Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Delfest Bluegrass Festival

We first heard about Delfest from our friends Amy and Levi in Cedar Key. Delfest is a Bluegrass Festival in Cumberland, Maryland, which is about as bluegrass as you can get. Cumberland is situated in the western part of the state in the Appalachian Mountains very close to West Virginia. Getting to the festival was a bit like riding a roller coaster through the mountains and Bebe hung in there like a champ. Once off the freeway, we had to follow a special route for RVs to avoid some low bridges on the way to the check-in, where we saw Brian, Maria, Amy, and Levi doing their volunteer duties. On the way from the check-in to the festival site, which was a couple of miles away, I spotted a couple of young folks looking very much like they needed a ride, so I stopped and offered them a trip in the RV. They were thrilled and we talked Burning Man all the way to our campsite. A couple of days later, they found us in the crowd at the festival and treated us to one of their beers.
with Amy & Levi, sporting our Trailer Trash & Roaming Pint shirts & the new sticker on their airstream

At the festival, we were directed to a great site not far from the main stage (like 3 rv's away from the entrance) and close to our friends. We got set up and made our place look like home, complete with our pink flamingo and houseplants that drew a lot of attention from people passing by throughout the weekend. When people saw our Californian license plates, they often stopped to chat and ask if we had driven from California for the concert. One lady stopped when she saw me replanting our cilantro and she said that she thought she’d seen everything at Delfest over the years, but never someone doing their gardening.

Levi and Amy were hosting three guys that were hiking the Appalachian Trail and had taken a break to go to the festival. They all had fun nicknames, like hashers. There was Yukon, a friend of Levi’s and two guys he met on the trail, Squatch and Boomer. These guys looked like they could use a rest from all that hiking and they seemed to be able to sleep almost anywhere.
Levi showing us how it's done...

The weather was a major factor for the weekend. We started with lots of rain, mostly in the afternoon and at night, which kept us pretty much hunkered down in the RV. By Saturday, the skies has cleared and record high temperatures were in the forecast, so it was time to take advantage of the river that runs by the festival site. We inflated our rafts and hiked up to the drop in point. The river was shallow, but running pretty fast, so the ride was only about 20 minutes before we needed to pull out. We took several trips down the river, and when the timing was right, we could enjoy the music coming from the main stage as we floated by.

Beer Belly Brothers!
One day, we were sitting outside the RV when a couple came by yelling "On On" and announced they were from the DC hash and had seen our hash flag. This is only about the third time we’ve flown the hash flag, and the first time someone from another hash had stopped by because they’d seen it. They said they were camping with a bunch of DC hashers, and later that evening, about six more hashers from DC dropped in and we shared some beers and whatever it was they were drinking (some sort of iced tea vodka thing). We talked about the possibility of setting a trail the next day and set up a tentative start time of 11ish. But that never happened. I was all set to go, but no one showed up—probably too many stayed up for the late show, we also went to. Staying up until 3:00 a.m. was a new experience for us old folks and we definitely felt it the next day.

My brother Scott drove up from Richmond for the weekend and got a room in a hotel in town. We didn’t see too much of Scott, but he did bring lots of beer to share, and we definitely appreciated that. He brought a couple of his fiddles and got to participate in a workshop one day, so that along with the music and some time with family made it a worthwhile trip for him.
Bill's birthday fire balloon

Debby found a yoga class that she could attend in the mornings in one of the buildings on the grounds. I went with her on the first morning, but it was pretty crowded so I opted for a shower instead. The yoga was a great way to start the day after a hard night of partying at the festival.

One of the nice things about hanging out with Brian and Maria and our other NuRVer friends is that we do a lot of crowd-sourced meals, which makes for some mighty fine eatin’. Saturday was definitely a Mexican kinda day, especially for me. I started the day with a breakfast burrito from one of the vendors at the festival, then had chicken quesadillas for lunch, followed by Maria’s burritos for dinner. Before leaving for the festival, I had made some of my famous salsa fresca, which went well with all the food and was devoured in short order.

After four days of Bluegrass and bluegrass influenced music, we were ready for a change of pace. We bid a sad farewell to Amy, Levi, Maria, and Brian, who were headed to Virginia to work on Stanley and explore the craft brew scene in the DC area.

1 comment:

  1. Love the fire balloon! Oh and gardening at the festival is seriously funny... a complete full timer move! ha ha ha.