Monday, March 5, 2012

Klondike Days

This weekend was Klondike Days in Eagle River. It's a huge event with all these mini competitions in things I'd never heard of PLUS touristy stuff to go see and do! Even the entire gym floor of the high school was covered in educational things to check out and craft booths.

Lucky for us Michelle, a great family friend who blogs over here, was responsible for the dog sled rides this year! Since it's quite a ways back to her house she and some of her family stayed with us! Since G and her son are good friends it work out really well. Michelle left two older boys in charge of the littlest two at home which honestly is just another endorsement for big families in my book!

Klondike Days is a bit pricey as far as festivals go so we decided to only go Sunday morning. Some years the place is packed with people and I've learned that that's not really how our family likes to participate in life. Thankfully our friend Mark agreed and hung out with us on Sunday.

First we saw some amazing chainsaw sculptures but I was seriously so amazed I didn't take a single photo. Can you believe that!? Oh well next year.

Then we found the dog pull.

See that guys hat!? That's pretty much what everyone was wearing. Even the kids. I saw hats made of all sorts of dead animals. One kid had on a skunk hat with match skunk... um... leg warmers? Coverings for his lower legs. Most of the hats still had legs attached. It was very interesting.

After stopping to chat with Michelle and clan we found horse rides. I asked G if he wanted to try it and he said sure. 

Fi also wanted to ride a horse because honestly she'd love me more if we'd just buy her a farm and get some horses and sled dogs. Really. I think those two animals are part of her love language. 

There was a whole area of historical stuff, teepees where people were living for the weekend, info on logging camps and early settlers to the area (meaning loggers) but my kids weren't real interested in that and we had one sick person in our party so we skipped it and checked out a lumber jack competition.

Forgive me but I had no clue what was going on and the people around me were very focused on who was doing what so I didn't take a picture. I was just so confused and couldn't even tell who was competing and for what. 

When we left though I figured out where people were buying those fur items! I even found the one I'd wear.

Sadly he was $350. And while I would have worn him *all the time* that's a bit much for a souvenir. So I left him and kept walking.

Finally we got to something I had seen before! A horse pull! The logs were pulled into place by a huge tractor and each log had its weight clearly marked. Three men guided the horses into place. One jumped up in the seat and the other two got into place to click a connector to a ring on the sled. The horses were antsy going around to the sled but once in place they became VERY excited.

As soon as the two metal pieces clicked the horses dug in and started pulling! And this sled had over 1400 lbs. on it! 

After seeing all this and smelling fair foods we walked to the high school to get lunch. This was by the doors, and I hate that it didn't have the snow around it cleared to create a dark background. 

Inside we ate Buffalo burgers (they were out of Elk) and brats and of course G ate a hot dog. Then we decided to check out what was going on in the gym. We found a historical settlement where a woman with a thick eastern european accent was removing hair from a skin to make clothing. 

There was another red-haired man in skins making a fishing net or something... we didn't get close enough to ask because my kids were both a little wigged out by the hair removal demonstration. I was a little surprised at all the white people in the reenactment areas but then I remembered I don't live in Tennessee anymore. Duh. 

Our bellies full we went back to Michelle's dog sled area to get in two dogsled rides and pick up her son to bring home with us for a few hours. G went first and if you can't tell this is his "I love this!" face.

Next was Fi who told me afterwards, "That's it. This is what I want to do with my life." Which is scary because it's not cheap. At least we know someone to send her to hang out with!

Before we left Michelle's son and G rode once together. Her son has a child sized sled that he can attach a dog or a few dogs to but we've had so little snow he hasn't been able to really ride this season! They enjoyed it.

As we walked back past her dogs I had to take this cute photo. Her dogs are so sweet and loving and with just a bit of hay can sneak in a quick nap. I can't keep all their names strait just yet but I want to say this one is Cedric? Oh that's probably completely wrong. How embarrassing. Anyway, sweet dogs.

For our final adventure we rode the school bus that was being used to deliver people to their cars. This is a big deal when you're home schooled!

It was a fantastic day and a fantastic weekend getting to hang with the Hogan family. I really want to do this again next year but maybe take advantage of the Friday event for school children and then return with the family. We didn't this year because we had a little illness last week.

And on a completely unrelated note: I know I have a lot of Tennessee area people who read this blog. I hope all of you stayed safe last week and didn't encounter too much damage from the tornados. It was amazing... TN got tornados and crazy warm weather and WI got 2 feet of snow in just a few hours.

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