On Friday I packed up my stuff and started piling it outside where Bob
(my ride) and Stacy & Eric (our caravan companions) would meet me at my
house. They got in around 3:30 and we started packing.
We set out to Recreation Plantation. The traffic was pretty bad for a
while (Memorial Day weekend!), but once we got out of Austin it was
great -- beautiful curving roads, the sun was shining, and the
landscape was the hilly central Texas brush that is so beautiful.
Before I knew it, we'd arrived at our destination, with the Moody Blues
blaring from the stereo. As we drove up, I got my ticket and someone
announced "Welcome home." Home, yes. It really was.
Also on our way in, our greeter reminded us of the rules -- leave no
trace, etc. and also gave me a certificate proclaiming me an honorary
We felt a little confused once we drove in, as no one had explained
where camping was or how it worked. I knew from previous excursions to
Rec. Plantation, when CMA
was still there, that all the action happens on the lower field and so I
wanted to camp there. However, it turned out that the lower field was
for theme camps only and since I wasn't part of one I couldn't camp down
I was momentarily miffed by this, but then I had to remind myself that
this wasn't a CMA event, this was a totally different beast --
a festival of art and music, and it was only right that the people who
would be doing the majority of the creation should be the ones who can
camp near it.
Instead, I found myself a nice spot in a clearing under a mesquite tree
(ok, bush :) with some good shade and began to unload and set up. The
ground was really rocky, so I couldn't put up my little candle lamps
that hang on poles, which I've previously used around the tent at CMA
events. I did set up my small altar.
Then, since a sign on the way in said we should introduce ourselves, I
set about meeting my neighbors. Everyone was super-friendly, and
immediately welcomed me into their group. This camp, it turns out, was
mostly the 'FlipSeattle' group, a gathering of Seattle Burners who had
moved to the Austin area. All were wonderful and clearly artistic,
quirky people -- just the kind of 'freaks' I was looking for. Patrick,
Patty, Pope Xeno, Fiona, June, Ranger Bubba, Dominique, Hoffman Yoga,
Adam and all the rest -- you'll all live on inside me, and I can't wait
till we cross paths again down the road -- in Austin, or maybe in Black
Getting set up took me a while, but once I'd gotten the tent up, met my
neighbors, and put all the stuff where it belonged, I set off to
explore a bit. People were still getting in, getting set up. Some of
the theme camps, and much of The Stranger were being set up.
Eventually, I went back to camp and ate some food -- I was starving!
(will be continued)