Estacada used to be a logging town so it’s not surprising that the theme for its Fourth of July celebration was a Timber Fest. What was surprising was how large the event was, especially considering the town only has a population of 3,000. In order to cover the costs of the event they do charge a $5 admission per person and depending upon where you park an additional $5, but since this includes the festival and a very good fireworks display the price is reasonable. We, however, were able to get in for free and VIP park since our trainers live in the park used for the festivities, which was a good thing.
When we arrived after our shift around 1pm, it was pretty crowded, but the footprint is nice and large for the event so that helped with not making it feel jam packed. Although it was hot that day, the park has tons of mature trees and the most crowded areas were in the shade.
Lee was starving when we arrived and we headed straight for the food. This was a big disappointment, mainly because the lines were very very very long and the vendors were pretty slow in getting the food out. Lee waited (and didn’t move at all) in a line for Thai food for over 10 minutes before giving up and getting a mediocre brat for $8. We are actually pretty spoiled when it comes to festival food as our former hometown of Keene had a huge festival each year and the local non-profits provided amazing and reasonably priced food. This was more of the food truck variety and largely it disappointed, although I did get some pretty good Italian Ice from one vendor.
The real draw are the lumberjack competitions and that is what I was really excited about. Unfortunately the layout was in full sun and the amphitheater setting (I am sure it is designed this way for safety) doesn’t allow for great views. I did get a few pictures with my long lens though and I have to say the crowd was really into it and several local favorites were competing which was nice to see. The biggest problem was the schedule was pretty haphazard, so unless you were willing to sit for the entire 4 hours and watch events, it wasn’t clear what event would be happening when. I really wanted to see log rolling, which wasn’t happening when we were there, but did get to see a few other events. Lee waited patiently up by a tree in the shade while I watched.
All in all, pretty good for a small town celebration and obviously some work and planning had gone into it. We only stayed for a couple hours though and then we headed back to the RV for some chill time. We went back around 9pm for the fireworks and our trainers came and got us in our new gator. It will be coming to our campground this week and we are all thrilled it has a roof for those rainy days. They showed us their special spot they watch the fireworks from and they were really good. I realized it’s been a couple of years since we have seen fireworks, and we both really enjoyed them. My pictures were better than expected, but Lee took some very nice video.
Afterwards, we stopped at Lower Launch. We weren’t sure what to expect, but there was only one car down there, with a couple sitting in lawn chairs fishing by moonlight. We drove around the parking lot to sweep our headlights everywhere to see if there was anyone else and give them a chance to pack up. They didn’t move at all, just glanced our way and went back to fishing. A quick “woop woop” on the siren and they immediately jumped up and put away their pole and took off. We cleaned the restroom, emptied the trash, and shut the gates (all by truck headlight and full moon, we really should have brought flashlights!) and we made it back to our RV by 11:30pm. Overall it was a nice day and I am glad we were able to help out some folks by working in the daytime and closing the gates at night. Plus, despite the late night I slept until 9am and woke up full of energy. I had been putting off a couple of special projects and after some coffee and breakfast jumped right in. I went through my books and put together a bag of books to donate to the local book store. I also went through all of my clothes and put together a bag to donate and pulled out all of the Tshirts I had been saving.
Since we went on the road I have wanted to make a T-shirt quilt from the places we have visited. Initially I thought I would do it myself, but after talking to a couple of my friends who are long time quilters and hearing about what it would require, I realized it was beyond my skill set. Luckily, my sister has a friend in South Carolina, Pollyanna Picnic Quilts, who makes these quilts and after I saw the one she did for my niece’s graduation I was pretty excited. I started laying T-shirts out on the bed and was texting Ruth to get additional information. Finally we got on the phone and talked through my options, because the amount of choice was all a bit overwhelming. I knew I could just send the shirts and let her determine the order, but I really wanted to do the layout myself and really needed to understand the construction process to figure out what would work. Ruth was great about talking it through with me and also said she would be in communication throughout the process, to make sure she was doing exactly what I wanted. I loved that!
I also got Lee to come help me, which really was a game changer. He is a creative person and thinks about patterns in different ways. He immediately started talking about all the different ways we could lay the T-shirts out, but because I am more visual he had to show me what he meant each time. So we spent a couple of hours moving T-Shirts around while I saw all of my different options. Seriously, how many husbands would do that? We tried it by color, pattern, size of logo etc. I knew I wanted to make sure the ones with stiff logos were at the bottom (don’t want to rest my arms at night on those) but we had to be careful that we didn’t have all of the same colors lumped together. I am pretty fond of blue and green so had much more of those colors than other ones. Finally, I settled on chronology of travels (which was what I originally wanted to do) but instead of going left to right, we went up and down which made the color distribution better and allowed for the ones with the stiff logos to be at the base of the quilt. We also measured the bed and determined that we wanted each square to be a uniform 14″ x 15″ and we needed a border of 18″ to make it long enough to hang over the bed. My head hurt when we were done, but I was very happy with it and now the shirts are all stacked nice and neat, I have made a quilt diagram to send her, and I think we will have something that looks good aesthetically and has meaning!!
Ruth has several other orders, so our quilt will take about two months to complete, but I told her I was fine with waiting. Plus her quoted price of $200 seems incredibly reasonable to me. Very excited about this and looking forward to seeing the finished project!! Now I just need to find time to get it all in the mail.
Thursday, our youngest daughter Kay came and we were both very excited to see her. As I have mentioned before, she is a Korean linguist in the Air Force and in August will be stationed in Korea for one year. Thankfully, she was able to find time to see us before she left and although it’s only one weekend we were very glad she was able to come. We have gone more than a year without seeing our other daughters, but there is something about her being in another country that makes it more challenging as a parent. Mentally you know you can’t just jump on a plane if you need to, well we could but it would be a lot more complicated, and it just makes the thought of separation much tougher. Plus it doesn’t help that she will be next door to a crazy person who keeps testing his missiles. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely proud of her and believe her skills could make a difference, but it’s hard as a parent to know your child will be so far away and in a potentially unsafe place.
And logistically the weekend is the worst possible time for us to schedule a visit. Thankfully she’s always been a low-maintenance kind of kid, and is very understanding of our crazy schedule. Things were even more complicated when our friend Rick came on Friday, but he was also very understanding. The weekends are just really tough and you can’t really plan anything throughout the day. I did try to squeeze renting a jet ski (something neither Kay nor I have ever done), but unfortunately the marina only had one that was operational and it needed intermediate level skill to rent. I did take her to the farmer’s market and the book store and Lee took her on a drive upriver, but mainly we just talked and she caught up on some much needed sleep. She did spend FRiday in Portland though, which we made work by dropping her at the train station in Clackamas and then picking her up off the bus in Estacada. She had a good time, even thought she was alone, and I really admire her independent spirit. That will certainly serve her well in life.
Rick, we didn’t get to see much at all over the weekend, because we were crazy busy. It was warm again and we had two major messes in two different bathrooms that required additional time to clean up. You know how I said my nose was getting desensitized? Well it just goes to show you that life has a way of proving you wrong. We are hoping the last couple of weeks are just an anomaly because of the holiday, but if these levels of mess continue on a regular basis we are both going to be pretty unhappy. Things happen on occasion and we get that’s part of the deal, but from Tuesday – Saturday we had four instances of messes all over the floor and one instance where someone tried to start a fire in one of the pit toilets. That goes beyond accidental and into intentional malice, which is quite a bit tougher to handle, especially since we are working so hard to keep these areas clean.
We did all get together finally for a pot luck our boss had on Sunday. Thankfully, he was fine with friends and kids coming, so we were able to attend and everyone got a chance to spend a little time with our daughter. It was fun and after we met, our fellow camphost who is nearer Kay’s age invited her over for a campfire and some talk, which was incredibly sweet of her. We worked until 9:30pm, spent a little bit of time with her, but then went to bed because I had to get up at 5:00am.
Monday, Kay flew out and thankfully Lee was able to change his schedule to take her to the airport. I was in the campground, so stayed behind, but it’s probably for the best. I’m not great at saying goodbye, especially when I know I won’t see the person for awhile. The last thing a 21 year old wants is her mother bursting into tears at the airport. I’m really, really proud of her though and I will be focusing on that, plus I made $21.30 recycling this week, so that’s good. To celebrate I bought myself some Oregon Black Cherry Tillamook Ice cream.
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