As always, da Vinci Days was a ton of fun this year. As well as we sell it to our friends, none of them made it to Corvallis to check it out. But it was also nice to be able to just do things at our own pace.
This year, the festival opened with Pink Martini. I'm pretty sure I have all of their stuff, but I rarely listen at home. It's a little on the mellow side for me to listen to on a daily basis. But their performance was great. Kudos to the sound guy! The sound was flawless, and for a big outdoor performance we were as impressed by that as we were by the band. And since we only paid $15 each for admission for the entire weekend, we felt like we'd gotten what we'd paid for by the end of their performance on Friday. Money well spent. Of course we planned badly, and instead of paying in advance, or even arriving early, we waited until the last minute and then had to stand in the slowest line. We were SO LUCKY that George (another local MTB guy) noticed us and waved us over to share some space on the blanket he was sharing with a couple of friends.
Michelle had invited me to take part in the Canine Frisbee Competition on Saturday morning. Demi would have loved it. She wouldn't have even attempted to catch the Frisbee, but she'd have gone nuts for the crowd. So many possibilities for treats! Clearly not a good candidate for the competition though. But I did manage to snap some decent pics of Michelle and her dog (whose name I heard a dozen times, and I've already forgotten).
After grabbing a bite to eat, watching the 'parade', and generally wandering about the festival a bit, we rode our bikes up to the Sand Trap portion of the Kinetic Sculpture Race. I've never bothered to see that section. I assumed it wouldn't be as interesting as the Mud Bog. Gregg would still agree with that analysis, but I actually found it more interesting. It's very, very, very slow ... but with the possibility of serious injury!!! Cool. There were no injuries of course, but there was a sweet fishtail that for a moment looked like it might be spectacular. And there was one vehicle that absolutely wouldn't have made the sharp turn if they hadn't had reverse. Nobody puts reverse in these things.
We did make it to the festival later that night for the final performance of Stairway Denied, but we ended going home early, because we're old and tired and just can't party all night long like we used to. We did get out in the morning to go down to the Mud Bog, which was cool as ever. We were sitting close enough to the action that we both got a little mud flung on us. It's really amazing that some of these vehicles can make it through all the obstacles (Sand Trap, Mud Bog, and floating the Willamette River), and still look pretty! There's a lot of art and a lot of engineering that goes into these things.