Saturday, July 17, 2010

My First Da Vinci Days

For the first time in 4 years living here I finally was able to
check out the Da Vinci Days Art/Science festival in Corvallis. The weekend kicked off with several bands playing in the city park next to campus. Kevin and Alexa went early but Emily and I stayed home to get some food before heading over. We took our long boards over to the Co-Op to pick up the tickets for the weekend which were a reasonable $15. I’m sure the money went to a good cause somewhere. We then skated over to the park to hang out with our housemates. We saw a bunch of people we know and had a great time watching a fantastic Latin Band named Grupo-Fantasma. The park was filled with people and there were numerous concession stands set up with various local foods. Kevin and I grabbed a few
beers from the Claudfelter’s tent. The music was great and
once again I enjoyed the fact that there are no biting bugs in this town!

After the concert Emily and I followed Alexa and Kevin to the McMenemins downtown to meet up with Brad, and Tim & Lindsay who were back in town for a few days. Colin and the Aussie’s also showed up later for a few rounds. After catching up with Kevin’s friends for a bit we took off around midnight for home.

On Saturday Emily had Andrea’s wedding shower to go to so I was on my own. I decided to hang out with Kevin and Alexa for the day and go check out the rest of the Da Vinci Days festivities. I especially wanted to check out the Kinetic Sculpture race I’ve
always heard so much about. We rode our bikes down to the park to see all of the contraptions lined up ready for the race. It’s hard to explain what it is,
except that the machines are all self-powered and must go through a series of timed stages in the race from a mud bog, to a dune climb, to a road race, and then a race down the river. All of them must carry with them all the materials needed for each leg of the race. On saturday was the dune climb so Kevin, Alexa and I headed out to the fairgrounds to watch it. It was a pretty small sand dune set up but the thin wheels of some of the sculptures had trouble getting through the soft sand. It was a blast to watch
and the announcer for the event was actually really funny. We met up with Megan at the event
as well. After watching about 10 beautifully decorated sculptures make it up the dune it became to hot for us so we all grabbed our bikes and headed back to town to check out the science exhibits in the park. We walked around for a couple hours and Emily eventually met up with me. There were really cool displays on green energy, astronomy, art, landscaping, etc. I really like the bug zoo and was able to hold a really big walking-stick type bug and a Madagascan hissing cockroach! We also watched the geoscience booth blow up a garbage pale of water
in a “volcano eruption” display. They also had a wooden bed filled with corn starch and water to mimmic the compostion of the earth’s mantle. One of the cooler displays was an astronomy one with photos taken from town of space that were amazing! I even got to look through a special telescope at the sun in the middle of the day to see the solar flares and a “sun-spot” that looked like a speck of dust but was really the diameter of the earth!

After the booths started to close up Emily and I headed home for some food and to relax. We were going to head out later for more bands in the park but decided a nice relaxing evening at home together was better. Besides, I had to pack and get ready for a 7am departure with Evan to go climbing in the morning. I’m really glad I got to see Da Vinci Days. The combination of art and science was fantastic. Man, I sure love this town!

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