2017 Minnesota State Fair, Day 1

There’s nothing much worse than having a Saturday at the Minnesota State Fair approach with a horrific weather forecast.  And it doesn’t get much worse than the forecast leading up to August 26, 2017, which called for “lots of rain”.  I always take the following Monday off of work as a precaution, giving me a back-up day on Sunday if Saturday falls through.  I had to do it last year because the opening weekend on Saturday in 2016 had terrible weather as well, but it’s not ideal because the loss of the Saturday evening party crowd really shuts down sightings numbers after dark.  Still, anything is better than dealing with a heavy rain event, and in that respect, nixing the Saturday trip worked out.  The Minneapolis-St. Paul area got 1.3 inches of rain on Saturday with intervals of precipitation falling morning, afternoon, and night.  Unfortunately, smaller and spottier rainfall was predicted for Sunday as well, with mostly gloomy conditions that serve as a wet blanket on morale.  It was a bummer of a setting to head into, but I could only hope for the best and know that the Minnesota State Fair rarely lets me down no matter the weather conditions.  Yesterday, I managed 156 sightings, which is a modern-era low for a day at the Minnesota State Fair, but not dramatically lower than last year’s 170 on the opening weekend Sunday and the day was quite a bit better than it sounds as I had a number of very exciting sightings.

My dad did the driving again and we ran into a 30-minute traffic bottleneck getting into the fairgrounds and their parking lot.  Most years they’re able to get the lines moving quickly and efficiently so I have no idea what the problem was here.  It delayed our arrival until 9:20 though, at least a half hour later than we usually get there, but that was fine by me since mornings tend to be pretty bland anyway.  Less fine by me was the cool and dreary conditions as I walked into the grounds.  Thankfully there were still a lot of girls dressed in tanktops and shorts but there were plenty of jeans and leggings too.  I only get two days a year at the Minnesota State Fair so it’s infuriating when a good percentage of the girls show up dressed for fall.  Nonetheless, there’s just something intoxicating about the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, above and beyond my other venues, that fills me with adrenaline when I walk in the gate and keeps me excited even in bleak conditions.  Intermittent breaks in the clouds that yielded some well-needed sunshine helped a lot too.

Anyway, I mentioned the long slog into the parking lot but that ended up working to my advantage as we slowly crawled along and I got to see Sighting #1 before getting out of the car.  From afar, I saw this blond young mommy in her late 20s who had three young munchkins encircling her.  I thought I saw a blast of smoke spilling from her face and as we got closer I discovered that she indeed was wielding a cigarette.  She was dressed for fall with a gray sweatshirt and dark jeans but was attractive and definitely not fitting the demographic of modern smokers with all those kids.  It’s always a good feeling to get that first point on the board before even getting out of the parking lot, which happens more than you’d think at the Minnesota State Fair.

A few minutes later, I was inside the grounds feeling that aforementioned amazing burst of adrenaline as I separated from the folks.  I’ve become accustomed to slow sightings in the morning and on that front yesterday wasn’t as bad as some.  Sightings #2 and #3 were both separate sightings of Asian gals.  Neither were particularly memorable on the attractiveness front but I’m always a little surprised how much success I’ve had with Asian women sightings given their low percentages of tobacco use prevalence.  And after seeing the large nonwhite population at least weekend’s Indiana State Fair, it’s also worth noting that the Minnesota State Fair remains an overwhelmingly white-skewing venue.  The state is about 20% nonwhite but the Minnesota State Fair crowd is nowhere near that diverse.  It’s a little surprising given that the fair is such an iconic event in Minnesota, particularly the lack of interest from the state’s large Somali population whose numbers were very small on Sunday and every other day I’ve been there.

The girl behind Sighting #4 wasn’t particularly memorable but her storyline was.  This mid-20s brunette in a loose-fitting blouse and jeans was lighting up a cigarette amidst her group of friends and one of the guys in the group said something along the lines of “people aren’t gonna like seeing this” to which she responded “…but you can’t even really tell I’m pregnant”.  Gotta love pregnant smokers making excuses for themselves!   In nearly the same spot in the smoking area south of the main bathroom area about 10 minutes later, a young couple with a bit of a nerdy vibe was relaxing with a cigarette.  The Sighting #5 girl had light brown hair in a ponytail wearing a plaid shirt and tight black leggings.  I got an okay photo of it.  None of the early sightings was mind-blowing but I was satisfied with the early pace compared to some other years.

Nothing too exciting happened before noon, but on the south side of the grounds near the Coliseum I’d score a sighting of a young couple who were clearly Minnesota Twins fans as they had hats and T-shirts commemorating their team.  The female of the duo (Sighting #12) was a long-haired brunette in sunglasses, her Twins tanktop coupled with a pair of black leggings as she and the boyfriend plugged away at their respective cigarettes.  I wondered how they got through games at Target Field (where the Twins play) considering they took away the smoking area outside the stadium there in 2012.

My preference is to get to 20 sightings before noon, but yesterday I was only at 14.  Nothing to panic about but slow early numbers do usually close the door on any all-time record numbers such as the 220 sightings I somehow managed last summer on Labor Day weekend.  And while I didn’t score anything memorable before noon, it was shortly after noon that I’d get my first great sighting of the day in the designated smoking area east of the grandstand, which has been the most productive of the designated smoking areas over the years.  Productive as it can be, more often than not I walk by and it’s nothing but old people smoking there, so much so that I’m pleasantly surprised when I come across someone young and cute, and that was certainly the case as I came upon Sighting #16, a mother-daughter sighting featuring this standout 19ish daughter, whose long blond hair was hanging over her shoulders in braids.  She was wearing a black sweatshirt and a pair of shorts with a black and white pattern that showcased her nice long legs.  Right off the bat it was refreshing to see a pretty young face in that smoking area filling her lungs with poisons, particularly in the presence of mom, but her performance raised the show to an entirely different level as I got some really nice dangles from the girl as she attended to her bag and purse.  She was carrying her pack of Marlboro Menthols in a Ziploc bag and was monkeying around with that and shuffling a few other things around, occasionally but not too frequently conversing with her unattractive mother.  Her smoking style generally was average but whatever compulsion led her to mess around with her purse while smoking was working to my advantage on the three separate occasions she parked that cigarette in her mouth and dangled for an extended period.  I took several pics and got her in mid-dangle twice.  It was a solid five-minute show and the daughter finished her cigarette before mom, heading to the community ashtray to deposit her Marlboro Menthol butt.  It was nice to have a quality sighting in the can, and I’d rate this one among my top-five of the day.

There’s a smoking area on the northwest side of the grounds near the Heritage Center that typically doesn’t produce many memorable sightings, but it came through with a handful of good ones yesterday.  The first was Sighting #20, a “cute nerd” in glasses who was also donning the outfit of the deep fried pickle stand where she worked, with a green hat and matching T-shirt, along with maroon shorts on the bottom.  I’ve scored some quality sightings of female employees of the deep fried pickle stand in years past and this girl made for a worthy 2017 entrant, chatting on the phone and being sufficiently distracted for me to take a few nice pics of her, including one close-up and a couple of her in mid-drag.  Her thighs were a little beefy but her presentation was otherwise on point, chatting away to her friend and taking nicely timed and indulgent drags with cloudy exhales, smoking the cork filter cigarette very close to the filter.  So many of the girls were well-behaved when it came to butt disposal yesterday and this girl sadly walked over to the ashtray to dispose of hers as well, denying me the brand ID, and then walked back to the pickle stand to get back to work.

Had that been all that the Heritage Center smoking area delivered yesterday, it still would have been more than most years, but only moments later it would come through again…sort of anyway.  I was migrating away from that smoking area after the last sighting ended and came upon a family that included a mother, two young females, and two young males.  I wasn’t clear if they were all children of the mother or if some friends/boyfriends were in the mix, but the two guys and one of the girls were smoking while walking the streets of the grounds.  Sighting #22 was a wholesome looking dark blond in a red blouse and black leggings who looked about 22 years old, shamelessly smoking in an illegal area but heading in the direction, with the rest of the family, towards the Heritage Center’s smoking area.  She was walking right next to mom and smoking away while in conversation.  I managed one pretty good photo that includes mom and daughter, the daughter with cigarette in hand, and once they got to the smoking area I stopped and watched what was left of the show.  Solid drags with nice exhales ensued for the next couple of moments before the daughter finished up her cigarette and disposed of it in the community ashtray, but not long before the daughter finished her cigarette, the mother lit up hers.  I found it amusing that the mom was willing and able to wait till she got to the smoking area to light up her cigarette, but the daughter couldn’t wait that long to feed the nicotine monkey on her back.

It would be almost another hour, but that Heritage Center smoking area came through yet again with another duo of early 20s hotties.  It was a shared cigarette sighting involving a blond and a brunette who I got a “cute lesbian” vibe from right away, which is unusual since I’ve never had very good gaydar.  The Sighting #30 blond was up first and had the best presentation with a colorful tie-dye T-shirt and a pair of speckled light blue jeans that beautifully packaged her first-rate ass.  After a couple of drags, she passed the cigarette on to the Sighting #31 brunette, who was also attractive and also had a nice body in a light blue T-shirt and tight medium-blue jeans.  The blond was probably the better smoker of the two and took slightly more drags, but they were both skilled and impressive.  I got pics of the blond in mid-drag and captured smoke spilling out of the brunette’s mouth post-exhale in another pic.  Once again, I couldn’t get a butt ID because they deposited it in the community ashtray.  I was unsurprised when they walked off hand in hand, confirming my lesbian suspicion.  There was no unattractive “butch” type in this lesbian duo though as both girls were cute and both were quality smokers.

I made my first of three runs through the midway next.  It’s been a long time since the midway was a great venue for sightings, but in recent years it’s been approaching a barren wasteland, rarely worth the 12-15 minutes it takes to walk through it.  Yesterday, I did manage one brief but surprisingly impressive find with Sighting #33, however.  There’s a designated smoking area near the port-a-potties in the back corner of the midway and two scantily clad young females were standing near the ashtray.  I rapidly approached hoping to see they were teens, but as I got closer they appeared more like mid-20s, and only one of them was smoking.  She had a nice presentation with long red hair and pale blue cutoffs.  Her face was fine too, but she was putting the cigarette into the ashtray before I even really had a chance to check out her style let alone get any pics.  I suppose the midway had come through more than I expected it would that early afternoon run but my brief flash of hope when I laid eyes on this one initially was nonetheless squashed quickly.

It was around 2:30 and I was slightly behind schedule but had a productive trip past the east side of the grandstand.  I’ve mentioned before the giant cement pillars with stairs leading up to the grandstand that have produced plentiful sightings over the years.  Sighting #37 was the best sighting from the pillars yesterday, one of quite a few mother-daughter sightings I scored.  The daughter, who I’m guessing was late 20s, had a striking presentation and oozed confidence, standing there leaning against the inside of the pillar in her medium-brown hair, sunglasses, gray leggings, and a longer-sleeved shirt tied around her waist.  She was having quite a conversation with mom and the topic of “being overprotective” came up, leading me to believe she had a kid of her own.  As for the smoking, the daughter was dramatically outshining mom with very nicely paced drags and thick, cloudy exhales that matched the confidence of her presentation.  As a consequence of the quick drags, the sighting played out quickly and was over in about three minutes, with the daughter finishing her cigarette long before mom did.  I thought I captured several photos standing there but only one stuck.  I got her in mid-drag though, and while a little more shadowy than I prefer, the pic captures the “confidence” I described.  Erratic photo-taking was sadly a common theme of the day, especially later in the day….expecting I was getting a ton of great photos but then discovering I had less than a 50% success rate.  And as this sighting was playing out, an attractive late 20s blond and her husband were lighting up next to the berm east of the grandstand where I always get some good sightings.  As soon as the mother-daughter sighting ended, I trained my eyes in the direction of Sighting #38 and got to see a few nice drags from her.  Worth noting that it wasn’t even 3:00 and I already had more sightings than I got the entire day the previous Saturday at the Indiana State Fair.

Moving south from the Heritage Center during the 3:00 hour, I’d come across a 30-something couple where the blond wife left quite an impression walking through the grounds with a Black ‘N’ Mild cigar in tow.  I’d guess Sighting #46 was in her early-to-mid 30s and modestly attractive, but memorable in that she was openly walking the crowded grounds exhaling cigar smoke.  Even more impressive, I saw the same couple again in the early evening hours and the blond was smoking another fairly fresh lit Black ‘N’ Mild.  The husband did not appear to smoke, and it was a colorful sight to behold that he’s nonetheless walking the Minnesota State Fairgrounds all day with a wife who is apparently a frequent cigar smoker who puffs on them openly in large crowds without hesitation.

Another great mother-daughter sighting was to be found on the designated smoking area south of the bathroom area where I scored the tail end of Sighting #48.  This very cute short-haired dark brunette in a green tanktop and dark blue jeans who looked about 21-22 was on the final throes of a cigarette standing next to mom right in the middle of the huddle of smokers.  I only got to see two drags but I could tell this girl had some style just from that.  I missed my opportunity for photo-taking during the brief smoking show but made every effort to get some shots as they walked away, ultimately getting one as they stood in line for root beer that captures most of her clearly.  The good news is I’d get a full sighting from this girl a couple of hours later, so be patient and you’ll get a more fulfilling second act!

As I was attempting photos of the previous girl in front of the root beer stand after she finished her first cigarette, another 20-something entered my field of vision and would become Sighting #50.  She had auburn hair and was wearing a pale pink top and nice-fitting jean shorts that sculpted her shapely lower body nicely.  Her face was a little awkward but I was still impressed with the presentation and particularly that she was the only smoker in her group delaying their entry into the beer gardens as she finished her cigarette, it was nice watching her.  She finished her cigarette and dropped it to the pavement before walking into the bar and grill with her mixed-gender group.  I finally had an exposed butt to ID, rare as it was yesterday!  Hers was a Camel Blue.

One of the upsides of smokers herding in a given area, typically in the designated smoking areas, is that there’s potential for sensory overload moments when multiple girls are smoking at the same time.  I got such a moment yesterday in the alleyway between the beer gardens block and the sheep building where I put together three great sightings over the course of about 10 minutes.  The first came on the cement ledge on the edge of the sheep building where two guys and a girl, all in their early 20s, were having a cigarette break.  The Sighting #58 blond was a smorgasbord of sweetness and wholesomeness, with long platinum blond hair flowing over shoulders onto her onto her black sweatshirt and matching black leggings.  The upside of cooler days at the fair in 2017 compared to 10 years ago is the prevalence of leggings that so snugly encase the asses, crotches, and legs of these lovely young cuties, and this girl was a perfect case study as she sat there puffing away on her cigarette.  So many of my photos didn’t turn out yesterday but I’m grateful to say I got about eight pics of this girl that turned out nicely.  I only managed one in mid-drag and some middle-aged slob was dangerously close to walking in front of her and obstructing the image, but I nonetheless got it.  I was standing across from them leaning against a garbage can and was highly exposed, but I somehow escaped detection as I plugged away with the camera until she finished the cigarette after a nice long show.  I had hoped to get a butt ID but towards the end of her cigarette I looked to her right about 15 yards and noticed another young couple with a wholesome girl smoking.  Now that’s what you like to see!  I sacrificed the butt ID to get in on the second show.

Sighting #59 was another adorable smoker cutie, a dark blond with sunglasses wearing a pink top and dark jeans.  I doubt she was 21…probably more the 19 or 20 range. The boyfriend smoking with her was considerably more thuggish than her girl-next-door demeanor evoked.  I sat next to her and while my location was not gonna be good for closely watching her performance, I was at least able to score a couple of photos of her smoking, one in mid-drag at very close range.  The previous blond was crazy wholesome but this girl might have even been a tick more so, slowly plugging away at the cigarette while talking to the boyfriend.  But I hadn’t been there two minutes before an even shinier object entered my field of vision around the corner near the beer gardens.  I saw this jean-shorted ass and a cigarette next to it that looked spectacular and I just had to check it out, unaware I was about to get my first look at the runaway best girl of the day.

I approached the girl I knew would become Sighting #60 hoping she lived up to the expectation that her first-rate rear view had given me….and if anything she exceeded those expectations with the kind of gorgeous face you’re lucky to see a couple of times a day on a smoker girl, tanned with glowingly wholesome features radiating IT factor.  I would guess she’s about 22 or 23, with dark blond hair flowing onto a white country girl blouse and pale blue daisy dukes with long smooth legs flowing out them, standing with three guy friends with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  And while it was clear the second I laid eyes on her from behind that she was vertically endowed, it was only after seeing her in the context of these guy friends she was standing next to that I realized just what a tall drink of water this chick was, towering a good three inches above the heads of any of the males in her group.  Now I might be a little too insecure with my manhood to date a girl well over six feet tall (oh who am I kidding…I’d date this piece of ass in a second if given the chance!), but I still find them sexy as hell if they have good bodies, and this girl more than qualified.  She was so tall that it was hilariously hard to frame her in my pics, but I managed to nail her mid-drag twice and was standing close enough that I was able to tell by the lines on the cigarette that it was a Camel Crush.  As for her smoking style, she gets all A’s there too!!!   Apparently it takes longer for nicotine to travel through her giant body because she was beating the hell out that cigarette to compensate, taking very frequent and very intense drags, putting the filter on that cigarette to work to deliver nicotine to the furthest reaches of her expansive female form.  Most beautiful, however, were her exhales.  They were all so thick and dense that if you saw her from afar without cigarette in hand that you’d figure she was exhaling from a vaporizer rather than an analog cigarette.  Sometimes she should would tilt her head up and release those blasts skyward, and it was a pretty short trip to the stars from where she stood!  I took a bench right around the corner from the trash can next to where she stood, and while the trash can obstructed my further attempts at photos, I did get a good look at the rest of her smoking show and it never stopped being sublime matching that face and that body to intense cigarette smoking in a way that’s delightfully rare in the year 2017.  As quickly and intensely as she was smoking, the show ended in a few short minutes, and she knelt down to the pavement (long trip!) to crush out the cigarette and throw the butt in the trash.  I was a little annoyed she didn’t just pollute the butt but I was thrilled with everything I saw.  Without giving too much away, I’ll say that my original plan was to write the previous trio of sightings up as a three-tiered “sensory overload” moment come fall when I do my top-25 sightings list of the year, but suffice it to say that the body of work from one of these three girls in the hours to come would be substantial enough to where she needs her own individual entry.  Needless to say, more yummy details to come….

Speaking of girls in the trio on the southeast side of the beer gardens, I migrated back to the alley to see the previous girl in the pink top and jeans still finishing off her cigarette along with her boyfriend.  I managed to get a frontal photo of her but it was seconds after she finished the cigarette.  She was a pretty slow smoker, but apparently still too fast for the boyfriend as he still had his cigarette in hand after she polished hers off.  It was nice to tie this amazing trio of sightings off with a ribbon, seeing most of three sightings and getting quality pics of all of them.

I was on my first bona fide high of the day as I progressed down the alley between the beer gardens block and sheep barn, managing to walk past a 30ish brunette smoking a Black ‘N’ Mild next to her nonsmoking husband (Sighting #61) and another young couple with a cute blond in shorts where both male and female were smoking cigarettes (Sighting #62).  Their location was challenging and since the blond had ugly tattoos on her legs I wasn’t gonna take any more high-risk photos, but it certainly felt like the day was coming alive with this burst of memorable sightings.

I moved onto the south side from there and headed to the Judson Avenue smoking area in front of the dairy building.  There have been years that this smoking area has really come through (Sophie!  Need I say more!) but it was mostly a dud on Saturday.  The best I found was an early-to-mid 20s couple where the modestly attractive brunette girlfriend in a blue T-shirt and leggings was smoking a cigarette.  I was in a good spot to get a few pics of Sighting #65 and got one of her in mid-drag.  She was a pretty modest reward compared to the bells and whistles I was about 10 minutes removed from but it was nice to keep the ball rolling into the 4:00 hour, but also “rolling in” during the 4:00 hour were the early waves of some very dark clouds.  Unfortunately, the forecasters got it right and some storm cells were rolling in by the late afternoon.  It seemed as though we might miss this first wave, and we would, with a wave of sunshine immediately behind it.  I knew not to get comfortable though because I figured more small storm cells would come in behind it.

I always make two trips to the more remote north side of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on a given day, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon, but since it’s about a 20-minute round trip to walk up there, it’s a gamble that occasionally blows up in my face.  Thankfully that would not be the case yesterday.  In fact it would be at the pet barn commercial exhibit building on the far northern edge of the fairgrounds that I’d stumble into my second best sighting of the day.  There’s a designated smoking area right outside this building and imagine my surprise when I approached it to find a trio of three teen smokers sitting on the grass enjoying a cigarette.  In all honestly, two of the three in the trio of Sightings #70, 71, and 72 were pretty mediocre and one was a bit chubby, but the girl on the right in the cluster managed to turn the other two into instantaneous elevator music.  She was the sweetest young thing I’d see all day with long blond hair and a crazy youthful face.  I’d be surprised if she was even 16, even though the other girls were clearly older and possibly over 18.  I strongly suspected they worked somewhere in that commercial exhibit building and plan to check the place out to see if I can find them next weekend.  I scrambled to get photos and was at least able to secure myself next to them for close-range pics, although unfortunately the cutest girl was turned slightly away from me.  There were constant ingestions and expulsions of cigarette smoke coming from at least one of the three of them and it was such a wonderful sight.  That diminutive long-haired blond with the face of angel who was closest to me continued to captivate me most though, sitting there with her legs folded Indian style in her leggings with a blue T-shirt up top.  Her cigarette had the telltale markings of a Camel Turkish Royal and my heart melted every time she approached the cigarette to her mouth to take a drag, with surprisingly robust exhales from mouth and nose to follow.  There were moments I thought this girl had to be a little older than her appearance suggested, but every time I looked closely at her face and body type I just couldn’t imagine her being anything but a mid-teen.  I was snapping pics left and right and while my preferred target wasn’t the most cooperative, I figured something would have to stick.  All too quickly, the three girls had finished their cigarettes and were getting up off the grass to head inside the pet barn building, tossing their butts into the community ashtray.  My petite blond’s ass was covered in wet grass, and it was so cute watching her sweep her hand over her skin-tight leggings to get it off.

Now it was time to look at my pics.  Sadly, my success rate was less than 50%.  I only got the blond once in mid-drag and most of her face was cut off in that one.  I did at least get pics of all three girls with cigarettes in hand and I managed one where the cute blond’s face was in profile, with a beaming smile on her face.  Now it’s no sure thing but I might get another chance with these girls on Labor Day weekend when I head back to the Minnesota State Fair.  If these girls indeed work in that building as all evidence points to, they may return next weekend and be working inside…and taking more smoke breaks.  It’s probably more unlikely than likely that I’ll see them again, but hope springs eternal.  The downside is their remote outpost on the north side of the grounds will not and cannot be a frequent destination for me so I’ll only get a couple of chances to find them.  Crossing my fingers though as that mid-teen blond deserves a second act.  She was the only bona fide teen smoker cutie I would see all day.

And during the course of all this teen smoking madness at the official smoking area, I happened to look across the street to a bench to find a 50-something guy and what I presumed to be his 30-ish daughter.  Perhaps it was an actual couple with a young woman who had daddy issues, but she certainly caught my eye when I caught her taking a final drag from a cigarette and bending over on the bench where they sat to crush out her cigarette.  I was too enamored with the teen trio to give Sighting #73 too much mental energy even though I was impressed with her, but when the teen trio went back indoors, I crossed the street just in time to see the presumed father-daughter duo rise to their feet and vacate the bench.  She was an attractive light brunette in an orange top and very tight black leggings that framed a killer ass.  I sat on the bench and discovered her freshly crushed all-white Camel Light Menthol butt.  I wished at this point I’d seen more of this sighting, and you never know, maybe I’ll get a second chance in time…

But before I departed the north side, I’d struggle through a bigger heartbreaker….my most painful near-miss of the day.  I was walking behind this young couple where both boy and girl looked about 18.  The girl was a stunner, with a complexion indicating an unidentifiable mix of races in that she was either partially Asian or partially black, but with features that were still predominately caucasian, hand in hand with a white boyfriend who looked like he came straight off the farm.  The girl was blond with a thin, see-through blouse, and a pair of slim medium-blue daisy dukes that framed perhaps the best ass of the day.  I was walking directly behind her and was obviously checking that ass out, and during these moments of observation I noticed a rectangular box tucked into her right jean shorts pocket.  Her phone was in the left pocket so it wasn’t just an oddly shaped phone.  The only problem was her pockets were so deep that I was not gonna get an opportunity, even if she were to bend over, to see if it was indeed a pack of cigarettes.  Now maybe it was just my imagination but as I stared at that rectangular box tucked into her pocket, I could have swore I saw the color outline of a pack of Marlboros showing through her jeans.  I got out my camera and took a close-up shot of her ass as I followed, and when I post it on my smoke gallery in a few weeks, I’ll let others check it out and see if they can identify the Marlboro outline that I swear I can see.  Whatever the case, it was an open question now whether I wanted to follow this couple and wait them out till she lit up.  She’d be one of the best sightings of the day if I saw her smoking, but it would sideline me for potentially quite some time if she didn’t smoke for quite some time or, God forbid, if she was a nonsmoker and was merely keeping the boyfriend’s cigarettes in her pocket.  When I saw the $1 RC booth on the horizon, I decided to stop and get a cup and let the opportunity pass.  The Minnesota State Fair is too plentiful of an environment to follow any individual sighting prospect around on a hopeful lark, which I learned the hard way a couple of times.  And sadly, I never did see this girl again the rest of the day or night, smoking or not.

On a brighter note, I migrated next to the smoking area east of the grandstand.  The logistics were difficult for this one, but in the middle of a mixed-gender cluster that included two other smokers, Sighting #75 caught my eye.  She was an attractive natural blond with a literal freckled-faced innocence chatting it up with her friends with cigarette in hand, wearing a gray top and khaki shorts.  She wasn’t a top-tier beauty but was very attractive, about 23 years old, and didn’t look at all like a smoker.  It was hard to get a good vantage point of her though, even just to see her smoking let alone get a pic.  The one pic I attempted was a fail but I did at least catch a couple of drags from her and it was a pleasure to see.  She crushed out the cigarette and tossed it in the trash far too quickly, before she and her group moved on.  I’d see the group on the grounds again about an hour later, but with no additional smoking.

Moving to the west side of the grandstand near another smoking area, I sat down after seeing a guy smoking hoping that he was sharing it with his hot girlfriend.  While that didn’t happen, sitting there allowed me to witness an approaching mixed-gender cluster of 20-something Asians.  One of the young women had an unlit cigarette in her hand.  She waited till she got close to the ashtrays to light up and become Sighting #78.  A railing was in my way preventing me from getting snapshots but I was still able to see the show as the primary girl in the white dress smoked most of the cigarette, but the friend she was talking to still managed to be forcefed a single drag to become Sighting #79, which was particularly amusing since she was in the middle of eating a turkey leg when the friend briefly inserted the cigarette in her mouth for a lone drag.

I ventured to the beer gardens block from there.  At no point in the day did my mind stray too far from that tall blond in the jean shorts smoking with her male friends, and I allowed my mind to entertain the hope that I just might see her again.  Well luck was on my side as there she was, seated on a bench in the same general area just outside the beer gardens, once again with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  Unfortunately, she was near the end of this cigarette and I only got to see a couple of drags, but unlike her careful disposal of the previous butt, this one got dropped to the curb directly in front of where she sat.  I attempted a few more pics but this batch ended up blurry.  She was only sitting there a couple more minutes before the group ventured back towards the beer gardens, but I was able to positively ID her discarded butt as a Camel Crush as I had previously expected.  Disappointing encore, you say?  Don’t worry….she’s just getting started!

Moving to the smoking area just north of the beer gardens, which delivers with something impressive more years than not.  My best sighting from there yesterday was Sighting #80, one of the prettiest faces of the day coupled with one of the weirdest presentations.  She was an uber-wholesome early-to-mid 20s light brunette smoking in the company of a smoking boyfriend.  I saw the face from afar and speculated I might be on the cusp of one of my best sightings of the day as she didn’t look at all like a smoker.  But when I got there I was taken aback to put it mildly to see a pair of neon yellow leggings coming out of her jean shorts.  And unfortunately, her butt and thighs were thick enough that I could see why she’d be self-conscious and want to cover them up with leggings, although canary yellow was an interesting choice of color.  I got three pretty good photos but I never got her in mid-drag, and she was a frustratingly slow smoker which didn’t help on that front.  The photos capture the weirdness of her presentation with her heartbreakingly wholesome face coupled with a rather plump bottom and legs covered in bright yellow.  The face certainly did not match the alternative outfit.  Given that there was no good place to watch without being obvious and she was smoking so slowly, I left before the sighting ended and feeling a little disappointed.

I wouldn’t have much time to feel sorry for myself though as I worked my way to the smoking area next to the Coliseum and came upon a mixed-gender cluster where two of the three early 20s females were smoking.  There was one downside to Sightings #82 and #83 though and that was the vantage point of the most exciting girl, who was leaning against the wall sandwiched between the nonsmoking female and the other smoker.  We’ll start with the dark blond on the right who was quite visible and accessible via camera decked out in this plaid shirt and jeans.  She was a pretty decent find on her own and I got a pic of her in mid-drag.  But it was that friend trapped in the middle who was on an entirely different level, a dark brunette in a white coat, covering a turquoise blouse and a pair of slacks with a blue and white pattern.  Her complexion was naturally tanned and exquisite.  She was white but must have had some exotic ethnic background because her skin tone was just gorgeous, with a beaming and infectious smile to match.  As pretty as the last girl in the yellow leggings was, this girl managed to exceed her, quite possibly the most ravishing beauty of the day.  And she was a great smoker to boot, taking frequent drags and expelling an impressive amount of smoke through her brilliantly symmetrical facial orifices.  The dark blond was probably just as good of a smoker logistically but she was relegated to elevator music in the presence of this brunette.  Thankfully, there was enough of a parting that I was able to get a single photo that captures her frontal beauty with cigarette in hand.  And thank goodness too because she took only one more drag before surrendering the butt into the anonymous ashtray a few feet in front of her.  It seemed like her cigarette expired quicker than I expected considering the blond still had a few more drags left on hers.  I had hoped to get a little more out of this but was grateful to see a handful of drags and to salvage one quality photo of this tanned beauty.  A little more of a storyline and/or a bit more smoking could have easily elevated this girl to one of my best of the day.

It was about 5:15 now and shaping up to be a solid day…if only the storms would continue to miss us as they had thus far.  I was walking down Judson Avenue in a heavily populated stretch near food vendors not expecting to see smoking but stumbling into it anyway.  A cluster of people that appeared to be an extended family were stopped by the curb chatting.  The bad news is that the two cute teen daughters were not smoking.  But the good news is this mid-20s wholesome brunette and her boyfriend were smoking in this most unlikely location.  The Sighting #85 brunette’s presentation was as girl-next-door as it gets, decked out in a plaid shirt covering a T-shirt with utilitarian jeans on the bottom.  Her face and body type were just as unassuming, and particularly within the context of this casual family conversation setting where she was illegally smoking a cigarette amidst a sea of humanity, it was really sexy to witness.  While the dense crowds can be advantageous in that most don’t recognize when somebody’s up close and watching them, they posed a challenge for photo-taking as people were intermittently walking in front of me and messing up my pics.  Her very abrupt drags also posed a challenge as by the time I was snapping the shutter on my camera phone she was already pulling the cigarette away from her mouth.  Now she didn’t appear to be a beginner and was able to generate some pretty impressive exhales from such abrupt drags, but the end result was that all the pics I got of her were holding pics.  It was a nice show though and the pics are still pleasing because she looks absolutely nothing like a smoker yet was doing so in front of a middle-aged woman and impressionable teen girls.

After that, I had a flurry of glorious repeaters from early in the day, and it’s hard to top sightings where you get to see a girl of interest from earlier in the day step up to the plate for an encore.  The most jarring of these encores came when I was walking west down Dan Patch Avenue in the direction of the grandstand.  Recall how less than an hour earlier I saw a 30ish brunette finishing off a cigarette on the north side of the grounds while seated on a bench next to either her father or a much older lover?  The two of them were walking right in front of me now, and even though she was without a cigarette, I thought the girl who was Sighting #73 had a presentation impressive enough to snap a couple of pics while I was so close.  And so I did, getting in front of her and slightly off to the side and scoring a couple of nice pics capturing her orange sweatshirt and black leggings.  I did this with no expectation of further tobacco use, especially considering we were walking on a busy stretch of fairgrounds far removed from any smoking area, so imagine my surprise when she opened her purse and broke out the heavy artillery.  A white and green pack of Camel Light Menthols came busting out right after I thought I was satisfied with my photo haul.  She was too quick on the draw for me to score a photo before she lit up, but I managed two pics shortly afterwards, one with her holding and one in mid-drag, with the 50-something guy walking next to her forced to choke on her secondhand smoke as they discussed where to go next and ended up settling upon the Giant Slide for some reason, where they stopped and observed as she finished her cigarette.  The dynamic here was so much fun.  Either this guy was a middle-aged fetisher who landed himself some hottie smoker more than 20 years his junior, or more likely, he was the father of a brash hottie in skin-tight leggings who has no hesitation about illegally lighting up a steady stream of cigarettes in front of her nonsmoking father and forcing him to smell her fumes all day at the fair.  Whichever it was, it was crazy hot.

Venturing east from there to the designated smoking area east of the grandstand, a favorite early 20s brunette from the early afternoon (Sighting #48) would delightfully serve up a much more thorough second sighting, again smoking with mom.  The temps were cooling with rain clouds imminent and the girl now had a light jacket on that was tied around her waist beneath a skimpy green tanktop earlier.  Surprisingly, she looked even more adorable in this colorfully printed jacket than she did in the green tanktop, and her smoking performance was outstanding, with frequent and nicely paced bombastic drags, often of the no-handlesbar dangling variety, that were followed up with stellar exhales that often flowed from both mouth and nose.  She was a top-tier smoker with such a pretty and unlikely face.  I must have taken 15 photos…but only one of them took…and it’s blurry.  I was so disgusted and it was clear at that point in the evening that something was wrong with my camera phone.  I was able to correct it (I think) but not in time to salvage photos that did justice to one of the top-five girls of the day.  I was nonetheless grateful to get a full second cigarette sighting from her to appreciate her amazing smoking skills.  Unfortunately, no butt ID as those community ashtrays are my Achille’s heels at the Minnesota State Fair.  I can’t remember another year where I’ve had four mother-daughter sightings of this caliber.

While my camera phone’s on and off dysfunction was a definite annoyance, a bigger problem was emerging from the northwest.  I’d mentioned before how a couple waves of dark clouds narrowly avoided the fairgrounds, but I could see there was little chance of missing this next one.  It was right around the 6:00 hour too, arguably the worst time for a thunderstorm since the lines are starting to form near the grandstand for the evening concert with nicotine hotties getting their last fix before the show.  I was gonna try to salvage what I could and make another pass near the beer gardens block.  I was turning the corner to the alleyway next to the sheep building and sitting in almost exactly the same spot she was a few hours earlier was the Sighting #58 platinum blond in the black sweatshirt and matching leggings in the final throes of another cigarette.  But I barely had time to process the image before the skies began to open up and the first raindrops fell.  Almost in a flash, the blond finished off her cigarette and vanished out of sight to seek shelter, again denying me a butt ID.  I wouldn’t see her again yesterday, but now I had a much bigger concern with this untimely rainfall which seemed poised to be pretty heavy even if it was only gonna be short-lived.

In prior rain events at the Minnesota State Fair, I made a point of bouncing around the “golden triangle” from the west side of the grandstand to the east side of the grandstand and down to the beer gardens block.  The three of them have some degree of refuge from the rain and people congregate under the cover and frequently sneak a cigarette while waiting out the rain, but as I zoomed up towards the grandstand yesterday, it was clear the rain was gonna be much heavier than I’ve dealt with in those prior years and that I was gonna need to seek a more stable sanctuary.  I ended up under a large cement ramp leading up to the grandstand watching in horror as buckets of rain poured onto the already-saturated fairgrounds.  This 60-something guy standing behind me echoed my sentiments exactly when he said to a buddy of his with a laugh in observance of the heavy rain that “the ones I feel sorry for are young girls in their stupid little outfits….imagine how miserable they’re gonna be”.  I was definitely concerned that the “miserable young girls in the stupid little outfits” would be leaving earlier than expected because of the rain on an already chilly day.  The rain probably lasted about 10 minutes and while that’s not very long, there’s nothing more miserable than having serious momentum on one of only two days per year I get at the Minnesota State Fair but getting sidelined by paralyzing rainfall. It did give me a chance to mess around with my phone, however, and fix whatever the problem was that prevented me from getting more and better pics of the Sighting #48 girl’s encore.

Even when the rain ended, the grounds were drenched.  I had to  carefully watch every footstep to make sure I wasn’t stepping into a huge puddle of standing water or sinking up to my ankle in mud.  These conditions persisted for a good half hour and I went back and forth from the west side of the grandstand to the east side hoping a bunch of girls were finishing off a cigarette before venturing back into the moist grounds.  The only one who was didn’t have a great deal of IT factor, but I admired the hell out of her persistence.  Sighting #95 was a mediocre late 20s brunette standing right in the middle of the water-logged grass at the smoking area east of the grandstand.  She was the only one there, standing under an umbrella by herself smoking a cigarette.  The sky was so dark that my camera thought it was evening, so the photos ended up too blurry to get anything out of, but I got a kick out of her nicotine dedication.  After a few paces back and forth near the grandstand, I ventured back to the beer gardens, and whatever sour grapes I was feeling about the rain quickly retreated once I got there.

Having seen my tall country cutie with the Camel Crushes twice already on the west side of the beer gardens, every time I approached the area from that point forward, the thought crossed my mind that she might be back.  And lo and behold, she was.  No telling how long she and her guy friends had suffered without their nicotine during the rain, but they were making up for lost time now with freshly lit cigarettes in tow.  Every time my eyes landed on this girl I was temporarily breathless by her beauty and the perfect feminine presentation she was delivering.  I was damn glad I got my camera phone working again because I went nuts with and scored a good dozen pics of varying quality (some were amazing!) capturing this girl holding her cigarette near her face, dragging, and simply laughing in the company of her beer-swilling male companions with her shapely body on full display.  The only shot I wish I’d have gotten but didn’t was from the aftermath of those deep drags she took where the smoke poured out of her gorgeous face as though an air-tight seal had been broken and delivered a blast of oxygen to a raging indoor inferno.  As dark and ominous as those storm clouds were earlier, the cancerous clouds emerging from her mouth at nearly the same altitude as the storm clouds were just as spooky.  I waited her out until she finished the cigarette, and like the last one, she littered this one on the wet ground, the smoldering butt giving off an odd-looking haze as combusted on the drenched pavement.  If there was any doubt at all that this girl was my best sighting of the day an hour earlier, this third sighting sealed the deal.

It was not yet 6:30 and I was piecing together some additional sightings at the usual hotspots.  A very wholesome-looking blond in her early 30s who looked about 10 years younger from afar was standing alone smoking at the smoking area south of the bathroom on the opposite side of the beer gardens.  I didn’t stick around to see much of Sighting #103, but she had an aura of innocence to her and like so many other “blond Minnesota gal” types I saw yesterday, she didn’t look at all like a smoker and really stood out among the dozen or so other unattractive middle-aged smokers standing there.

I didn’t want to stray too far from the grandstand during the 6:00 hour because, as I said, smokers tend to stock up on nicotine outside the grandstand before heading into the concert which starts around 8:00.  Last night’s grandstand act was country singer Toby Keith, who seemed like a good bet to draw a decently favorable, if slightly older-skewing, demographic.  I approached the east side of the grandstand and got yet another surprise from “her”….her being my tall country cutie in the jean shorts with her three male friends.  And even though it had been less than 15 minutes since I last saw her smoking outside the beer gardens, you’ll never guess what she was doing again!!!  While this girl was definitely rocking a country outfit, I guess it never occurred to me that she would be attending that Toby Keith concert, even though every indication now was that she was about to do just that.  This time, only she and one other guy in the foursome were smoking.  I found a close bench and watched the show, not planning to take any more pics since I had already gotten so many.  The deep and frequently paced drags continued, along with those sublimely cloudy exhales that made me hope this cutie has her respiratory therapist on speed dial!  This girl never struck me as a smoker when I first saw her in the mid-afternoon, even to the point that I wondered if she was merely a social smoker having a cigarette with the guys while drinking a beer.  Now on her fourth cigarette in less than four hours (and God knows how many more I missed) I was definitely not entertaining any further thoughts of her only smoking socially.  About three-quarters way through the cigarette, one of the guy friends very briefly broke my heart when he asked her for the cigarette.  Little did I know this would facilitate the sexiest moment of the entire day from her.  She handed him the cigarette alright, but while doing so she inadvertently let loose one of her giant exhales at a downward trajectory, and given his height compared to hers, he took a blast of smoke in the face big enough to drop some men to their knees.  Apparently used to this behavior from this girl, the guy didn’t even respond, simply taking the cigarette from her and not even seeming to appreciate how badly he had just been emasculated…

So that was it right?  She couldn’t possibly have any more arrows in her quiver could she?  I had about 30 seconds to speculate that this girl had finally run out of ways to blow my mind before she began opening her purse.  Sweet Jesus…the pack of Camel Crushes was coming out again!  If the shrimpy guy was gonna take the last quarter of her cigarette away, then fuck it, she was just gonna have another one!  I had taken a pic of just about every imaginable smoking pose from this girl, but I had yet to get a light-up shot.  I readied my phone and she cooperatively dangled the unlit cigarette for about 10 seconds while I prepared the camera.  It was a little dark and I was a bit too far away for the image to be perfect, but I nonetheless scored on camera the exact moment when her lighter came to life and ignited the fifth cigarette I’d seen her smoke in a few hours.  From there, I just sat back and watched the show as she massacred yet another cigarette with all the usual trappings, and from this distance I noticed more examples of her exhales into the males’ faces, all appearing accidental and none quite as bombastic as when she plastered the guy who requested her cigarette.  She put away the cigarette in about four minutes and the group confirmed my suspicion by heading into the grandstand after they finished smoking.  I kept close tabs on this grandstand area before the show started and during the intermission following the opening act, just in case they came out to smoke again.  If they did, I missed them.  Even so, the hottest girl of the day gave me a five-cigarette sighting at the Minnesota State Fair….with the very real possibility that she could have put down twice that many cigarettes and I missed several of them by not being around her consistently all day.  Every year I seem to get at least one sighting on my summer fairgrounds’ tour that stands out for its otherworldly intensity.  I still have one week of fetishing to come which is very likely to be my most prolific event of all, but this sexpot set the bar very high for 2017’s top girl and will be very hard to beat.

Catching my breath after that, it was approaching 7:00 and my inconveniently timed visit with the folks at the information booth was approaching.  There’s no good time for this meeting and I run a risk of cutting short a classic sighting no matter what time I select, but 7:30 would ordinarily be a better time as it wouldn’t cut so deeply into the time where smokers are hovering outside the grandstand before going into the concert.  Anyway, I had about 10 minutes to go and would catch yet another mother-daughter sighting, although this one a little more modest as the blond daughter who would be Sighting #106 had pretty modest IT factor.  It was still kind of cute to see a 20-something daughter smoking so openly in the immediate presence of mom but the frumpy raincoat she was decked out in stripped the sighting of any possible energy.  On my final pass en route to the information booth, I spotted a cluster of early 30s gals smoking outside the grandstand entrance.  None were particularly memorable but it was good to get Sightings #108, #109, and #110 under my belt in one fell swoop and thus hit my target zone of 110-125 sightings by the time I meet my parents.

When I met with the folks, they pointed out that I was walking kind of strangely.  And they were right.  The previous night I put on a pair of socks and noticed one of them had the tiniest hole in the heel.  It was so small that I didn’t give it a second thought, but the tingly feeling in my heel accompanied by a growing feel of skin on leather inside my shoe made it seem clear that my entire sock heel had been eaten away.  Having been on such an adrenaline high after that great four-hour stretch, it hadn’t even occurred to me until then that that could pose a blistering problem for me as the night went on.  My only option was take the shoe and sock off, reverse the sock and see if it was tolerable to walk that way.  It turned out fine, and had I just done that three hours earlier, I could probably have avoided the problem I had the rest of the night and could potentially face again this coming weekend.  Who could have imagined a tiny, pebble-sized hole in the heel of my sock could emerge as such a disabling problem?!?!  Nonetheless, the pain was mild at that point and I was too motivated by sightings to care, getting back on my feet after less than 10 minutes rest for the “night shift” of fetishing, recognizing that because this was a Sunday night, things could deteriorate quickly after dark.

Moments after my departure I was back in the grandstand area and came across the oddball presentation that would be Sighting #112.  Plastic see-through ponchos are available at various sites on the fairgrounds and on rainy days you’ll see girls decked out in them.  Regrettably this dark brunette approaching me had a freshly lit all-white cigarette in hand, and her form was draped in this plastic poncho that was particularly unfortunate because this girl had an incredible body with a killer outfit, still visible underneath that thin sheet of plastic but certainly losing some of its power.  Her long medium-brown hair flowed onto a pale pink top with slits in the back exposing all kinds of flesh….and best yet a pair of white shorts on the bottom that sculpted her ass nicely.  So this all sounds like a “young girl in a stupid little outfit” who just happened to be wielding a cigarette and illegally smoking it walking behind the grandstand right?  Not so fast.  It was clear looking at her face that this gal was at least 30, and possibly as old as 35.  I got a rear pic of while she walked but it was dark enough by now that I wasn’t gonna bother with a frontal pic given the deteriorating lighting conditions.  Anyway, the gal was walking with a friend who seemed a little younger, and they ended up stopping near an entrance under the grandstand (where there are commercial exhibit vendors) and the brunette in the poncho and sexy outfit finished her cigarette.  It was a pretty nice show all things considered, but that face did not match the body at all!

I was taking advantage of the sightings continuing to come at a healthy clip in the lead-up to 8:00.  I visited the beer gardens block and half-expected my tall country cutie to be there again as she had been so many times before, but on this pass I would have to settle for what appeared to be another nonsmoking father/smoking daughter combination.  A middle-aged guy was walking in the company of a cigarette-wielding dark blond late 20s daughter.  Sighting #119 was dressed conservatively in a black windbreaker with blue jeans on the bottom, bopping to the music playing inside while taking intermittent puffs from her cigarette.  The father was apparently heading inside the beer gardens to pick up a beer for both of them and the daughter stood outside on the sidewalk, continuing to plug away at her cigarette.  I got a couple of pics, one a rear shot that turned out okay but doesn’t give you much a look at her.  She was smoking slowly and it was annoying, so I decided to head on out.  The concert still hadn’t started and I kept wanting to revisit the grandstand area just in case my country cutie or any other hot girls were having a cigarette in the moments before the concert started.  And suffice it to say I got the timing just right…

As I ventured east of the grandstand, I could see from afar a cigarette in the right hand of this attractive mid-20s dark brunette in leggings and black boots that went almost all the way up to her knee.  I knew right away she would end up being Sighting #124, but she was in the company of another couple and was hugging the guy when I walked upon her so I didn’t get a full immediate view.  When she pulled away from the hug, the sighting took on an entirely new dimension when it was clear this girl was about 8 3/4 months pregnant!  And I’m not exaggerating either.  It would surprise nobody if this girl’s belly burst right in the middle of Toby Keith singing “Who’s Your Daddy”….yet here she was publicly and unashamedly smoking a cigarette. A bench was open only a few feet in front of this insanity and I took it, eager for a full show from the most jaw-dropping pregnant smoker sighting I can ever recall getting.  The intensity of her drags made it clear she was delivering nicotine for two as on three different occasions she put the cigarette in her mouth and carried out a dangling drag that lasted a good 10 seconds…..for everyone looking her direction to see….with her huge belly sticking out in a way that nobody could possibly miss.  It was astonishing to witness, both the chutzpah of her performance and the fact that nobody else seemed to be noticing.  I sat through the whole show and while I got a pic of her in mid-dangle, it’s blurry.  I made a special point of framing a more solid pic, however, and did pretty well capturing her holding on the second half of the cigarette, giving me photographic evidence of the wildest pregnant smoker sighting I ever recall getting.  She was accelerating her pace towards the end of the cigarette and wrapped it up while heading towards the grandstand gate.  Could there possibly be a more appropriate place for a final trimester pregnant smoker hottie to go than a Toby Keith concert?!?!  She walked briefly with the cigarette before crushing it out and tossing it into the trash can.  Whoa!  This may well have been the most unlikely sighting of the day and definitely qualifies for my top-five personal favorites of the day.  I never figured I’d be this grateful to Toby Keith!

It was after dark now and while I had gotten content with the idea of the rain being over, I looked up to the sky and saw some gnarly dark clouds on the horizon.  This is it, I figured, a final nail to the coffin that would accelerate the demise of a Sunday night at the fair where the grounds were already beginning to visibly depopulate, particularly around the beer gardens block.  While my favorite sightings of the day were over, the evening still produced a few killer moments that made the extra two hours on my increasingly pained feet worthwhile.  The first of them came just south of the beer gardens area where I spotted a 20-something couple that included a white guy and a biracial girl heading southward in the direction of the livestock buildings.  She was smoking and he wasn’t.  Sighting #131 had a backwards ball cap that gave off a very slight gangster aura, but the rest of her presentation was as straight-up wholesome as you can imagine, wearing a light jacket up top and a pair of tight medium-blue jean shorts on the bottom that wonderfully sculpted her ass, legs, and crotch.  She was another girl who really surprised me to see in possession of a cigarette, easily the most attractive nonwhite smoker girl I’d see all day.  I attempted my final photo of the night but it was too blurry to appreciate, so I just kept pace with the two of them and watched the show.  The girl was clearly the real deal, taking a couple of no-handlebar dangling drags, with sky conditions now being dark enough to appreciate the glowing red cherry on the end of her cigarette when she inhaled the smoke.  Really fantastic to watch the boyfriend walking next to her not smoking himself while his girlfriend was doing such wondrous things with her cigarette.  The couple approached some food vendor, but apparently only to ask directions.  She held her cigarette behind her back and the couple somehow got caught up in friendly conversation with a middle-aged guy in line at the same food stand.  For a minute or so, they bantered and the conversation elicited a beaming smile on this gorgeous face that seemed so dissonant with the smelly cigarette she was holding behind her back.  After the guy walked away, they asked whatever question they had to the food vendor and then started walking eastward to the livestock buildings.  It was at that point I decided to walk away.  Great as the sighting was, the direction they were going was sparse and typically sightingless, and she was a slow smoker so I’d likely be following them into Timbuktu for another few minutes before she finished the cigarette.  It was a tough choice and not likely the same one I’d have made last weekend in Indiana, but as I’ve said before, the Minnesota State Fair is a numbers game and there’s too much other stuff going on to follow a single sighting down a rabbit hole.

And then what did I do next?  I followed another slow-smoking hottie down a rabbit hole!  About 15 minutes later, I was heading down Underwood Avenue to the south side of the grounds when I came across a cluster of friends and laid eyes on this curly-haired young blond with a freshly lit cigarette in her hand.  The spot where I first saw her was dark enough that I couldn’t fully appreciate how pretty she was, but her silhouette sure had some promise.  I got closer and closer and finally discovered that Sighting #134 was another impossibly wholesome blond Minnesota cutie, looking 21 years old at most.  She was decked out in an unfortunate femininity-sapping long plaid shirt, but it worked because her shorts were so short that I was only a couple of times able to identify that they were light green.  The rest of the time, the long plaid shirt just flowed into her nice long legs as she walked around, looking like the prototypical girl who wears the guy’s shirt the next morning with nothing on the bottom after staying the night at his place.  And as she and her group walked out of the darkness to a better-lit area, the exposure of her face made it all the more clear what a wholesome cutie she was.  Her curly blond hair was up in a ponytail and matching that with her face,  she was the spitting image of “Maggie”, a 21-year-old blond I worked with at a small-town newspaper back in 2003.  Maggie said she was a social smoker in high school but never took to the habit, but I still have great memories of her as she shamelessly flirted with me in the office until the boss insisted that she behave herself.  She even came over to my place for some playtime a few times during my peak period with her in the summer of 2003.  I’ve kept in touch with Maggie since, but not since I left that job have I seen a girl who looked quite like her…until now.  And this girl, despite seeming completely sober, was a free spirit, galloping along the sidewalks in the company of her more subdued nonsmoking friends….

Now her smoking style was a mixed bag.  She was a VERY slow smoker, to the point of making the previous girl seem like a speed demon by comparison, but whenever I felt like I needed to walk away because she was eating up too much time, the cigarette would approach her lips for a no-handlebars dangling drag that left me in awe.  I’d have killed to see the real Maggie smoke like this 14 years ago.  I just couldn’t pull myself away as the group continued down one block after another, with the blond often going at least 90 seconds between drags.  At one point, the guy I presumed was her boyfriend approached her and the next thing I know she had a corn dog in her hand.  I figured she either tossed the cigarette or exchanged it with him for the corn dog, but as I walked up closer, I discovered it wasn’t an either-or scenario as she held the corn dog in one hand and her cigarette in the other.  Now it was a smoking-while-eating sighting and I really couldn’t walk away!  But ultimately I would as they approached this food vendor stand and were chatting away with the guy behind the counter, letting her cigarette smolder in her hand without dragging from it for a good minute before I had finally had enough.  This girl had the potential to be one of my best sightings of the day, and she came through with some pomp and circumstance to keep me entertained, but really slow smoking is a pet peeve of mine if I’m on a time constraint, real or self-imposed, and that cost her a few points despite her impressive style.  Nonetheless, I still communicate with Maggie (who’s now in her mid-30s with three kids!) once in a while and told her about my fetish back in 2003.  I’ll have to tell her I saw an early 20s smoker cutie at the Minnesota State Fair who reminded me of her!

It was approaching 9:00 now and while the fear of more thunderstorms seemed to be less than it was 45 minutes earlier, the blister on my left heel was really starting to become a problem.  And since I was favoring my left foot due to the heel pain, it was putting more strain on my right foot and that was getting sore as well.  But this was the Minnesota State Fair and it comes but twice a year, so I was determined to soldier through the pain for another hour and a half.  And I’d have to really dig in too because the usual evening sightings hotspots were fast becoming ghost towns on this Sunday evening.  But the beer gardens area would produce one final flurry of activity that started with a table of 20-somethings that included a tall brunette in tight jeans who I could see from a distance had a cigarette in hand.  She was checking out another girl’s phone amidst this cluster of friends and it took a while for her to get to the cigarette, but she finally opened her purse to extract her lighter and lit up to officially become Sighting #138.  She sat on the far end of the table to smoke her cigarette amidst this group of apparent nonsmokers, still getting shown images on another friend’s phone but attempting to shield them from direct exposure to her cancerous fumes as much as possible.  Meanwhile, I was so focused on this girl while waiting for her to light up, I had missed that two benches over sat a duo of early 20s girls, one black and one white, and only the black girl was smoking.  My Sighting #139 girl of color was not as stunningly hot as that mixed race girl from an hour earlier, but she was wholesome-looking and didn’t fit the profile at all of the rare breed of young black female smoker.  I sat back for a while and watched these two smoke, but the black girl and her friend didn’t stick around much longer before they got up to leave…and I kind of sensed they knew I was watching them.

Whatever the case, the best smoker of this flurry of activity as two couples went walking by out onto the fairgrounds.  One of the two females in the group of four was smoking, and Sighting #140 happened to be a mid-20s dark blond who had a sort of Rosie the Riveter thing going on with a tied-up red, white, and blue blouse and pair of short jean shorts on the bottom.  Oh this was gonna be a good one, I thought, following her onto the street as she and her boyfriend walked away with cigarettes in hand.  Unfortunately, I’d only see two drags from the rear before she knelt down to stub out the cigarette and toss it in the trash.  I doubled back to the beer gardens in hopes of ongoing smoking there.  The Sighting #138 brunette was still sitting on the edge of the table smoking and checking out shit on somebody’s phone, but I also noticed a duo of late 20s gals seated on one of the benches up against the side of the bathroom building.  One was blond and the other brunette, both smoking.  Neither of the girls who made up Sightings #141 or #142 was stunningly memorable on her own right but the blond was the better-looking of the two and it was just nice generally to see a couple of young ladies casually smoking while chatting amongst each other.  It was also nice to get all these sightings within just a few minutes of each other at the same spot as I needed to goose my numbers at that point in the evening and wasn’t expecting any flourishes that substantial at that point in the evening.  For those brief moments in time, I didn’t even notice my foot pain.  Funny how that works.

That flourish was an aberration though as the sightings were slow going from there.  Nonetheless, I was having the damndest time making it to my planned destination without a smoker girl distraction, and that destination was the Leinie Lodge free stage where George Clinton was performing.  I figured George Clinton’s audience would skew older but also figured there was a chance that there’d be a party crowd hanging out there…..worth checking out anyway.  I was heading down Judson Avenue en route to Leinie Lodge but was gonna pick up a pork chop on a stick on my way and did.  From there it was just a quick walk past the haunted house and the International Bazaar before I got to the Leinie Lodge…but once again the best-laid plan got sidetracked….

I was weaving my way through a small huddle standing near the haunted house, not even really considering the prospect of tobacco use as I stepped in front of a trio of wholesome early-to-mid 20s blonds, but getting a very pleasant surprise when one of the three young ladies had an unlit all-white cigarette in her mouth.  I walked a little to the side and got a better look at Sighting #145 as she lit up, one of three blonds who looked so much alike I wondered if they were sisters or at least cousins.  Their apparent similarity in age suggested they were more likely just friends who looked a lot alike, but it was still an odd sight to behold.  Only one of them would smoke, the 23ish dark blond in tight black jeans, but that was one more than I’d ever expected I would.  And best of all, she was a great smoker with delightfully fast-paced drags in contrast to the two slow-poke girls responsible for my previous two extra-base hits.  On top of everything else, she was also the most obnoxious smoker of the day, on two occasions taking drags and then exhaling straight ahead into the faces of her nonsmoking friends as they stood there, while I was hovering in the background eating my pork chop pretending I had a reason to be there.  The sighting was only sedentary for a couple of minutes before the girls started walking eastward on Judson, again the opposite direction of the way I was going, but I needed to see this one out and followed.  Her fast smoking pace continued as they progressed and it was wonderful to see her approach that cigarette to her pretty face and take impressively deep drags with such regularity, exhaling out a snootful of smoke into the evening sky in illegal areas every 10 seconds or so.  This continued for about three more minutes until she finished her cigarette.  I thought for sure with as obnoxious as this girl was, I’d get a butt ID when she was finished, but even this girl knelt down to stub out the cigarette on the pavement and then tossed it in the trash.  These Minnesota smoker girls need to go back to being littering pigs…and fast!  Still, she would be the last great sighting of the night and well worth changing my walking route and following.

I was now headed back in the direction I came from determined to check out the crowd at that George Clinton concert before it ended…and I finally made it this time!  The crowd was impressive and there were some young people there too despite George Clinton being 75 years old.  But I spent a good 10 minutes walking around the periphery of the seating area and didn’t find anyone under 50 smoking, so I ventured back into the primary streets of the fairgrounds, aware the night was slipping away pretty quickly with diminishing crowds and diminishing prospects.  Interestingly though, after all that time scanning the crowd at the George Clinton concert for young female smokers, I’d get about 100 yards north of the concert stage near a bar and grill and would find a blond early 20s hottie sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette.  Sighting #147 was seated all by herself with only her phone and her cigarette to keep her company.  The bench immediately next to her was occupied but I was able to take the next bench and still get a pretty good show.  It was dark so I couldn’t evaluate her profile too closely, but I could still see she had a nice body with her bottom half draped a tight pair of gray leggings.  She was distracted by her phone which helped me watch the nice smoking show undetected, her cigarette cherry glowing red every time she placed it in her mouth for a long drag, followed by the slow expulsion of fumes from inside of her.  It was a nice show and I got to see about six drags before she did what every Minnesota State Fair smoker girl seems to do this year, bending over to crush out the cigarette on the pavement before standing up and throwing it in the trash.  She then headed inside the bar and grill, perhaps to meet back up with her nonsmoking friend(s) but the place seemed pretty empty.

I had less than an hour to go at this point and very sore feet to navigate on.  My plan was to hit the usual hotspots one last time and then make a final run down the midway before I left.  The midway has not been overly productive in recent years, even in the evening hours, but since there was little else going on elsewhere on the grounds, I thought it would be a gamble worth taking since there was at least a crowd on the midway.  If I was gonna get another great teen smoker sighting on August 27, 2017, this seemed the most likely place to find it.  And oddly, for the first time in many years, the gigantic huddle of teens on the block just east of the midway entrance was trimmed by about 90% this year.  I’m not sure if the cops decided to crack down on the gathering or if the kids just weren’t that interested on a cool wet Sunday night, but even last year on Labor Day weekend that teen huddle was responsible for my best sighting of the day, an underage smoker girl bulldozing her way through the thick crowd with smoldering cigarette in hand dragging away. That was a rare exhibit for this day and age, and definitely nowhere to be seen last night as the best I would do is see a 16-ish hottie holding a vaporizer.  While vaporizers weren’t a huge deal yesterday, generally, I still saw a handful of teen girls walking around with them….more than I saw with actual cigarettes.  I continue to underestimate the magnitude of the threat posed by e-cigarettes and vaporizers, buying into their ordained death prematurely after FDA action a couple of years ago.  It took me back to just five years ago, when it was not THAT uncommon to see a teen girl smoking a cigarette at the Minnesota State Fair…and before I’d ever seen a single teenage girl in possession of an e-cigarette.

After cobbling together a few modest sightings elsewhere leading up to 10:00, I took to the midway on my beat up old feet at about 10:05, where both my face and my limping walking pace had to have been evidence enough to anyone looking at me that I was in pain…..a chain of events that all started because of a little hole in the heel of my sock!  Early indications were not good as the first teen girl I saw who had something to inhale from was holding a vaporizer and was anticipating that this might be a massively depressing final walk down the midway.  I saw a group of early 20s gals where one was smoking a cigarette, but nobody was gonna be mistaking her for the prettiest girl on the midway.  I had almost made the full 15-minute loop through the midway when I finally spotted a duo of young ladies sitting on a bench sharing a cigarette.  I first spotted the cigarette in the hand of a pretty brunette who would be Sighting #154 but just as I laid eyes on her she was handing the cigarette to a wholesome blond friend in maroon shorts seated next to her who took a drag to become Sighting #155.  A bench was open across from them and I sat down to watch the show, pleased as punch that the midway wasn’t gonna be a completely dry run.  The brunette was the prettier of the two but was holding a beer so I figured she must be 21.  The blond was pretty too but had a more innocent look, and no beer which suggested she probably wasn’t yet 21 and certainly didn’t look it.  The blond only got two quick drags from the cigarette before handing it back to the brunette who finished it off.  It was a fairly brief show before the brunette dropped the cigarette to the pavement and crushed it out.  Finally, a girl littered her cigarette butt, but the girls failed to get up to leave–and I did have to leave since I had to meet the folks in 10 minutes–so I still wasn’t gonna get the butt ID!  I walked past as closely as I could and was able to see it was a cork filter cigarette but still never got the brand.  Looking at the girls one last time I was pleased they made my midway adventure worth taking.

The beer gardens block is just across the street and slightly to the south of the midway, so I was able to make one more pass before meeting my parents, finding it mostly hollowed out save for one chubby late 20s gal who would be Sighting #156, my final sighting of the evening.  Usually I’m chomping at the bit to stay at the fair longer, annoyed that I have to meet my parents at 10:30 and head home.  Insofar as the Toby Keith concert was not yet over, meaning there was still potential to get an after-concert sighting or five from my tall country cutie who went to the concert, I was still a little annoyed, but my feet were so fucked up by that point in the night that I was ready to get in the backseat of the car and rest them on the long ride home.  The folks were able to park the car closer to the fair gates than usual this year so in a few short minutes I was able to climb into that backseat and chill as planned.

Even though I wrapped up the day with 156 sightings, eight fewer than my modern era low (from Day 2 of the 2015 Minnesota State Fair), I still thought it was a successful day at the fair with a steady drumbeat of extra-base hits including some top girls of the day with repeat performances, a handful of above-average mother-daughter sightings, and lest we forget, a certain tall blond who ran away with the day.  The fact that I ended up going on Sunday, and the day  was beset by rain at that, helped me lower expectations some, although attendance was nonetheless robust with more than 197,000 fairgoers yesterday. In the last two fair seasons, my opening weekend visit was far and away the better of the two days, so this is the third year in a row I’ve walked away from Day 1 of the Minnesota State Fair very satisfied with my haul.  It was a nice comeback after last weekend’s mess of an Indiana State Fair.  The heat is on for next weekend at the Minnesota State Fair to live up to this weekend’s high standard.  Of course there were also some red flags, with the average age of my smoker girl sightings haul trending upward and very, very few high school age smokers to be found.  Seeing even a handful of vaporizers in the hands of adorable teen girls yesterday was an extra gut punch.  Still, with the outrageously high cost of name-brand cigarettes in Minnesota (approaching $10 a pack), it’s rather amazing there’s as many young female smokers to be found as there are.  Another problem I have is that as I finish this writeup on Tuesday evening, I still have a huge blister on my left heel with three full days left for it heal before I plan to be on it for 13-14 hours again.  The soreness is diminishing but even if it’s mostly gone by Saturday morning, it seems likely to flare back up again during my extensive walking of the grounds.  I can only cross my fingers that the healing process is ahead of schedule and that I’m good to go (without holy socks!) because any kind of obstruction at all keeping me from fully enjoying my last weekend of fair season fetishing is too horrible to even consider.



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