Friday (9/9), after making my intentions to stay another night official to the management, I made breakfast and then spent a couple luxurious hours reading in the hot tub all by myself. The only other occupant in the pool house was a moth that I rescued from the pool - and who disappeared after his wings dried off. It was very relaxing.
Finally, I got dressed and headed to the fair - taking little other than my camera, wallet and recommendation to try the special donut holes made by the local Lyons club - you got it - "Lyon's balls."
First, I checked out the exhibits - there was a lot of random crap there, I have to say. While there were some good photos - there were SO MANY photos - and just about everyone got a ribbon. There were crafts but there was also a huge amount of ephemera - like a pair of mason jars purporting to date to 1916 - with a blue ribbon for first place, and old books dating back to 1910 -- seriously? I am looking into this for local county fairs so I can get some ribbons for random antique or odd items.
There were some quilts - but they were all one one rack and not displayed very well:
There were also plenty of hand-sewn items - some rather odd entries but I'll leave it to your imagination.
The produce was more interesting and fun - though you can probably only look at about 12 giant zucchini before you wonder how pithy they are inside and whether they are worth eating. I think the giant cabbages were probably excellent though.
The preserves were very interesting and lots of fun to see the patterns and types of things folks made. Not a single entry for ground cherry jelly!
Someone made zucchini pickles like I do!
This area had a high number of anti-abortion billboards, and this was only one of a couple anti-abortion displays in the exhibition halls:
Finally, I went to the grandstand where they started some of the rodeo contests for roping and barrel racing - the little kids on horses were so much fun! I had a couple beers and made conversation with some local folks. Someone recommended that I check out the BLM wild horse pens just past town on my way out. There were a LOT of Clarks participating in the day's events!
The guys had a hard time catching this horse:
The race started, and the horses hadn't even gone all the way around when one horse got pushed by another into a wall, threw his rider, then freaked out and caught his leg on the fence - apparently breaking his leg all the way through. The rider did not get up and was carted off in an ambulance, the horse was sedated and taken away in a trailer, probably to his doom. It was at that point that I decided it was time to take a break and head back to make dinner and watch things not involving death and hospitalization.
The evening rodeo performance was mostly steer roping and steer riding - it was very amusing and I kept rooting for the steers! Again - lots of Clarks present. I made friends with a 3 and 4 year old who were sitting behind me and utterly fascinated with my yellow high vis jacket. I shared some of my pictures with them and they were so cute that when the rodeo ended - I said it was nice to meet them and you know what they said? "Thank you for showing us your pictures!" Mom had not even coached them - I can't even get a prompt thank you for a gift from certain younger relatives - and here these little gentlemen were thanking me for showing them pictures of groundhogs and burros!
I have firmly decided that cowboy hats only look good on cowboys under the age of 11 or so.