Saturday, July 21, 2007

da Vinci Days

This weekend finds me in the delightful Oregon town of
Corvallis for the annual da Vinci Days "The longest running
festival of it's kind: a celebration of art, science and technology." My favorite part of the festival so far has been the Canine Frisbee
Competition. The crowd favorite and the 3rd place winner was
a three legged wonder. The top three winners all resembled each
other and appeared to be of the Border Collie variety.

The next on my list of favorites was the main reason for the event - the Kinetic Sculptures. On Friday the Sculptures were previewed as the teams sang,
bribed and strutted their stuff before the judges and spectator.

On Saturday I watched the parade, road race and then the "tougher than it looks" Sand Dune Challenge. Some of the Sculptures seemed to climb the Sand Dune with ease, while others needed to be pushed or pulled, which wasn't legal.

Sunday brings the Mud Bog Competiton and then a cleansing race in the River.

These manned marvels are required to be maneuvered on the road, up the Sand Dune, in a Mud Bog and in the river, all under human power. Mast are pedaled like bicycles, but one two-wheeled contraption was propelled by turning the fat rear tire by the operators foot pushing or pulling on the big protuding tread things. The teams are allowed to do minor modifications just before a particular challenge, such as let air out of the tires before the Sand Dune climb, and adding flotation devices before the launching into the river.

Most have some sort of theme going. I liked the Pie Rat Sculpture (say it fast Pie Rat, Pie Rat Pirate) which was a cross between a Pirate type rat and a piece of pie.

Calling to late for an RV spot at the nearby fairgrounds, I decided to take my chances and drive around the beautiful little college town looking for a convenient parking spot on a quiet street. I lucked out and found a great spot next to a large grassy field, across the street from a city parking lot complete with garbage receptacles, something very important to wandering RVers.

To add to the enjoyment of the weekend, a fellow RV club member, Randy, was in town to enjoy the festivities. He vacated his original city street parking spot he found to join me on my street. We were only two blocks from the entrance to the main event area. We thought our friend Al might drive over from the coast to join us for the weekend, but he chose to stay at the coast.


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