Friday, September 16, 2005

we're off to see the wizard

To answer at least one person's question, Yes, the Bride and I went to the Benton County Fair on Wednesday night. And, No, we did not ride a single ride. It didn't help that there wasn't a ride that cost less than $2.00 a pop. They like to make you forget how much you're paying for rides by selling you tickets. It's a lot easier to hand over a little raffle-looking 'admit-one' ticket than $6.00 for your two kids to ride around in circles inside a creaky, greasy, metal caterpillar.

We spent most of our time looking at the animals that were there and trying (unsucessfully, I might add) to avoid the various types of shit that adorned much of the ground in that part of the fairgrounds.

We're off in just a couple of hours to camp and hike the Buffalo River once again. If you don't hear from me in a few days, dispatch a helicopter to bring our bodies back as we're planning to hike along a 440 foot bluff appropriately named "Big Bluff."

That reminds me of the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where Calvin derides the un-imaginative scientists who explained the origin of the universe and couldn't come up with a better name than "The Big Bang". Hobbes asks him, "what would you call it?"

"The Horrendous Space Kablooie," Calvin says.

"That would definitely be an improvement," says Hobbes.

Calvin replies, "almost anything would be."

So we'll be sure to take some pictures of the view of the Buffalo River from the top of Big Bluff and post some back here when we get back. We've only been to the Buffalo one time now, but I think it's already one of my favorite places to backpack. The Jacks River in NW Georgia would be right up there as well. And not too many views on the East Coast can beat Wiseman's View near Grandfather Mountain in NC.

In related news, the Benton County Fair recently completed a land swap with the Wal-Mart home office to move out of downtown Bentonville to a sizably larger plot on the edge of town. Becuase of some plans that are now in the open, we know that Wal-Mart is planning to build something on the old fair property that is just one block away from the edge of their gargantuan parking lot for the Home Office.

We're praying it's not another parking lot. And yes, the largest retailer in the world has no parking garages, instead, they spread all of their employees' cars across acres and acres of surface parking lots inside of the downtown Bentonville core. (Not to mention their affinity for building ugly sheet metal buildings in downtown for new offices). I'll share some more about this Fair/Wal-Mart thing some other time.

I digress. Have a good weekend.