Sometimes you just have to walk away from the keyboard. My imagination is a pretty fun place, but it needs fertilizer to keep growing. (No manure jokes. Yeah you in the back row, I see you.)
Old What’s Her Face* and I went to the Western Idaho Fair today. It used to be the Idaho State Fair, but commercialism killed that romantic title. The carnival folks and vendors find it more profitable to have multiple fairs all over the state. I concede that Idaho is huge, and someone from the Wyoming or Canadian border isn’t likely to drive to Boise for a Saturday at the fair. Therefore; several fairs in various locations.
I like the idea of someone growing the biggest pumpkin in the state. It’s fun to compete for something that is the best in the state, but those days are gone.
We started our day here. The home of deep fried foods, beer, and sweets.
We both grabbed a prickly pear lemon aid. This is fresh squeezed with a shot of syrup from the cactus fruit. It’s on our must list every year.
My wife started off with one of her favorites, a Navajo taco. It wasn’t made the right way and she threw it away. These things are awesome, but they don’t lend themselves to commercial shortcuts. If you don’t use a yeast raised fried scone to start with, you might as well give up. She replaced it with a Greek chicken pita, and said it was wonderful.
I opted for a standard Greek gyro, and a Basque chorizo. Mine was wonderful too, and the restauranteur who runs the Greek cart can expect a visit from us to his downtown place very soon. Basque chorizos are one of my favorites, they’re also hard to screw up. The Basque community is large in the part of Nevada where I grew up and these things are a staple. Fortunately for me there is a large Basque community in Boise.
We stopped at a wild animal display. There were quite a few wild cats like tigers and servals. As a western boy, I liked the bobcat. This place charges money for portraits with a select few of the animals. We watched as someone tried to get a picture with a lion cub. The cub was naughty and they finally gave up. He was so busy they couldn’t get him posed. They opted for a very busy skunk instead, and it was easier to hand the skunk something shiny and he held still for a split second.
They indicated they were an animal rescue organization and all the money raised went into the care of animals in need. You never really know, but the lion cub and skunk were pretty happy.
We checked out the standard exhibits. I loved an action photo of a great horned owl. It won second place to another owl photo that I didn’t think was as good. The biggest pumpkin was 206 pounds. This is kind of disappointing since they get near 1000 pounds elsewhere. I chock it up to too many fairs. A competition of five is less intense than one with fifty entrants.
I won a photo ribbon myself once, in Nevada. This was back when cameras used something called film.
It was cool that they have a brewing competition these days. There were dozens and dozens of entrants. Home brewing has really taken off. It doesn’t make for much of a display, since it’s a rack of brown bottles with ribbons on some.
Someone had a large display of carnivorous plants that made me jealous. My last one died this summer.
My wife thinks I’m an idiot, but I like to walk through the small animal barn. This is where young farmers get their start. I just like the animals and took a few pictures for the blog.
I took the bunny photos for Lisa**. She would appreciate them, since she has one called Bunny.
I always like the poultry. There weren’t any turkeys today, but some of the ducks were pretty. The chickens always steal the show and so I took some pictures for you.
I think a yard full of these would be pretty fun to watch while enjoying a cup of tea and a book. There were tons of rabbits and chickens. Many of them were in covered cages and photos weren’t possible.
We didn’t pay to see the giant hog or the tiny horse. We’d visited them in previous years. We stopped off to watch some lady loggers from Maine. They threw axes and chopped logs. It was fun watching them run on a floating log. Then it was one more mediocre brown ale and time to go home.
It’s another statement of the times when Idaho has to import loggers to put on a show. I’ll leave it there and avoid a political tantrum.
The fair is spread over several weeks. They bring in free concerts and there is a huge carnival. Some years the concerts are pretty good. I asked my wife if she wanted to come back to see The Doobie Brothers. She said, “No. Do you want to see The Doobie Brothers?”
I said, “Already have, in 1979. Paid eight bucks. It was a pretty good show.”
* This isn’t my wife’s real name.
** Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She lives at the writing cabin these days and helps me around the place. She’s a robot and has her own pet rabbit.