Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The 2008 Oregon State Fair

I love the Oregon State Fair. After being totally overwhelmed by the big-city MN State Fair smack-dab in the middle of the Twin Cities, and being overwhelmed by all the stuff, Oregon's State Fair is like a really big small-town affair.

We have gone at least once each year since moving here, six years ago. Besides, it's just down the road from our home.

Normally it's hot and dry. Arid, really. And hot.
Not this year.
(Hey - I'm not complaining. That sky is blue ... !)

Meh. What's a little rain? After all, this is the Oregon State Fair we're going to.

Oh. Before I go any further, I'd like to point out that I have a very very warped view of the world. (As if you weren't already aware of that.) I am slowly adding photos to a personal photo album called "The Pam Cam" which is odd stuff, passed off as ordinary, that most people tend to overlook. I like to point out the odd stuff and make fun of it. Several of these pictures will be added to the album.

I'm just warning you. Try not to be shocked or offended. I just call it like I see it and consider later that maybe I should have edited the message as it traveled from brain to mouth. Or fingertips in this case. Anyway, enjoy your visit to our lovely state fair.

This State Fair Experience has been brought to you by the color pink.
(I'm probably going to get in trouble for this next picture.)

A lot of people want to find out ahead of time. That's an awfully long line.
Do they know something we don't know?

Riding mechanical bulls.

Ummm, yeah. Try saying that five times fast.
Alliteration that sells.

The Oregon Pork Producers Association food booth went whole hog.

On second thought, you might consider becoming vegetarian.

Somehow I'm being drawn back over the the whole hog BBQ booth...

The State Fair Tofurkey Booth, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Uhh, yep. I'm going back for that pulled pork.

All Vegetarian Hot Dogs and Sausages, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Let's see, what do I want...
Ice Cream Sundaes, Milk Shakes, Chocolate Milk...
and ... Buttermilk!?

Hmm, which treat do I want... Ooh, how about buttermilk?, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

We all decided against the cool and refreshing (?) glass of buttermilk and went for an ice cream cone instead. This is the regular size cone.

Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin, I'm used to seeing tractors and combines. Other than dairy cows, most other farm crops ranged from corn and grains, some alfalfa and soybeans, and beef cattle.

Even after being out here in Oregon for 6 years, I still can't get over how different the crops are. And since different kinds of crops require specialized equipment, I can't help myself as I take pictures of all the alien machinery to share with everyone back in the midwest.

Cane berries are raspberries, blackberries, etc. Oregon is the nation's largest producer of cane berries. We're also the leading producer of filberts (hazelnuts), Christmas trees, grass seed, mint, and nursery stock (shrubs you buy at your local garden center.)

This was on the side of the yellow contraption., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

This picture was on the side of the big yellow contraption.
This could be cane berries or blueberries.
How's that for freaky looking farm equipment?

The horse had been licking Rachel's palm with his big long pink tongue.

Rachel kept saying, "When I get my horse..." then adding "...when I'm a grown-up..."
Yeah. Don't forget to add the little extra bit in that sentence, kiddo.

Meet the horse's new friend, Rachel, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

We have a huge number of Russian "Old Believers" in in this part of Oregon. Most Old Believers live as if it is still the 1700's, but some have modernized...to a degree. The women still wear the long flowing dresses and a kerchief on their head. The men have full beards. You can Google the words Oregon Old Believers to learn more about this unique group of people. There aren't many pictures, but their history and culture is pretty interesting.

Did I ever tell you my State Fair story about the comedian and the group of Russian women? I'll have to blog about that later. It's hillarious.
(No, it is not disrespectful to the ladies. Not the Russian ones, anyway.)

An Oregon Russian woman with her husband, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Can you figure out which five people are tourists?
(They're the only ones with umbrellas.)

Can you figure out which five people are tourists?, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Next, we found a shooting gallery run by ... guess what organization?
Right! An Oregon Veterans group!

(You thought I was going to say the NRA, didn't you? Their name was nowhere on the signage.)

Frank at the shooting range., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

What a great country we live in!
Where else can you hand a gun to your darling twelve-year-old daughter and tell her to shoot up something? Plus, you get real-live Veterans to offer tips and pointers to improve her aim.

She loved it.

But, typical kid that she is, when I asked, "What was he telling you?" she shrugged and said, "I dunno. I wasn't listening."

Rachel gets some shooting tips., originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Eagle Eye... Hawk

Frank aims for the target, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Don't ask me about their facial expressions. They're both wierdos.

Actually, Frank was very proud of the Junior Shooting Something-Or-Other badge that he earned, and Rachel was giving me one of her classic "Can you believe how dorky that man is?" looks.

A typical day in the life of the Hawk family...

The family sharpshooters, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

...to be contined ...

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