Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Glorious Fourth

The Fourth of July fell on the Wednesday of our trip.  Dad, Terri, and Amy had been to Lake City's Fourth of July celebration once before when they had been dropping her off for camp, and they thought it was quite a display of small-town community, which was one of the reasons we decided to book our trip over the holiday. 

As usual, when we woke up, nature was scampering across the deck outside our room.  At first glance these squirrels are really cute - they are a lot smaller than the ones we have at home, and it can take a second to figure out if you are looking at a squirrel or a chipmunk.  This squirrel was on our deck almost every morning.  Like I said, they look really cute at first:

But then they do this:

And then they go back to looking cute, but it's just not quite the same as before:

We got our breakfast and made a quick departure to town in order to get a good spot for the parade, but we had to pause as we passed the pond for a quick snapshot.  There wasn't a breath of wind at the moment, and it was quite lovely:

We got into town, and after a few moments where I was sure Dad would be pulled over for reckless driving (how about here - swerves left  - or here! - swerves right) we found a nice lot for sale and pulled into it, followed by Amy and Brad, and a host of other Camp Redcloud guests.  One of the neatest things we saw was that the citizens of Lake City had all gone and set their lawn chairs alongside the road either early in the morning, or even the night before (one local said), and that no one bothered the chairs that were set out.  I know that lots of people in our home town get out early to stake a spot for the parade, but it's so crowded, I would never leave the spot or chairs unsupervised - they would be gone in a New York minute! 

So now we had our prime location, and it was time to do a little exploring.  We walked around the town square to see what was happening before we headed back to our spot.  Pretty soon we saw the town crier coming down the road, carrying a copy of the "newly signed" Declaration of Independence.  He announced the news every 50 to 100 feet and led the crowd in rousing cheers of "Down with the Crown!" 

Following the town crier came the parade: 

It wasn't a terribly long parade, but it had lots of fun floats.  Camp Redcloud had a group of horses in the parade, as well as a climbing wall on a trailer that staffers were rappelling down.  There was a knight and a princess on horseback, a brass band playing patriotic tunes, and lots of decorated vehicles, including one decked out with the OU logo and colors.  The participants threw lots of candy - each of the four kids went home with a bag full, and Granddaddy even got some beef jerky from a producer in Texas who had a float and tossed his jerky into the crowd.  It was good stuff, too! 

After the parade we headed back to the town square where they presented the colors and began a long itinerary of sack races, shoe flings, and the like. 

We took a break for lunch at one of the restaurants and then headed over to an old-timey soda shop, the San Juan Soda Shop, for some rather delicious ice cream.  While we were eating our ice cream it began to rain a little bit, so the shop quickly became crowded.  Once we finished our ice cream the ladies handed off the kids to the men and we visited the shops for the rest of the souvenirs that we wanted to get while we were in town. 

Amy and I noted that while they may not have the longest growing season, their flowers are really pretty while they do last - here's a planter in honor of the holiday:

And this place was some type of nursery, I think.  They used every available spot to plant something - even the roof:

After we bought all our goodies we rejoined the menfolk and headed back to Redcloud.  After dinner there was the option to go back to town for a street dance, but we were all pretty tired.  Those of the guests that stayed at the camp (almost everyone!) played games and just enjoyed being on vacation - a great way to celebrate our freedom, I think!  

No comments: