Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ach! We be flingin' heavy things!

This past weekend we paid a visit to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

There were a few people there.

In fact, there were so many people there, you have to park in a nearby town and they bus you up to the top of the mountain. You could only park on the mountain if you were camping there, and THOUSANDS of people had decided to do so, because there were thousands of tents. And even a few RVs!

Riding a schoolbus up a windy gravel road full of switchbacks? Slightly harrowing.

It was in a gorgeous location though, and the mountains in the background made it feel authentic.

We saw lots of stuff! Katie found out some about her family clan, and they even gave her a free pin.

Also, just so you know, she finished her dress in time to be able to wear it that day. Didn't it turn out nice?

We saw sheep herding, and yes, there was also yarn for sale but I am An Oak and didn't buy any. (Thank you, applause not necessary.)

There were highland dancing competitions:

We particularly enjoyed the heavy athletics, including the hammer throw:

Did I mention the hammer weighs about 50 lbs?

The guy who won this threw it so far that it was coming close to the highland dancing tents. Which would've made for an interesting new sport: Highland Hammer Dodge And McScream-a-thon.

Our favorite though (and probably the hands down favorite of the entire crowd) was the caber toss. This is where a humongous dude, about the size of an industrial refrigerator, picks up and throws a telephone pole end over end.

No really.

These guys were HUGE.

I liked this picture, even though it was a complete accident - I was so focused on the guy to the right, picking up the caber, that I didn't notice the bagpiper had walked into frame. Hey - I'll take it!

This dapper gentleman is the chief of his clan (don't ask me which one - I didn't notice). You can tell because he has 3 feathers in his cap. I met my clan's chief (at the national level) as well. Go Clan McIntosh!

Of course, we had to partake of the oh-so-healthy Scottish food (this is how those refrigerator guys get so big): meat pasties (pronounced paast-ees, not paste-ees like a burlesque dancer, and not pastries, like in France). Pasties are essentially dough, either of the shortbread or puff pastry varieties, stuffed with seasoned meat, potatoes, peas, and gravy. They are GOOD. Noel & Katie had chicken ones, I had beef. Then for dessert, we had a scone with strawberries & cream on top.

Note that no photographs of food were taken. This is because I was busy stuffing my face. Some things will not be sacrificed for journalistic integrity. :)

We even had a celebrity sighting. Heh. Love the tartan vest.

Ach! That twere a fun day!

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