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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Home again to meet new friends

Today we came home from Mt. St. Helens in the late morning. Fortunately the weather was dry and the trip went fast. We are still trying to figure out how the trip up took about two hours and the trip back took slightly over one hour. Weird! Maybe time travel?

This afternoon we drove down to Portland to pick up Ron and Alice. Alice, Ali for short, has a blog and you can read it by following the link on the right to "Ali's Page."

Anyway, they are from the Blaine, WA area and have recently embarked on a new adventure working the carnival circuit in the Washington and Oregon areas. The company they work for is call Funtastic and they provide the rides, games, and food for many small and large carnivals in the two states. There are actually three teams of carnies (or units), a red team, a white team, and a blue team. Ron and Ali are on the blue team. For the small shows, each team has its own schedule of places to setup, operate, then tear down. But for big shows, like the Portland Rose Festival, Oregon State Fair, etc., all three teams come together and work as one. Right now they are doing the Rose Festival and Tuesday it is closed, so they get a day off.

They travel from place to place, or to use carnie lingo, from boneyard to boneyard (boneyards are where they stay) in a 1986 motorhome. Some other carnies also have RVs and many live in "condos." Condos are 5x6 rooms on the back of semi trailers. Usually there are 8 or so per trailer with two shower units. Those carnies in condos pay $55 per week for lodging. It is an interesting lifestyle and Ron and Ali were full of amusing stories.

They came over and we talked while they used our washer and dryer for laundry. Then we went to Olive Garden for dinner and then took them back to their RV.

All and all a very interesting and rewarding day.

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