It was August 22nd. Evacuations had been issued around the community of Troy, and the smoke was so thick, it obscured the 10,000 ft mountains that nestle Joseph, Oregon. Air quality being what it was, I hesitated to go, but needed to have some fun. My kids were off the hook at their mother’s, so it was just Me, Birdy, and her kids.
We showed up at the Nez Perce grounds at 10 am (the published opening time). It seemed like we were one of the first to arrive, and the volunteers were still setting things up. We got a program, bought our lunch tickets, and went to try the first mule ride. The wagon was a nice ride, looping around the grounds.
After that, we attended opening ceremonies. People were thanked, awarded, and stuff was announced, etc. Apparently, the logging show would be delayed, as participants were out on fires, and hadn’t made it back yet. This left us to kill time, and we found that they had a few activities available, but not really advertised/organized.
The kids were quite entertained by the bubbles, there was a coloring station, ‘rodeo/ladder’ golf, a smash the can activity, face painting, and a tug-o-war rope. Four of the six activities were setup & ran by the same couple. (The Bedards are rockstars!) There was a booth for silent auction, artifacts/displays, and the Forest Service.
It seemed like plenty of planning went into it, but execution and turnout was slightly lacking. Perhaps if they had a scavenger hunt/map/etc. to encourage kids/parents to do things, with a silly/cheap reward at the end, like a wooden badge w/burned on logo or something. Then we’d have a goal, or guidance. This would also be more successful with additional groups setting up booths. Maybe have some old-time camp games? While it was widely advertised, the location wasn’t emphasized much, and I mistakenly thought it would be held near the original site, WAY out of everyone’s way. Once I found out it was in Wallowa, I decided to go, perhaps others were fooled too?
Anyway, there was some nice live music, and we finally did get a logging show. They were short handed, but put on a fun display, showing some logging skills while mixing it up with humor. After that, we redeemed our tickets for a great catered lunch, with options for chicken or BBQ pork slider, salmon, and assorted salads!
On our way to find a seat, Princess developed a nose bleed. Leaping into action, Birdy set the baby down in the grass, and handed me her plate. I located those on a nearby bench, then consoled the toddler who was confused and therefore crying. We figured that was plenty of excitement, so after lunch we departed. While we had some fun, I’m not set on attending every year. Time will tell, I suppose.
Until next time, have some more eye candy!