Liesel and I along with Klaus, Leslie and Asa had a fun afternoon at the fair. The Tanana Valley State Fair is half funfair and half agricultural show.
The highlight of the day was the Giant Cabbage competition. The heaviest one we saw was 61lb and the leaves were old, gnarly, green leather.
Actually, another highlight was the one ride I went on with Asa. The Zipper. Two people sit in a cage which swings around an axis, ten cages go up and down like a zipper and around another axis of movement, very fast and at times, you are upside down. It was today’s scary thing. Liesel joined him on a different ride, Startrooper, which was less violent but Liesel still came off with sweaty palms.
Actually, another highlight was bumping into Chad Carpenter doing a book signing. He’s Alaska’s top cartoonist, famous for the Tundra cartoons for well over twenty years. He even remembered meeting Klaus and Asa before!
There were plenty of animals on show, sheep, goats, pigs, llams, alpacas, rabbits, guinea pigs, cattle, nothing uniquely Alaskan on this occasion.
A big black cloud slowly approached and we feared the worst but in the end, I think we only felt half a dozen drops of rain.
We enjoyed fried zucchini (Scottish style), coffee and big, big bags of popcorn that was both salted and sugared.
In the evening, my itchy legs took me for a walk. I heard music close to the river and on investigation, I tracked down a Beer Festival at the Boatel, just along the road from the campsite. Did I have any cash on me? No, of course not, that would have required forethought and planning and I’d gone out on a whim, spontaneously! So no beer for me, nor I could I legitimately get closer to the live country music being played.
Later in the evening, Liesel suggested that we go over to visit Morey, Shylah and Addy. Morey is Aaron’s best friend from many years ago, Shylah is his wife and Addy is their teenage daughter who was also here to play football. I cannot vouch for the spelling of any of their names, I’m guessing, but someone will correct me, I’m sure!
We were offered wine or beer, I chose wine, Liesel declined, and we sat around the campfire batting away the odd insect and passing the time.
Sunday began with a drum solo on the roof of the motorhome. The long promised rain had arrived along with a much darker 8 o’clock in the morning than we’ve seen all week.
There were lots of us in the van for most of the morning and we saw the unusual sight of the windows steaming up. Lots of people plus a cooked breakfast.
The rain slowly eased off though: nobody wants to play soccer outside in that. And we weren’t all that keen on watching in weather like that, either, to be honest.
We stayed in the motorhome until we had to leave for the game: Asa’s last one. Unfortunately, they lost to the team that they beat yesterday, so the chances of playing in a tournament next year in Boise, Idaho, are vastly diminished.
We watched in dry conditions but the wind was quite strong. Fifty shades of grey were the clouds: much more texture than we usually have at home where cloud cover is often just one big sheet of metal grey.
After the match, Aaron, Jodi and their boys left for home: unfortunately, real life intervened and they have to go back to work tomorrow.
Liesel and I had a productive session in a local laundromat. What a big place, with over 60 machines in use. Back at home, we had pizza for dinner, our first takeaway this week. And it’s an American size pizza, wider, thicker, cheesier and way too much for this English person to eat in one go!
We heard some birds singing in the trees, but they must have been the native Alaskan bird of invisibility. Not like the ravens that flew around the football pitches, big and bible black against the clouds.
Sunday ended with another drum solo on the roof of the motorhome. Leslie is flying back to Anchorage.
And then there were three: me, Liesel and Klaus.