*If you know who H and C are, you’re in good shape to read the rest of this. If you do not know who they are, imagine a hippy Grizzly Adams for H, and a spry, talkative tween boy (who hates the term tween) for C.
Whew, okay. So now that things have settled down, here’s the other details of our mighty adventure. So, the place itself, the people within the event, and the scenery are mind-blowing for this one-level Ohioan (pavement). The camping on-site actually started a week before we even got there. We took our camping gear and lots of other stuff, but we did not take perishable food. Why? Because we knew there were going to be Food Trucks and because we didn’t know if the place had accoutrements for camp fires. Answer: nada for camp fires. BUMMER!
We put up the tent, got our stuff in it from the car, and I went to a gas station to get a pack of water bottles while H and C trekked the hill to the nearest tower of outlets to blow up the mattress. The first gas station didn’t have jack so I went to the next one, the later offending Exxon. I got the water and some cash from their ATM.
Glory be, what happened to me? The freakin’ electronic window, driver side, would NOT go back up. Crap.
I got back and we explored. We discovered that the trek up to the festivities from our tent was going to be mighty. We got a heck of a workout while we were there. H and C played with banjos, fiddles, and more. We finally found a friend who was camped out clear on the other side of the woods. I cheesed out early on both nights, but H and C stayed out late on the first night jammin’ with the enthusiasts.
On the second day, we checked out more instrument vendors and food trucks. All three of us went to the gas station to pick up a few things, snacks and H for the ATM to get a really freakin‘ cool 12-string mandolin that he later gave to a beaming and overjoyed C.
I have to admit right here, I had a bad feeling about going into the gas station before I went in on the second day.
Right after H got cash out of the ATM, we were standing in front of the refrigerators in the gas station and couldn’t decide what to get. I checked my own cash flow after H asked if I was good for the rest of the weekend. I concluded I was fine on funds. Hunger was getting the better of us so we finally decided on a couple of things each. After I put my wallet back in my bag I got the royal stink-eye from the female shop attendant. I thought she was giving us the evil eye because we must have been lingering too long.
So, H and C go up to the register first, then me. The female shop attendant, a woman in her early to mid-60s said for me to put what was in my bag on the counter too. “Excuse me”?
“I saw you put lunch meat in your bag.”
“You put it in your bag and then you turned around and smiled at me.”
“I smiled because I was acknowledging your presence.”
After my face went blood red and eerily, angrily expressionless (according to H and C – this is a phenomenon I’ll have to explore), I took out of the whole contents of my bag. Nada. Nothin’.
Before I got the last of it out of my bag, the man whom I had seen the day before and had carried the pack of water to my car immediately went to the ice cream refrigerator, offered his sincerest apologies and fudge bars, “since we were wrong”.
Like really, do you want to associate yourself with the accuser here? Did you know she was going to accuse me? Were you accusing me?
She began apologizing, but really back-handedly, “You never can be too sure this time of year” (referring to the festival).
H was incredibly upset and ret’ ta go, C was stunned. I refused the “extras” and said, “No, we’ll take what is on the counter, and pay for it.” So, she rang it up, I paid, we left, and OOPS. H left his sunglasses on the ATM machine. So, he had to go back in and get ’em.
Then, we got hit by a really amazing thunderstorm that shook our sturdy tent and empathetically distracted me from my severe irritation. The fresh mist continued until the next day and we finally packed up and hit the road – open driver side window on I-77N at 70 mph and all.
1. Don’t let a fickle window stop ya, but get it fixed when you get home whether it rolled up again or not.
2. Take up a string instrument so you don’t feel like the only person not playing next year.
3. Shop at grocery stores in the backwoods of W. Virginia, not gas stations. Thems some weird, leery folks. They think cash looks like lunch meat.