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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mining Festival

Today, after we did our morning rounds, we decided to go back over to Douglas Island to the Mining Festival - it really wasn't much and didn't have a whole lot going on, but I guess when you are land locked anything is better than nothing. They had some mining competitions and had pony rides and a little carnival area for the kids. We didn't really understand a whole lot of the mining competitions but we asked questions and learned some things. For example, the picture is of a "hand mucking" competition. What is hand mucking you might ask - well, we asked to and this is what we were told: when the miners blast out a rock there is a lot of debris in the shaft and the miners have to go in and shovel it out by hand - this is called "mucking" out the mine. Now in real life they will have boulders along with the rubble - but in the competition they don't. What the guys (and girls) had to do was shovel this gravel into the yellow car you see and then move it over to the tire. The person that did it in the shortest amount of time was the winner - the guy we saw did it in 1.03 seconds - and the man next to us counted how many shovels of gravel he did - 52 shovels of gravel in 1 minute and .03 seconds - not too shabby. Anyway, that was the highlight of the mining festival. (Okay, I told you there wasn't a lot to do here!)

As we were walking around they had one area with construction equipment - you know those back hoes that they use on the side of the road to dig up stuff - well, they had the smaller versions and kids were competing to see who could move a bar from one side of the arena to the other and place it in a containier. Now, I'm talking about little kids - 8 or 9 years old running these back hoes. I guess they start them young in Alaska.

We did go over to the big tent where they had food vendors (we did buy some fresh mini donuts in cinnamon and brown sugar - they were okay, but we didn't eat them all) as well as booths for the candidates that are running for senate and Lt. Governor as well as Governor. We saw "Mrs. Governor" as Dan calls her - Sandy Parnell - and we talked to her again. Dan was disappointed that she didn't remember us from Thursday night, but I told him that she was seen hundreds of people since Thursday - and why should she remember us. There was also booths set up on the "Build the Road" campaign and for another bridge over from Douglas Island. Anyway, it was interesting and we learned something.

I would like to go to the Lumberjack competition tomorrow - but we have something even better to do - WHALE WATCHING!!!! I am really looking forward to this trip. I will make sure my camera battery is fully charged and I have cleared the memory on my SD cards so I will have plenty of room for pictures. The weather is suppose to be pretty much like it was today - passing rain showers, but not a complete rain out like we had earlier in the week. We will just have to make sure and dress warm - it can get a little chilly out on the water. Anyway, I am really excited and I'll be sure to have pictures for you tomorrow. (Who knows, we might get back in from Whale Watching in time to go out and see some of the lumberjack competition - if not, oh well.)

Meals today consisted of bacon, eggs, and biscuits for breakfast - then for lunch, I took the left over country ribs and cut the meat off them to make BBQ sandwiches along with the left over potato salad. Then for dinner we had a ham slice that Dan fixed on the grill with fresh pineapple slices, and I fixed black eye peas w/ham hock, along with some macaroni and cheese. It seems like we are eating better - and we are certainly eating at home since there is really no place to eat out and even if you could find somewhere it is WAY too expensive. So, we just eat at home. No big deal.

We have done our evening rounds for today - Dan is in the shower and I'm going to finish this up and go read. I hope that you are having a good weekend where ever you are. Oh, by the way
on the way home from the Mining Festival we went by the Fish Hatchery. This sculpture was in front of the building and I thought you might like to see it. (That is one thing - they have wonderful sculptures at different places all around the town.) Well, you guys take care and -------------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

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