Saturday, October 17, 2009

Faire Maiden

C. and I spent the last weekend at the Okanagan Family Faire, near Tonasket, WA. Barter Faire, as it's commonly known, has been going on for over 35 years, since 1973 (Irene, one of our Island friends has been going for 28 years consecutively!).

While bartering was at times scarce (all too many people seemed to prefer cash), it was definitely an extravaganza of cheap clothes, yummy local organic foods, crazy fire dancing, and for me personally, deliriousness from a head cold that set in just as we got there.

Me and the mountains by you.
To get to Tonasket we passed trough one of our favorite places to visit, the North Cascades. We stopped within view of a spot very special to us, on Diablo Lake at the foot of Sourdough mountain, where the poet Gary Snyder famously watched for fires in the 50s.
The North Cascades by you.

Once we got to the fair there was barely enough time to set up our tent, before the wild rumpus began.
Flying the flag by you.

Island Fire by you.
Thankfully the Island crew was well organized and had a huge fire, because the temperatures were record low at night. Twelve degrees, that is.
Island Fire by you.

Island Fire by you.

During the day us girls looked after our little stall and walked around to see what was on offer. Even sitting down in our stand was great because the people watching was so good. The stall across the street was occupied by some lovely Other Island people and we traded a lot back and worth with its lovely proprietess.

Awesome owner with her storefront by you.

To market, to market by you.

Flower girl by you.

Walking around with C. or the gals was the most fun though. The stalls were treasure troves of things you didn't so much want, as want to admire. The vendors were interesting, wonderful people, many of them sporting great, individual styles to delight the eye. It was definitely a delight to chat with all these amazing characters.

Under the earth flag by you.

Awesome vintage western goods by you.

Ribbons by you.

Horse Patrol by you.

Tree of lights by you.

Eastern exposure by you.

Tiny hula dancer by you.

Booth by you.

Gunne Sack Merchante by you.

The fair takes place in arid, high desert, in a sort of valley on a hillside, and of course we had to, in spite the cold, hike up the see the tent village from above.

Tent Dweller by you.

Overlooking the tent village by you.
(Notice how C. and I are Twins again.)
Peace on earth by you.

Tents as far as the eye could see, happy people, peace on earth and love in the air. What more could you ask for an adventure? (Well, maybe lack of head cold...minor details.)

Laura kissing her boyfriend by you.


  1. i really love the last photo. adorable!

  2. I LOVE THIS!! The first photo is extra beautiful, too.

  3. Such beautiful, inspiring photos and people (and your colorful scarf! juxtaposed with the mountains!)! This is the type of event I wish we had on the east coast. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great snaps as always Milla! Thanks for bringing this gorgeous piece of your life out to share with us.

  5. Oh man. That looks like such an awesome time and the pics are amazing! Sorry to hear about the head cold though, it's always a bummer to be sick but especially on a fun trip.

    I so want that last girl's red coat and your mushroom tote!!!

  6. Wow, everything looks amazing, from those beautiful mountain shots to the tent village. Amazing! I think I want to move to Washington..

  7. wow, I've really fallen in love with your blog.. your pictures are insanely beautiful. the colors are rich and remind me of autumn, and all of the posts I've read so far have a really specific aesthetic - I'm adding you to my blog links, if that's alright!

    and the beards rock!

  8. this event looks AMAZING! i want to travel up there and go sometime. even the cold looks delicious. you captured the feeling of it wonderfully and made my heart explode a little bit.

  9. great photo documentary skills here :) I wasn't there, but feel a little as if I were part of all that hippie happiness, just lovely!

  10. looks amazing! fires are always the best. i really liked the photo of the man on the horse.

  11. These are beautiful photos. This event and the colors & streamers remind me of Jane Smiley's The Greenlanders. Stunning. Saw your comment on Helmi Otsalla, will keep up with your blog henceforth. So wonderful.

  12. enchanting, i wish i could whisk off to your island...
    what a gorgeous view by sourdough mountain!!
    xo s

  13. Your adventures just keep getting better and better. This looks splendid!

  14. p.s. That teepee with the colorful streamers blowing in the wind is just killing me! I hope you don't mind me posting that photo to my tumblr blog.