fair.  She works there and drives around a John Deere tractor delivering stuff.  She always wears a fun hat and a huge smile.  I don’t know who she is but she looks like she is having the time of her life every time I see her tractor rumble by.  Her enthusiasm is contagious.  So not having seen her since last year, I was getting a bit worried.  When I finally spotted her this afternoon near the Goat Barn, I almost ran up to introduce myself and give her a hug.  But in the interest of not being arrested on stalker charges, I just took her picture instead.

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Realizing my friend Kyle is a Milking Machine.  Good grief, that boy can milk a goat!  We spent a good part of the afternoon hanging around the Goat Ring watching the 4-H kids have some fun and games to blow off some of the nerves of three days of intense competition.  One of the games was a team race to milk a goat and fill up a quart jar with fresh milk.  Each team had about 15 kids of all ages and each team had one dedicated goat.

All four teams were very even and had only filled up their jar about a quarter inch each when it was Kyle’s turn.  About five tugs on the goat’s lady parts and he nearly filled a Pepsi bottle!  By the time it was his turn again, he casually filled the bottle within seconds and provided enough milk to not only fill the quart jar but overflow it by about half.  Meanwhile the other teams had about a half-inch of milk and completely resigned looks on their faces.  I’m guessing Kyle’s milking talents are legendairy.

A brush with royalty!  We were wandering through the Beef Barn (meaning cows…beef in its original, lively state) when we spotted the Clark County Fair Court. Whoo hoo!  It was Queen Katie and Princess Alexa right there in person!  I was very excited because I have been a fan ever since last year when we watched the Fair Court competition on the last day of the Fair and they were crowned Queen and Princess.  I spotted Katie and Alexa in the wet and rainy Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in Portland and at the warm and dusty Vancouver Rodeo on the 4th of July.  And they’ve caught my eye in newspaper stories and Fair stuff online all year.

So when I saw them next to a large cow, I poked Rob and excitedly informed him, in a breathless whisper, that “The Fair Court is here!”  I was very proud of myself for actually going up to them to say hello.  And I have to say, they are even more impressive up close.  Both young women were so friendly, articulate, and gracious.  And genuine.  Truly, the more I see of the Fair Court program, the more impressed I am by it.

We will be watching the competition again this year on Sunday, August 11.  Until then, here’s the picture Rob took of us.  He told me afterwards that I really need a sash for next year’s photo.  And hair, I need hair.  And perhaps a little more sleep.

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Being kissed by a Whippet.  I have a long-held hesitation around dogs.  I blame Mutt-Mutt, my great grandmother’s snarly yappy dog who loved to yell at me whenever we visited.  So the fact that I so totally fell in love with an adorable 13 week-old Whippet today is quite remarkable.

I was sitting on the grass near the Dock Dog stage.  The World Record holder for the longest jump in the water is held by a 7-year-old Whippet named Cochiti.  Cochiti is competing in our Fair this year (he lives in Olympia), so that’s pretty awesome and quite an honor.

Anyway, Cochiti’s owner walked by with Cochiti’s young pup pal on a leash.  Before I knew it, I was asking if I could pet the adorable little dog (!!) and then the dog was in my lap licking my face while I laughed.  I actually laughed, like a normal person does when being licked by a dog, instead of being terrified that my face was about to be eaten.  The Magic of Whippets!  I don’t know his name (yet), but I suspect I will know soon.  I must be careful about avoiding stalking charges on this one, too.

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The little Whippet snuggling with someone else. I’m doing my best not to be jealous.

Fair Food Feast Parade!

Today’s entry is brought to you by Clearasil and Pepto-Bismol, both of which have now been added to my Fair bag out of necessity.

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Ms. Burger from the Burger Buggy — my pick for the best burger at The Fair. It has a hamburger patty plus some slices of ham. Yum! Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until the last bite that they had given me two patties instead of one. Hence the shorter parade today. Sigh.

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Decided I needed some caffeine today. The rest of the day I filled up the bottle with water from various fountains. The ones near the Dock Dogs and across from the Dairy Women milkshakes are my most-used fountains.

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Today’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice flavors: my trusty Lime plus Passion Fruit. I was surprised I liked the Passion Fruit so much; I was a little afraid it might taste a lot like Juicy Fruit gum or Hawaiian Punch. Instead, it was a lightly sweet tropical flavor. I was also surprised it was yellowish-green. I think I was expecting something in the red family.

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OK, confession time. I ate something healthy today. I’m sorry. But there is this new vendor near the High Divers that is selling fresh fruit like peaches, cherries, and blueberries. In the interest of research, I felt it was my duty to try them out. The blueberries were excellent. The vendor said business is pretty good so far, so if you want a healthy option at the Fair, go buy something from them. They are tucked in amongst the vendors selling auto decals, fuzzy animal hats, and cheap tennis shoes.

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Nacho dinner supplemented with jalapenos and ground beef, from the stand on the southeast end of the Food Court next to Food 4 You. The nachos were good but the added beef left behind a greasy sludge at the bottom that made the chips at the end very soggy. Not sure how to fix that other than to request that they drain the beef a bit before scooping it onto your plate.

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That’s some heavenly Church Lady rhubarb pie right there. And the crust! I typically don’t like pie crust but theirs is amazing.

Highlights on Monday’s Schedule:

  • 4-H Kitchen demonstrations all day in the Exhibit Hall
  • Barrel Racing at 2:00pm in the Grandstands
  • Goat Showmanship Round Robin Run-offs at 4:00pm
  • Roughstock Rodeo at 7:00pm in the Grandstands
  • We might finally wander in and see what goodies are for sale in The Marketplace in the Exhibit Hall
Toni Woodard

Toni Woodard

I am a Clark County Fair Fanatic and eat all things fried during the glorious 10 days of The Fair. I have lived in Clark County since 2004 and consider it the second-best decision of my life. I am married to a great guy named Rob (first-best decision) who graciously carries my stuff and takes my picture every time I eat something at The Fair. We have two indoor cats and lots of deer, rabbits, and coyotes who are kind enough to stay outside.