Dirt rolls from his palm,
Blades of grass
Tumble from his hair.
Dirt rolls from his palm,
We had a lovely time this past Memorial Day weekend at the Strange Creek Campout. This was the festival's tenth year. We also went in 2007 and 2008, and in 2009 went to the Wormtown festival at the same place in the fall. The highlight of the event (besides the music) is the river which borders the site, at least as far as the kids are concerned. The property is actually a summer camp when it isn't hosting music festivals, and includes a playground, cabins, woods, and fields. There seem to be zillions of birds. I heard lots of birdsong but didn't spend any time really trying to spot them.
We left NYC late, after Tree Kid's school concert and Scout meeting, and drove most of the way there, stopping at a HoJo's in the wee hours for a few hours of sleep. In the morning we stopped at a shopping center to exchange our propane tank and pick up flip-flops for the boys, then drove the last 45 minutes to arrive in time to set up camp before the music started at noon. As soon as camp was organized, the Tarpmaster headed over to the music while the boys and I went down to explore the creek. The festival has grown considerably since we last attended, and there were lots of people on the riverbank.
We walked upstream where it was less crowded. The boys found a nice swimming spot where we hung out for a bit and then we proceeded upstream to where there had been a landslide due to last fall's freak October snowstorm. The configuration of the river has changed as a result, with new channels and sandbars and fallen trees and other debris here and there. Along the way Tree Kid found an old road sign in the water. We met some kids who knew Tree Kid from the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival last summer, and together went up to investigate the landslide. After most of the kids had climbed the hill we headed back, stopping for more swimming. We ended the day with a great set by Donna the Buffalo.
This year we tried doing our hot meal for lunch and sandwiches for dinner, in order not to have to miss any of the evening bands. It worked out well. Our hot meals were baked beans and rolls (I forgot the sausages), rice and beans with tortillas, and pasta with sauce. For breakfast we had eggs with Canadian bacon and pancakes with breakfast sausage. For the evening meals we had sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, tuna salad with pita chips, and fruit. Raisins and granola bars for snacks. All very easy to prep, cook, and clean up. I think I've finally just about mastered the art of packing and unpacking relatively quickly and painlessly, although I still have a few bits and pieces to organize. We packed a bit lighter than usual and the only forgotten item was the sausage.
This was the first festival where both kids are old enough to get around by themselves some of the time. Tree Kid wanted to hang out with his friends instead of us, so on Saturday morning Top Kid and I went back to the river just the two of us and had fun swimming, exploring, and taking pictures. Then we had lunch and enjoyed some more music. The cottonwood trees were spewing fluff all over the main stage area like some sort of vegetable snow.
Sunday was pretty much more of the same :-) We all ended up back at the river for another swim and Tree Kid got buried in sand. The weather was just about perfect all weekend, so the only downside was that the Tarpmaster and I got moderately sunburned even though of course we should know better. We packed everything we could into the car in the morning so we could take off right after the show ended, got back into the city in the wee hours and were up in the morning not too late for the boys to march with the Cub and Boy Scouts in the Brooklyn Memorial Day parade.Share