Wednesday afternoon we made the quick drive to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, I drove Jill’s car while Jill drove with Robin. We actually got there while they were letting the first wave of cars in – our earliest arrival ever! We got Robin a ticket then headed in. A couple people were already in the Shantytowne area, and we were about twenty feet up the hill from where we were last year. We got our tents set up, helped some other folks with theirs, then set up the big canopies as they arrived. The Jewells needed to do the cooking since it was the last day their steaks were good, so it was a steak and martini (and salad) night. Most everyone had arrived by dark, and we caught up into the night.
Thursday morning Jill, Robin, Meg and I went for a run while Stuart and his brother Cliff made bagels and lox for breakfast. In the afternoon I checked out some music at the nearby George Fox Pavilion before starting my beef and lemon stir fry. Last year we had a competition with another campsite about a lemon tree, and that night we were hosting a peace potluck full of lemon filled dishes. The Jewells had wisely brought prebaked poundcakes, but the dish I planned took a couple hours of prep and cooking. The dinner was a success and nice to meet new folks. Later in the evening we checked out Folk Arts Quartet, mixing folk and classical music before catching a bit of Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams at the way too crowded Dance Stage. We had thought about seeing Kathy Mattea later, but a light rain was falling and we passed.
Friday Stuart made his Jonnycakes (with a new recipe) and scrapple, very fine. In the afternoon we checked out a number of artists in the Emerging Artist Showcase, where they’ve got 10 minutes to wow the crowd. I’d tried to listen to songs from every artist who made them available to download, and had already picked two of my favorites to vote for, A.J. Roach and Liz Longley. I decided I also liked K.C. Clifford and voted for the three of them to come back next year. Next I saw the Living Planet workshop, notable for having Girlyman and Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams. As Jill and I were making fajitas for dinner, a storm was approaching and as soon as we finished eating we battened down the hatches and braced ourselves. It wasn’t bad, but it lasted over two hours, enough to stop the main stage performances (we did plenty of singing ourselves in the meantime). As it was ending, we got the word (via text messaging) that Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul was going to play her set in the Volunteer Tent, so some of us headed down and caught the last few songs, pretty amazing. Since we were already out (and our feet were muddy), Stuart and I made the trip up the hill to see Anthony Da Costa and Abbie Gardner play at the Budgiedome. They were fantastic, but I didn’t make it into bed until well after 2AM.
Saturday I managed to wake up enough to do a main stage tarp run, but was tired enough to fall back asleep until Jill woke me at 9:30 to let me know everyone was waiting for breakfast. So I took a shot of gin and we made scrambled eggs, sausage and toast for the crowd. I caught a bit of Susan Werner in the early afternoon since she was playing with Natalia Zukerman, then saw Anthony Da Costa perform at Acoustic Live in the vendor area. The roads dried enough so I could get Robin’s car out, then she took off (she wanted a day to herself before going back to work). Later we caught a bit of Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams again before going over to The Songs of Paul Simon workshop. Susan Werner had a nice take on “Hazy Shade Of Winter” (though I still prefer The Bangles’ version) and David Glaser brought on the Cajun flavor for “That Was Your Mother”. Even some of the artists there whom I’m not a fan of managed to do pretty good jobs. We grilled sausages and hot dogs for dinner (great with some Opa Opa watermelon ale), then went to the main stage for Girlyman‘s set, a great mix of old and new tunes. I thought about heading back up the hill for some more late night song swaps, but it started raining again and I opted to sit under the nice dry (for the most part) canopies until bedtime.
Sunday morning Lorna and Dave made eggs, then we broke down camp and packed up. By the time we got all the vehicles and stuff through the mud and over to the parking areas, we’d missed the start of the days music. We did catch We’re About 9 at Acoustic Live, as well as Ellis Paul and Lucy Wainwright Roche at the Off the Beaten Track workshop. We were going to stay for two more workshops, but the next one wasn’t that great, plus it started raining. It was a light one, but we were ready to go. We had a new strategy this year, we just drove the ninety minutes back to Jill’s mom’s house. It was a good decision for a couple reasons: first it was raining harder as soon as we got on the highway, and second it was incredible to be able to shower when we got there. We also aired out some of our stuff, then repacked before it started raining again. Sue made porkchops with gravy and mashed potatoes at Jill’s request and it was pretty tasty. I headed to bed a little after 9PM as I was wiped out and wanted to get an early start.
I woke up a little after 3AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. That was fine, as we didn’t hit the road until 4AM, right when I wanted to leave. It was the best trip home every, 7.5 hours start to finish with two stops. No traffic backups anywhere, including Delaware, bane of 95 travelers. We were home before noon, got to unpack, air stuff out and get Illa from the kennel. I grilled a chicken patty for Jill and a burger for me for lunch, and made shrimp scampi for dinner. It was an early bedtime even though I barely finished half of what I wanted to do, but at least it’s only a four day week.