Sunday, July 27, 2008

Motorcycling, Escapism and the "Oregon Country Fair" Part 1

(Kano shows that he's not the only "hippie freak" left on the planet. In fact the 1960s style counter-culture appears to be alive and well in Oregon. Because of a 5 photo limitation per post, the story will be completed with 2 posts.)

It’s been a busy month for me. On Sunday, July 13th was a motorcycle ride from Salem out to the “Oregon Country Fair” near Eugene, Oregon. We got front row parking in “Hog Heaven” right near the gate. Lucky thing too, it was a hot day! The mercury was showing 98 degrees by late afternoon.

I put on my best "I'm glad to get this damn jacket off" look.

Mike’s Buell Ulysses was in the shop so he rode a borrowed (thanks Dale) Vulcan 900, and I was putting the spurs to “Liberty” a Sportster.

This friendly couple was more than happy to get their picture taken. Fairgoers are part of the entertainment. Many dress up (or dress down) for the occasion and don’t mind the attention.

"Who's that weird looking guy pointing the camera at us?"

The fair has been going on every July since 1969 attracting some 50,000 people over the course of the 3 day event. Old hippies love the freedom to “do their own thing” and a new generation has taken to “the fair” too, a la cell phone. For lots of folks cell phones are a convenience not to be done without. For me anyway, they are just a modern "ball & chain" and a distraction from fully experiencing the world right in front of my own eyes.

"Can you hear me now?"

"Can you hear me now?"

When’s the last time you could find good Mexican food out in the middle of the woods? The booths, stages and exhibits are located along meandering trails and small clearings in the 260 wooded acres of the fair site.

"Who's up for chalupas?"

The atmosphere is hard to describe but I’ll try: San Francisco circa. 1967, A Carnival or Circus, A Pre-Historic European Village, Rio, New Orleans, The Wild West, Eugene. It’s not any of those but all of those in one magical place. But even with all the fun and festivities going on it's hard to miss the feeling of being in a very special place, an ancient and sacred oak grove. And there's an appeal to the experience, something primal...

Part 2 is the next post down, so read on!

More pics and words about my day at the Oregon Country Fair will be coming shortly to the email boxes of subscribers to Motorcycle & Scooter Talk at Kano’s Coffee House. Click the link below to sign up. It just takes a second and it’s free!

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One of my previous pics and posts about the Oregon Country Fair

Another previous post on the Oregon Country Fair


Earl Thomas said...

That fair looks really cool, I'm gonna have to find a way to schedule that one on my calender for next year.


Lance said...

Hello from up north (Washington State)! I happened upon your blog looking for some information on the Honda Trail 90 - I loved "A Dream Realized" which had great encouragement to keep the dream alive. I may be getting one real soon. The Oregon Country Fair looks like a great event. Thanks again, and I left a tip for the barista via paypal! Lance

Kano said...

earl thomas -Cool. Send me an email and I'll get you my ph. number and maybe we can ride together from here. Salem's right on the way.

lance -Hello and Welcome to my Blog! I appreciate your donation beyond words! I sure hope you do get a trail 90 you'll have a hoot with it I'm sure.

Your state Washington is one I've spent a lot of time in. I've lived in Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Humptulips, Belfair, Port Orchard and also spent a lot of time at Yakima. So my lid's off to The Evergreen State.

Hey Everybody -Check out Lance's blog "The View from Over the Handlebars" by just clicking on it over in "Kano's Favorite Scooter Links" in the sidebar.