Friday, August 2, 2013

A Pageant of Steam in Berryville

Saturday was a cooler day than previous weekends with low humidity, thankfully, as Rob and I were going to the Gas and Steam Engine Show in Berryville. It was our first time here and I wondered if it would be a small affair, but was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of activity. Once out of the car, we could see there were steam engines, tractors,trucks, stalls and an auction in full swing.
There were some great old trucks on display, mainly Macks, but all beautifully restored and gleaming. But before we'd spent too long here we were alerted by the loud rumbling and whistles as the steam engines readied for the parade.

The noise was deafening and I only managed to video the last few blasts and screams from the whistles but it was wonderful to stand in the middle of the action and have these huge old monsters shudder and roll past. We laughed at a mother holding her small child who slept through the whole racket, obviously been raised with these engines.The tractors lined up after them and this lovely old chap above was keeping an eye on everything. He has been doing this for years judging by the numerous pins on his cap.
There were some strange items for sale including rail lamps, a water pump, battered arrows and a Laurel mug, which looked very lonely without Hardy. Old antique farm and household equipment could be found here along with a few crafts and toys. We were impressed with the selection of stuff to browse through.
The clown in a bucket creeped me out a bit, I'd be surprised if anyone would buy him. A few tables were covered with what looked like junk, lots of bits and pieces, pins, coins, broken jewelry. I was stumped at what could be appealing here but there were plenty of folks rummaging through it.
I sat on a few tractors, the blue Ford was a draw prize. Would be a long drive home if I'd won it.
Rob reckoned this huge old engine had come from a stone quarry or similar, it was maybe used for grinding stones. It was enormous and dwarfed the trucks parked next to it.
The steam engines rumbled around the grounds churning up the dirt roads. They were so slow to approach that nobody felt intimidated as they passed. I loved the smell of burning coal that emitted from them.
Even tractor drivers have to stop for ice cream at some point!
The kids' version of a Tractor Pull.
Every now and then someone would pass by in an odd looking vehicle, something adapted for the road using bits and pieces found in shed and barns.
A guy called Kevin Black was the resident artist sculpting logs into works of art using a chain saw. I fell in love with a very cute bear who had the sweetest expression. I was delighted when Rob bought him for my birthday present and we called him Berri. He's been waterproofed for outdoor weather but not the log part below him, so I'm spraying that before he goes outside.
We left the show after a few hours having really enjoyed it. I think this show is better than the one near Orange as far as having more to look at. The location was better too, it was lovely to be able to walk around with plenty of trees shading us rather than out in a big open field. Even the tables and chairs near the food vendors had been under cover. A really well planned event and I'll definitely return next year.
We drove back to Meadow House with dark skies threatening an oncoming storm but had to stop at Bears Ice Cream in Marshall. I stocked up with a bag of fresh peaches and the hugest cantaloupe melon I'd ever seen from the local produce stall there. My ice cream had fresh peach topping with peanut butter cups crumbled over a scoop of vanilla. I think Rob had chocolate fudge sauce over vanilla but I was enjoying mine so much I didn't really notice! Yum!

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