Monday, October 5, 2015

road trip!

This past weekend was the 27th annual Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival in Tunbridge, Vermont. Friends were competing, and I was invited to ride along for the 2.5-hour trip up and back on Sunday. Being a passenger has always been a treat for me; a driving commuter for decades. And although rain had been predicted for the weekend, it was blue skies and sunshine all the way. Lovely! Sitting back, watching the scenery, and nattering away to the driver who, like me, doesn't ordinarily spend a lot of time socializing because there is always some task or chore that needs doing. Chatting for hours without the nagging feeling that something else should be happening instead is quite a luxury.

I even added a few rows to my latest KAL sock:

As unbelievable as it may sound, this journey was my biggest trip to date of 2015: five hours in a vehicle and 4.5 hours at an event. I won't describe the collection of cushions and props I brought along, but it's a fact that I've spent weeks traveling in other countries with a single backpack containing less than I now apparently need to cross the road.

Oh well. At least I do occasionally cross the road! :)

New England Asters in Vermont!
Much more exotic than in Massachusetts!
Okay, not really. But always a favorite :)

Remember last year, when I went to the same fair - it's also the Cashmere Goat Association show - and brought my camera but no memory chip? And I apologized because I could post no pictures from the fair?

Well, that was not about to happen THIS year! No no no!

This year, I brought the new camera (for it's final Field Test), two fully-charged batteries, and two chips. HA!

We arrived at the fair at noon, and I headed straight for the Integrated Parasite Control & FAMACHA© Training Workshop, which began only moments later. For four years I've been looking for a FAMACHA training class close to home; this was like a gift landing at my feet. The class was taught by Dr Katherine Petersson from the University of Rhode Island and lasted for four hours. Yes, that's right. Four hours of thinking hard about gastrointestinal worms. It was excellent.

The organizers provided snacks on a table at the back of the classroom, and invited participants to help themselves at any time during the presentation. I was grateful for a "polite" excuse to stand up and move around at frequent intervals. I hope the other participants didn't think I was snarfing up snacks every time I got to my feet, but it was a chance I was willing to take.  ;)

Now, if you noticed the timeframe, you will not be surprised to hear that when the workshop ended and I headed out of the cold classroom and into the gorgeous Autumn sunshine, all the fair vendors were packing up their tents.

Yes, I went to a fiber fair and a cashmere goat show, and spent the entire time in a cold, dark classroom. When I headed for the cashmere goat area, exhibitors were sweeping out the now-empty rented stalls. Most goats were already loaded to leave.

So I hastily took the first - and last - goat picture of the day: 

One of my friends' bucks, looking out the truck window. Photographed through the reflection of trees and blue sky.

You can't say I never take you anywhere on this blog.

Can you?


Shall we try again next year?



  1. Ha! That's hilarious! I'm glad you had a good and productive time. Maybe next year the workshop will have a show and tell outdoor section.

  2. Sounds like a great adventure! I would love to go to something like that!

  3. I shoulda known you wouldn't do the conventional visit, actually looking at animals and suchlike! But you had a very profitable day anyway! So glad you made it there. I had already checked what on earth this famacha deal was! and realized you do have to keep up with this sort of info for your herd. A lot more to this life than you let on!

    1. Hmm, yes. I suppose it would surprise most non-livestock-raising people to see how much of my life is related to poop!

  4. Lol, at least the workshop was excellent and there is always the next year.

    1. Yes, no regrets! I'm looking at it as attending a workshop that happened to be held on a fairgrounds.

  5. Big smile! I actually love the goat photo. I kept trying to figure out how you did it before I read the text. Very beautiful!

  6. Hours cooped in up a car. Hours cooped up in a classroom. Yep! You're crazy! Ha! They should have done a 30 minute intermission so you could have gotten out there for just a little bit.

    1. There was one 10-minutes break - thank goodness! - and you can probably imagine how people utilized that opportunity.

  7. Perhaps you should have handed your camera over to your friends? At least they could have taken pictures so you would know what you missed? Just a thought for next year....

    1. They had a camera :) But they were showing goats, and I don't know if they managed to take any pictures or if they left the goat area to see the rest of the fair.

  8. Too funny ... well, you can't do anything BUT laugh at this adventure (misadventure?) can you? At least you got all the ins and outs of worms ;) I don't think I'd be able to enjoy eating snacks through such a seminar. And look ... you got an amazing abstract photo of the prize buck!

  9. My hat is off to you...4 hours sounds like a LOT even on a subject that has much to do with animals. The VT show is one of the oldest in the country with, I believe, the MSWF being the oldest. I've actually taught at MSWF; fun!


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