The showgrounds are massive and when I say that we picked one of the hottest days of the summer, I sincerely mean we choose WELL. With temps climbing into the 90's by the time we arrived at 10:30AM and waited in line to pull in, the tractor which offered us a ride in from the parking area was a welcome sight. This gave me a few more minutes to mutter things under my breath as I addressed my technology issues as my phone had just announced it's pending demise the night before. Yes, we'd needed new phones for a while but until you HAVE to go do it, sometimes you wait, and here I was with a device that refused to recognize the charger and which intermittently just shut off. A few battery removals, forced restarts and some serious threats from me, by the time as we climbed off the tractor shuttle, I had some type of function. Not a complete working phone but 66% charged and at least it was taking some sort of photos. I was in luck!
In addition to the weather being slightly smothering and oppressive, there was fog and mist from the overnight rain. If you notice the cloudy areas at the edges of some of my pictures it's not because the phone was dying, it's actually mist and low-lying cloud cover. Would have made for some excellent creative shots but I was focused on just getting what I could, drinking water and seeing all we could see before we melted. Did I mention this show is extremely large and covers a huge amount of space?
We first gravitated over towards the steam engines which were in the muddiest part of the field area. They were demonstrating tasks such as wood cutting, rock-crushing and other aspects of farm life back in the day, and there were a number of pieces of equipment I'd never seen before. While we've attended a couple of similar shows previously there were some incredible machines and engines here on display or rolling around the grounds. You can see the post for the steam engines here. (soon). After watching the people at work showing off the equipment we headed over for another bottle of water and started walking towards what looked like the back of the showgrounds. That's our typical pattern, to head to the furthest point and work our way back, but this isn't your typical show. As we wound through the buildings of exhibits and collections, wooded areas and concession stands, it didn't look as if we were spotting an actual "end" to the property. But we were seeing trucks and not just any trucks, some really cool and unique styles and makes. See the Esso Tiger and his ride here.
Pausing to let the train go by - wait, "that's a train!" we exclaimed to each other in delight. Why not ride instead of walking? An awesome discovery was to learn it went in a circular track around the grounds and offered several points for exit and entry. Woo hoo. We weren't going to melt after all; we could hop off in a stop or two and still see everything. (By the way, my phone had by now shut off a few more times but each time I was able to resuscitate it. With only 24% battery remaining I had to start being careful how many pictures I took.) All aboard! We climbed onto the train which costs $1.00 per person and off it rolled. And rolled. You get my point? The place just kept on going - the part we hadn't even reached was the giant area of swap meet tables, vendors and just about every imaginable THING you could buy or need. And camping areas - they have MORE space back there where people had RV's and setups for the whole weekend. It began to look as if the train wasn't just for fun, people used it to travel around the grounds while they stayed there. As the train wound around we saw buildings housing different permanent displays such as these.
We wound up getting off at the third stop since it brought us back to pretty much the front of the property, and was near the grandstand with the tractor races. After that we hiked over to the I really wanted to see them and also go back through the machine shop museum we'd spotted while on the train. After watching the races for a few minutes (which I can't really comment on since there wasn't any shade so we didn't stay long), we headed over to the rows of tractors lined up under the trees. Please don't misunderstand; the tractor pulling competitions and races looked like a lot of fun but being sort of a ghosty white skin color means I generally need to seek shade. Once we got over to the wooded/shaded area I was one happy camper - there were ROW and ROWS of machinery, farm equipment, tractors of all makes and models, etc.
About the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association: "We are an all-volunteer organization founded in 1973 and located on Maryland's Eastern Shore to help preserve the historical Eastern Shore rural heritage. We maintain a 70-acre facility five miles north of Easton MD on which we collect, restore, display, and operate a wide variety of antique industrial machinery and agricultural equipment. We welcome the public to our annual show held on the grounds during the weekend after the Fourth of July. We also sponsor many other "open to the public" events and share our facility with various community groups. We are always actively seeking new members who share our interests and goals."
Visit the website at http://tuckahoesteam.org/ and find them on Facebook @ Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association. Photos taken at the July 2016 event.