Last year, after a long absence, we returned to the 60's and had a great time at the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta (outside of Eugene). Friday we fired up our Prius and hybrid'ed our way down I-5 again, hoping the mid-90's heat wouldn't mess up our mellow.
Shortly after we parked our car and started walking across grassy fields (double entendre entirely appropriate), we came across a purple-tailed horse. I instantly felt at home. And wondered what it would have been like to come to the fair in my LSD-taking days. (I would have named the horse "Trippy," for sure.)
Our first stop was at the Golden Avatar booth just inside the entry gate. We ate here last year and loved the vegetarian Indian food. This is an outpost of a Eugene restaurant that we need to start frequenting.
I mean, look at that plate! I instantly got the munchies without any extra herbal encouragement. This was the $9 vegan plate, a cornucopia of different tastes.
While Laurel was browsing a clothes booth (the Country Fair abounds with shopping opportunities of all sorts), I decided to stand by a beautiful sloping tree, point my camera at the passers-by, and press the shutter button whenever the fancy struck me. I liked the plethora of gray-haired guys roughly my age who weren't acting their age.
This couple were visions in green. Well, she had less green on than he did, but that didn't take away from her viewability. With the weather so warm, the scantily clad women-watching possibilities were rich this year.
The artistry of the Oregon Country Fair organizers (which must include a great number of talented volunteers) is hugely impressive. The natural wood art is a constant source of delight.
We found our way to the Main Stage where young and old alike were rocking out to an unknown (to me) band.
The crowd was kept cool by a welcome stream of water.
Just past the Main Stage we came to a Herbal Shakes food booth that isn't in evidence at the corn dog and curly fries dominated Oregon State Fair.
I found it interesting that even a barefoot, leaf-clad girl still has her cellphone close to ear.
Laurel made a stop at a richly colored organic orange juice bar. Nothing like freshly squeezed orange juice on a hot day. I lucked out: Laurel took a few sips, then decided she wanted something less intensely flavored. Me, I liked the "intense."
Over in a less crowded section of the fair some kids were playing chess with kid-sized pieces under the shade of a marvelously mossy tree.
This musical group was pleasant to listen to. Around almost every corner in the meandering Oregon Country Fair woodsy layout we came across talented musicians entertaining visitors.
Thankfully, just before we were going to head to the exit a quirky Country Fair parade passed by. The guy on the left wasn't part of the official action. But then, there isn't much "official" when it comes to the Oregon Country Fair.
The parade was great to watch coming...
Just before we left, we got some slices of carrot cake and cups of coffee to sustain ourselves for the drive back to Salem. A member of a musical group who we'd heard (and enjoyed) earlier in the day passed by our seating spot. She seemed to epitomize the hang-loose, have-fun vibe of the Fair.