Getting the information to the people. (Or how I ended up working at the fair.)

Info Adrienne

Last week I spent four days working the info booth at the San Juan County Fair. This is my story.

*Disclaimer* Things happen to me in round-a-bout ways, derived from me talking to so-in-so about people we know and what they're up to now-a-days. Therefore, the only people that maybe interested in the details of how I ended up working at a 4-H fair on an island in the Pacific NW may be the YMCA Camp Jewell staffers from the Paul Kamin Era. For the rest of you: I worked with somebody at camp and now she runs the fair. Short Version.

Longer Version: When my sister was here we had intended to head out to Orcas and spend a few days with Ethna Flanagan – but she was camping and so after I dropped Jessie off in Seattle, I booked it to Anacortes and hopped a ferry to Orcas Island. Ethna and I were catching up and she mentioned that a fellow Jeweller, Maddie Ovenell, was running the fair this year and she could pass along a good word for me since they were FB friends. I filled out an application, sent it in and Maddie wrote right back! I was in! Maddie did Nature's Classroom and trips AND our years/friends overlap but for the life of us we can't recall meeting each other! All this talk of camp is making me want a 2 lb eclair from the Colebrook store… but I digress.

Working the fair was a bit like all my memories from our 4-H fair growing up, combined with summer camp- the staff all had radios, matching t-shirts and ran around all day solving problems to make sure everyone was having fun. Then we'd sit in the office each night sharing funny stories from the day.
It was nice. Except for the rain.

This fair had 'normal' things like 4-H kids showing livestock and cotton candy & carnival rides and then it had some 'quirky' things like the Zucchini races. (Every gardner knows that zucchinis are super easy to grow but harder to get rid of- so they started making derby cars out of the abundance of fruit and the Zucchini 500 was born!) The fair feels a bit like a block party- with each house in charge of an event; 4-H kids holding their chickens at the start of the chicken races, fashion shows where all the outfits are made with recycling or the guy who hauls his old 6mm projector out of storage to show movies in the backyard.

Chicken Whispererwpid-Photo-Aug-23-2013-1015-PM.jpg

I loved/was terrified by the carnival rides. They were beautiful in that nostalgic way- the glittery cars full of nervous teenagers, spinning and screaming and laughing. They were terrifying because they looked like antiques and I wandered through the fairway willing them to hold together for just a few more nights.

carnival rideZipper line

Merry go round

I spent 9-10 hours a day sitting in my tent, watching the people stream by- on their way to see if they won a ribbon or to watch the frisbee show put on by a group of rescued collies. I love people watching. People are so interesting. And beautiful and unique and silly. I got to answer lots of questions (Where is the ATM? The bathrooms? What time do the chickens races?) and also spent some time wandering the fairgrounds, soaking up the memories.

Holiday Jumps Heather PearlJen's Shirt booth

This is Jen- she is the head of the Fair board, designed the official fair logo and ran her own t-shirt booth. She is very talented/tired.

Call Ducks

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Duck- they are Call Ducks- the cutest little birds! In the olden days they were used as live decoys!

Black Stallion

I loved watching the 4-H kids showing off their animals. They were nervous, but you could see them processing what they learned and trying so hard to do their best. What great practice for life!

There was also epic cuteness happening at the fair. Baby Pygmy goats!!!


I loved being at the fair! I had as much fun as a baby in a pile of bubbles!


Mid-Summer Night Reflection

Ahhh! The days have been sweltering, but the nights are cool & breezy. Driving home from yoga class @ 9:15pm, I noticed that it was mostly dark out! The sunshine hours are receding towards fall and I recalled that I was half-way through my summer in Portland! In 5 short weeks, Doug & Eric will be arriving by plane to drive me back to Michigan where I will spend the week zipping around the state, hugging people. THEN I'll be on a plane to Amsterdam! THAT is a whole other post…


This post is a Recap of Summer 2013!

May 16th= Birthday!

May 17th= Belated Birthday present from Luke & Susie! (Michael arrives!) Lots of parties and good-byes, chalk drawing with B, then Dad & I road-trip to Colorado!




2 more days driving with Dadoo, “Shields UP!” (he says this when we go thru tunnels & we think its hilarious)

JUNE is full of fun touristy times ~ first via bike-map with dad, then with Erica! Zip-lines, brunch, REI garage sale, eating at food trucks, white water rafting, Saturday Market/kidnapping/Voodoo donut, Pride Week Bingo AND a road trip to Vancouver BC, up the most beautiful highway in the world, to Squamish! On the way home, I start Adrienne Lee Photography. We see Old Crow Medicine Show @ the Zoo. Then, Erica starts her residency at the pediatric ER & I dog-sit in Sellwood where a pen gets eaten and poo turns blue.

JULY! The most important week of July was covered in the last post; Crater Lake road trip! And then a weekend in Seattle with Becca! Also, I have been going to yoga twice a week and working HARD to learn how to set up my website for my photo business. Which is good, since I got laid off from my nannying job. :/ Now that I've got a decent looking website ( I'm going to do a few photo shoots with friends in the area and add a blog feature to my website. Everything's slowing coming together!


E & A’s SQUASOME Roadtrip!!! (Wed-Thurs)


Wednesday AM, Jen rolled up to our campsite on her bike and took us for a swift hike around the lake. Then she told us to go hike The Chief (see above) which she did 3 days a week until her 2nd trimester! Well… she described it as “an hour of nearly vertical hiking” and she does not exaggerate! I am not an 'uphill' kind of girl and this hike was epically hard. (Jessie- it was reminiscent of that volcano we hiked in Antigua when the guide kept offering me a horse. Ugh.)

The last bit involved dragging myself up a rock slab with some chains they has bolted into the wall! Then, I wedged myself into a crack and just when I thought I was almost done… a ladder. Oh geez. But the view? It was TOTALLY WORTH IT! Howe Sound on my left, logging industry stuff in the middle and Squamish on my right. Glorious!

ChiefView-SHPhoto by STEPHEN HUI

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This hike was H-A-R-D! It seems unlikely that Shroooooms would have made it easier…

Next, we hopped in the car for some well-deserved 'sitting' time on the way up to Whistler. Jen had worked/trained there for years and some of the 2010 Winter Olympics took place there as well. It was nice. Too nice. It had that slightly eerie, pre-fabed feeling that Vail and Beaver Creek have. Don't get me wrong, we dug it. We sat slope-side and ate a $18 burger while we watched the bikers bomb down the hill, spraying mud everywhere. That was cool. Also, we were watching the Stanley Cup & drinking Kokanee (for Ron)!


We also happened upon a post-race celebration put on by the staff… who were drunk, dressed in drag and dancing to a live Calypso band. Not much to do in the off-season…

We decided to head down to Vancouver to camp that night since we'd have a long drive the next day, so we turned the Subaru towards the Sea-to-Sky highway and headed south.

The road is gorgeous plus we spotted a black bear, foraging for berries! We made it to Porteau Cove by 9pm and enjoyed the view of the sound but didn't camp because it cost $38 and was 10meters from a train track! So we ask the ranger if he has any suggestions for a campground closer to 'The Couv'? He started us on a crazy/late night/campsite hunt with his super-vague answer. But Wed night we camped in Burnaby and got up stupid early on Thursday to high tail it home.

Thursday: we explored Grandville Island (great!), I discovered that I am a lifetime member of the Canadian version of REI (MEC), and we ate breakfast sandwiches on homemeade veggie biscuits in Gastown! Then we spent 2+ hours stuck in 3pm? traffic outside of Seattle. Blerg. The 2 positive things that came out of it were: 1- I bought a pop @ BK's and got to use a touch screen pop machine and 2- I figured out what I want to do for a job! This is a revelation that requires a whole post of its own, so you'll just have to wait. 🙂


CO day 1: Expedition to Sweetwater Lake

Saturday, Jessie & Ron came down to Gypsum and the 6 of us made a trip up to Sweetwater Lake Resort. It's a quaint little place with cabins to rent, a natural lake and a restaurant. It's owned by the family of a guy on Cory's landscaping crew, Cy (sounds like Kai) so we thought we'd check it out.

The drive was gorgeous- slow going on a dirt road but so much to see! We started in Gypsum, then headed north-west into the wilderness! Jasmine the Yorkie was really enjoying herself.

After a scenic and leisurely 45 min. drive, everyone piled out of the truck to take the dogs for a swim.

Statler is a 155 lb Newfoundland who loves the water. He's still working on his grace & poise. Plop!


Floyd wasn't interested in jumping off the dock at all… And Jazzie only got wet up to her knees – but she could swim if she wanted to!

After a solid 1/2 hour of running away squealing every time 'Statler the Sprinkler' got back to shore, we headed up to the main lodge for lunch. Expectations were low since they were out of chicken AND pie, but lunch was great! Cy's mom seated us (wearing a hilarious apron with sexy men on it) and Cy's sister, AuraLee took our order. (Did I mention that Cy is short for Coyote?) The buffalo burgers were amazing- and super fresh; they were raised 3 miles down the road! YUM!

Post lunch entertainment was provided by 12-15 whirring, zooming hummingbirds at the feeders on the back porch! If you could hold very still, they would sit on your finger! After all that excitement, we drove home and hung out on Maria's back porch, hoola-hoop and drinking Moose Drool.

Sipkovsky's sure know how to have fun!