Friday, August 24, 2018

Floatin' Down Ugly River

A big pack of us drove out to Garrisons River Resort near Steelville, Missouri to do a little campin' and a little floatin'. I'm not going to lie, things got pretty trashy out there.




The night of our arrival they had a little karaoke session under a pavillion in the dark.


Some of the yokels were really good at singing. Suspiciously good.


Something you'll learn about me out in real America is that I really like to burn things.


Playing bags by the campfire has a certain romance to it.


The harsh light of day reminded us that we were in real America. It was time to hit the river, pound some beers, and let our buttcracks hang out.




I was a bit confused because in years past the river was so full of rafts that it was hard to navigate. This year there were like 7 total rafts on the whole river. I guess we went kind of late in the season or something.


Stuart brought a box of aviators that completed my nautical camo/state fair lottery hat ensemble.




Everyone was in high spirits. Like the opening scene of a horror movie.




The free beer flowed like milk.




Half of the fun of floats trips is arguing when to stop the raft, someone being left behind, them yelling/crying, and criticizing each-other's rowing techniques. You just can't have this brand of fun on land.




Things got sexier and sexier. People were jumping into the river not because of the sun but because their minds had gotten overheated.






There was a rope swing. There's always a rope swing.




I did not jump from a tree branch into whatever pokey dangers were lurking in the muddy water. I instead jumped on the opportunity to take more pictures of myself.


This seems like a picture of us leaving several people to die. Fun fact: Wikipedia says that the Meramec River's name likely means 'the river of ugly fishes' or 'ugly water' in Algonquian. That feels right.


I seem to have been legally deceased for an hour or two.


You never know when you might wake up from your nap real thirsty. Best to keep a beer handy.


I guess at some point there were more people dead than alive. We were essentially shipwreck victims waiting for rescue by the time we got to the end.


A highlight of going on float trips in rural Missouri is the opportunity to ride on a school bus that dates back to prohibition.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial State Fair

We went to the Illinois State Fair, as is my people's custom.










You know I had to say hi to my buds at the Bud Tent.


Everyone there was very buddy-buddy.


We had pork sandwiches at the Illinois Pork Producers tent, as the heavens command that we do every year.


It's funny when I lived in Springfield it seemed like a decent sized city, but after several years of life on the mean streets of St. Louis coming back here can feel like a visit to Mayberry.












Another of the sacred customs of my people is a visit to the Illinois Lottery tent. There's usually some kind of promotion, for example if you buy $10 worth of lottery tickets you get a free t-shirt or something. This year they stepped it up a notch. Someone must have told a lotto manager that the cool kids prefer experiences over objects, because this time when you bought a lotto ticket they gave you like a prize ticket that you had to walk to the opposite end of the fairgrounds to redeem.

There was much lamentation and gnashing of teeth on our walk to the other lottery tent. "Why are they doing this to us?! We just want a keychain!"


Well one of the prizes was a virtual reality experience. You could pick a few different little games. I went with space rollercoaster. I haven't used these VR headsets too many times yet so this was actually kind of fun.


Even more fun that doing it though was making my parents do it.


Lydia had so much fun she insisted we grab some swag and support the Illinois Lottery through the remainder of our fair-going experience.






There was much scandal when the butter cow misspelled "bicentennial" on Illinois' 200th birthday. This is why cows deserve to be eaten, they can't spell worth a damn.






















Regardless of what we actually do or see at the fair the best part of all is the smug satisfaction of knowing that our state fair is far superior than that southern Illinois imposter state fair. Low energy!