Did you know that today is National Get Outdoors Day? The trail club did its thing last weekend for National Trails Day, so I didn't have anything to do with organizing this event. However, I was asked to be one of the presenters at the event put on by Lake County (one county east of me). They were also celebrating the opening of this brand new township park.
Speaking as one who understands how much work it takes to stage these kinds of events let me say they they really outdid themselves. I'm not sure I can even name all the "stuff" they had (but I'll try!). There was a big fire truck, and fire safety display. Great Lakes Energy brought a really great safety program. The kids loved it when the men set sticks on fire from the wires; and they also got the lesson!
There was a Sheriff's Dept. safety program about using ORVs and water safety. The Dog Mushers Assoc had dogs and sleds there, but it was too hot for the dogs to run, so they just got a lot of petting. Of course there was a pavilion with hot dogs and other munchies. There was an archery range where even kids could try the sport with supervision.
The Forest Service brought Smokey the Bear for picture ops. It was for the kids, right? OK, but who could resist?
The Forest Service also brought fire safety info (with Smokey, of course). Oh, yes, and I gave two programs. That's why I was so busy last night. I hadn't made the program digital that I used to use (before I finished hiking the North Country Trail). So that needed to happen, and of course it took forever. That's what kept me so busy last night. I went to bed late, and couldn't sleep, and then got up early. So I'm off to bed soon!
So between and after my programs I visited all the displays. The only one I hadn't been to yet was the horse-drawn wagon ride. I was hot and tired, and I almost didn't go. Sure glad I did! Turned out I knew the horse's owner!
He was letting kids ride in the driver's seat and help drive, but only when a parent was there. The load of kids I went with didn't have any with a parent present, so I got to sit up front and he let me drive! The horse's name is Mabel, and she's half American Standard and half Belgian. She's a solid horse, but more sleek than a full draft horse, with a nice smooth trot (yes, he had me trot her a bit!). You can see I'm not holding the reins while taking the picture, but that's a good thing.
I think I got to drive a horse once as a kid, but never for so long. He let me drive her almost the whole loop. Great experience!
Finally, I have a photo that needs a caption. Put yours in the comments! I'll post them another day.
Great event! And they are talking about having me back next year.
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