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!


It’s all about who ya know!

I realized that finding a job in Portland would be difficult. I did lots of web searches and made some phone calls and got some leads from friends. (Thank you!) When I arrived I had TWO interviews! Yes! The day after we arrived I went downtown to the MAC, Mulnomah Athletic Club to interview for a swim instructor/guard position.

The staff were super friendly and the members didn’t look too fancy- but then I learned that the club is the ‘Largest Athletic Club in the world’! With 500 employees and 22,000 members- it takes up 2 full city blocks and since it backs up to the Timbers stadium, you can watch professional soccer matches from the back balcony. Nice. The interview went great but they only need 4 hrs of swim instruction a week and since it’s a 30 min drive + annoying city parking I didn’t think I’d be able to make that work. 😦 Strike 1.IMG_8878

The next day we headed back out to the Columbia River Gorge and crossed the Bridge of the Gods to Washington state. My next interview was at the brand new ZIP LINE course at the Skamania Lodge.IMG_8910 The view from the lodge.

Dad and I rolled in and we got to join the tour going out- 8 cables through the trees. None were notably high or fast but it was fun to cruise around in the forest and along the golf course.


The guy who runs the course is looking to open one at every lodge in the company, 30 in total, and was looking for someone to help him run those in the future. Possibly the very distant future. Strike 2.

The Skamania course was only 3 weeks old and the owners of the other lodges are looking for increased traffic before they sign on. School lets out soon, so maybe there will be some need for another zip tour guide, but I doubt the pay will balance the 55 minute drive. Anyhow- dad and I had a fun time with Wilson and Bobby zipping around the trees. (Special thanks to DeAnna who works for the company who built the course and trained all the happy tour guides.)

Erica is being awesome & found me a house/dog sitting job AND babysitting for a family she knows.  The lesson here… tell everyone you know what you need and then let it all work out!  Yay!