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This is the last county fair I have on my schedule for the year. I have visited quite a few of them this year. Each one has their own special appeal. This one has some of the greatest variety of animals and food we have seen this year.

We have taken to packing our own lunch, as the cost of food would have put a serious dent in the budget with this many fairs over the summer. Some of them tend to rely heavily on the fried foods, and at our ages, we don’t need any help with cholesterol!

This fair had some unusual animals in attendance. The first was this display of parrots and other birds that are typically made into house pets. If I remember correctly, this was a bird rescue/sanctuary. She was selling hand made toys for the birds. These birds were really cool. I don’t want to own one, mind you, but I might enjoy playing with one. The red fellow was absolutely fascinated with the camera. They have quite the reach with the beak if they want to explore something. The others were just as happy to watch us from the perch.

We also toured the barns with the more standard farm animals. This fair has some really nice accommodations for the animals of different species. I’d like to see a bigger goat barn, but I might be a bit prejudiced in that area. The pens for the Llamas were very nice, and so were the llamas. This one had a sign on the stall inviting you to pet him on the neck if he was standing at the gate. The Miss Em took him up on it, and pronounced him “Very soft ” and a “Nice llama”.

Thanks Dad for lifting me up!

One of our last stops before I headed back to judge the show was the poultry barn. My daughter has the strange ability to irritate the roosters just by being in their presence. She was walking by and looking into the cages, and the roosters would fluff up and make aggressive challenge charges at the cages. I was watching to see if she was poking at them or something, but no, “just looking with my eyes” as she says.

It amazes me what they remember and pull out from what you say. That phrase came from me telling her, probably repeatedly, that “We look with our eyes and not with our hands.”

We didn’t stay too long in the chicken house. We then went to see the waterfowl & large poultry section. I found the kind of ducks that I will allow my husband to have if he “must” have ducks on the farm.

Any duck that looks like he should belong to a “Hair Club for Men” commercial gone horribly wrong has a home on my farm. I also like his sooty gray color.

We did have another run it with the Little Miss and the geese. One of the big ones was trying to bite or chew through the chicken wire and was clawing at the fence while raising a huge honking ruckus while she was looking at them. I did mention to it that I had a nice recipe for roasted goose and did the words foi gras mean anything. It was still trying to get through the fencing as we were leaving. I don’t think my daughter has a very bright future as a poultry farmer if this is the way the animals behave in her presence.

The goat show went well. I would have loved to have seen more animals in the show, but the ones I did see were nice. The meat goats looked especially tasty, but that might have been encouraged by the occasional waft of smoke from the BBQ pit across the way.

I added a new county to my list of fairs I have judged. One of these days I’ll have to get out the state map that is divided by county and figure out how many I have actually done so far.

In any case, the fair is held in the town of Menlo, WA. Nice little spot if you can find it. Apparently our version of TomTom didn’t think that area of Washington State was necessary to label. It had streets, but the town name would not come up. We had found it on the “old fashioned” paper maps. Funny enough, we left those at home. Ooooops!

So we kind of missed the cut off for Highway 6. I don’t think we actually went by it, but Honey said we did. He was driving and I was trying not to fall asleep. We ended up down near Long Beach, WA and not too far from Astoria, Oregon. Now, if we had just been out for a drive, no problem! It is super lovely, but I needed to be judging a show at 10. At 9:45 we were 40 minutes from where we were supposed to be. Thankfully we pulled into Willapa Wildlife Refuge. They had a bathroom and a map! We made great time back to Menlo, and when I finally had cell coverage, I called the fair office to let them know where we were, and that I was indeed on my way to judge their goats. The show started at 10:30 not so bad. I had actually asked the superintendent if we could start about then when I originally agreed to take the contract. I was going to have to stop and pick up my sister to keep an eye on the little Miss while I was judging. That detour was going to add about 30 minute or so to the trip. Since I was already getting up at 4:30, I thought I’d ask for a delay in show time instead of getting up even earlier.

Now, my sister did some really fantastic research on this little town. Apparently the founder of Menlo did not want to be buried, nor cremated. So, he had himself pickled in a vat of whiskey. He may have been the first, but I am sure not the last. If I remember correctly, she also said that Pacific Co. had the oldest county fair in the state. Sadly my sister was not able to go with us at the last minute. She had a job interview, which was “interesting”, but did not produce the desired results of landing her a new job.

After our visit to Menlo, WA, we headed north on Highway 101 to Westport. While we were stopped at a road construction waylay, I hopped out and grabbed the camera. There was some beautiful scenery, and of course, I had placed the camera in the waaay back of the car. Most of what we saw after I had the camera was trees, and they go by in a blur for the camera. I was able to get a few of the rivers and bays that make up the estuary area.

I don’t want to hear about how this photo looks like the water should be draining out the edge. I KNOW. It was one of the few that wasn’t blurry or have part of the window edge or my husband’s face in it. 60 mile-per-hour photography is not my best style.

When we left Menlo it was in the high 80s by the time we hit Westport the fog had rolled in and we were glad that we had thrown in a few light jackets. It had dropped more than 20 degrees from one place to the other. By the time we reached home, it was back into the low 80s. Crazy weather we have here.

We had a nice early dinner in Westport while we watched the charter boats unload their passengers with their respective catches for the day. Some of those guys caught some really nice salmon.

We tootled on home in time to do evening chores at both farms. It was actually a really nice day out. We might have to try that kind of trip more often.