Rabbit Hash Yocals

This is the third time I’ve written this post today.  WordPress keeps crashing and losing my drafts.  The content below has come from a place of increasing anger, and I’m not even sure it makes sense.  Here’s what I remember:

The Folksiders’ art market pulled up their Cincinnati stakes and took their wares down to Rabbit Hash, Kentucky in June.  Rabbit Hash is known equally well, I think, for both its name and for electing dogs as mayors.  It is an unapologetically tiny town with a busy general store, and it sits directly across the Ohio River from the gambling boats in Rising Sun, Indiana.  I’ve driven past the town several times but had never stopped in – I didn’t want to stick out too badly as a tourist while the residents were trying to go about their business.  So, the art market gave me a good reason to be in the town and blend in with the other yuppies.

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There are no parking lots in Rabbit Hash and you are left to your own devices to interpret the seriousness of the homeowners’ No Parking and Absolutely No Parking signs, as you roll your car tires over the edge of the pavement to park in the grass below, between the river and the main road.  If a really big event is going on they will barricade their main road and require visitors to park outside of town in any gravel and grass you can find off the sides of the two lane roads that lead in.  If you think you might do something embarrassing like get your Smart Car stuck, ask someone else to drive.

The Folksiders’ tagline is “think local, buy yocal” and lots of vendors were there.  The usual handmade jewelry and antique pickings were available, but also some great new stuff.

The usual:

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The new:

Since everyone needs a piece of Sasquatch lore in their home, we picked up a metal sculpture for our front yard from Oberaw Industries.  You can now document official Big Foot sightings when you come over to our place for dinner.  You’re welcome.

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That’s a snail made out of a turbo charger housing.  Get it?  Oberaw has a sense of humor.

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The general store is where the locals sat and watched us camera-toting, skinny jeans wearers from a safe distance.  I suspect this sort of porch sitting happens everyday, as it gives residents the opportunity to both keep an eye on things and also to survey their town proudly.  They’ve done a great job keeping Rabbit Hash on the map and it is well worth the 20 minute drive to spend some money in their general store.

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Paddlefest 2013

After years of driving over the bridge on the day of and noticing the thousand or so paddlers in the Ohio River for Paddlefest, this year I finally got my act together to join them.  Preparations began.  Paddlers were recruited.  Kayaks, paddles and PFD’s were located, transported, and scrubbed.  Breakfast was made.  Sunscreen was applied.  Brad, Husband, and I made the 8.2 mile trip in under two hours.  The day started off well with a sunrise that suggested how hot and muggy it would be:

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The crowd this year was awesome and full, but everyone had such individual paces that you did not feel crowded at all on the river.   This event shuts the river down to all commercial and motorized traffic (read as, “no barges”), so the float was downright relaxing with the 1.5 mile current.  My biggest concern was the mammoth catfish I can only imagine my paddle hit twice in a row early on, and that the monster followed me all the way down the river.  Hopefully I was hallucinating, but you never know.

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Pre-race organization left a bit to be desired, but everyone was hopped up on caffeine and granola so it went pretty smoothly (see above).  The collection of colorful folks and colorful boats was begging to be photographed properly, but I’m well aware my Nikon and water sports don’t mix.  At all.  I did decide to sacrifice my phone to the cause – I double bagged it and hoped for the best.  They had some event photographers running around and I can’t wait to see their official photos.

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The event organizers more than made up for any organizational shortcomings by having a ton of great volunteers on hand to help at every stage.  Enthusiastic volunteers helped us park, unload, and helped us push off (huge perk!) from the ramp at Coney Island.  Then, the football and basketball teams from Hughes highschool were getting their workouts in by helping us pull out and up the Public Landing – they were awesome.  The police and Coast Guard boats on the river were also friendly and even had the water cannon going for a victory arch at the finish line, in case you wanted to cool off (you can kinda-sorta see it under the Taylor Southgate bridge in the second to last photo). The bus shuttle back to our truck at Coney Island was pretty good, too, except for the claustrophobic lady who asked to share a seat with Brad.  You can’t win them all.

 

 

Sun Tea

Due to the quickly changing weather last weekend, this early-season sun tea turned out to be more like “partly cloudy tea,” but it was still delicious.  This is the only way I’ll make iced tea and I make a pitcher every weekend.

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The man who has everything

Dads are hard to shop for.  It doesn’t help when the birthday and Father’s Day fall so closely every year.  However, this year I had an inspiration: I marched myself down to Findlay Market (an excellent, traditional market experience in historic OTR) and bellied up to order at Colonel De’s counter.  A true bellying up is necessary because the shop has a prime spot right inside the main door, with a rather intimidating concrete step running the length of the counter.  This forces you to stare up hopefully at the staff and hope they acknowledge you while you stare wide eyed down the long row of mysterious jars, the smells confusing what few thoughts you had left after coming off of your inevitable waffle high, courtesy of Taste of Belgium half a row over.   This is not for the uninitiated.  Once you get a spot on the step and are on the level with the helpful folks on the other side of the counter, you have their undivided attention.  One especially lovely staff member created a customized tin for me, which included 20 fragrant, colorful, and no doubt delicious, grilling spices for my Dad.  She was not daunted by the line behind me and patiently and carefully assembled the spice jars and numbered and labeled them so they could be identified. Great gift, great product, great company.

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Dad presides over the grill every summer, and now he can do it with a gourmet flare.

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June 2013
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