Thursday, August 6, 2015

Graand Kinetic Challenge

Jasper's most favorite vehicle, a fabulous Cheshire Cat.
Every summer, Corvallis is host to da Vinci Days, a celebration of art and inventions. The signature event has been the Graand Kinetic Challenge, a 4-part contest of human-powered vehicles.  There is a pageant in which contestants show off their designs, decorations, costumes and team songs. There is a road race and sand dune climb.  There is a mud bog challenge. And the final event is a river race on the Willamette River. We attended the Mud Bog Challenge, in which contestants did their very best to make it across a treacherous man-made 100' mud bog which was surprisingly deep.  Two of the vehicles simply didn't make it.  Some needed a push or some other slight rule breaking, which was easily remedied by giving a judge a very ostentatious "bribe". Teams handed out trading cards with pictures of their vehicles, candy, flags, etc. and solicited votes for the People's Choice award.  After the race was over, everyone was invited to come play in the mud! The whole event was lots of fun.  In October there will be another chance to catch many of these vehicles as they compete in the Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Sculpture Race.  The 2015 theme of the Port Townsend race is "It's a bug's world after all", which accounts for the large number of insect themed vehicles in the Corvallis race.
Just in case you don't recognize this animal, it's a sea slug!
Jasper asked one of the drivers of the Cheshire cat sculpture for a trading card to remember his favorite vehicle. He didn't have any left. So he generously presented Jasper with a very muddy copy of Walter the Farting Dog, a masterpiece of English literature if ever there was one! (We happen to have dear friends who named their dog for this legendary character. Let's just say they had their reasons! So that was doubly wonderful.) He actually autographed the book for Jasper. In mud, of course!
Afterwards, the mud wading began! Don't tell me it doesn't look tempting...

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