The Big E, corndogs, fried Oreos, llamas, Holsteins, and driving in the mud

Fried Oreos at 'The Big E' fair in W Springfield, Mass.

Yesterday my family went to “The Big E”, which is the largest fair in the Northeast. It is really big – it is on 175 acres in West Springfield, Massachusetts. “The Big E” has something that will interest everyone. They are famous for “fair food” (like the hamburger with a doughnut as a bun, Fried butter, fried Kool-Aid) which is not really good for you – but they have plenty of good food, too – we had a little of both. Every year I have a corndog (family traditions are very important).

'The Big E' fair in W Springfield, MA -after you click the pic, wait - there are more views

The Big E is big on agriculture – I think it is good for “city folk” to see things you do not see everyday – sheep (make sure that you touch them – reminds me of a wool coat), goats, llama, alpaca, draft horses, cows, horse-jumping competitions, giant pumpkin and squash weigh-off, horse pulling competition, working sheepdog demonstrations, the list goes on and on…… It was not in the Agriculture section, but one of our favorite things was a bear exhibit – about five bears were in an enclosure with two of their trainers – one was sleeping using a trainer as a pillow and another bear who also wanted attention was pulling at the man’s sleeve.

OK, OK, the mud was not this bad

It rained yesterday, which made it a perfect day to go – fewer people, much shorter lines, no hot weather, and no dust. Usually I try not to boast, but when we were leaving I was pretty proud of how I maneuvered the car to avoid getting stuck in the mud. I drove across the grass parking field trying to find a clear path, but every exit lane had at least 100 feet of mud – I ended up going across the mudfields at a 90 degree angle, which meant going through only 30 feet of mud instead of driving through the full length of the mudfields. For me, the key thing is to get your speed up before you hit the mud.  I grew up in the town of Okeechobee in south Florida, which had daily summer rains and plenty of dirt roads, so you could get plenty of practice driving in mud.

What has this got to do with motorcycles? Almost nothing – HD did have a display – they had about 6 bikes. I usually don’t look at things that I can’t afford, but from a distance I could see one blacked-out model that caught my eye.

2011 HD XR1200X Sportster

On the way up to Massachusetts, we passed about 10 bikes riding together in the rain – they must have been in a club – looked like big Kawasaki Concours touring bikes. On the way home a lone Harley rider passed us doing about 75 mph in the rain – looked like a newer Electra Glide – he seemed not to be bothered at all by the rain.     –Les S.

Baked Potato from the Maine state building at 'The Big E' in West Springfield, MA

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