Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Watching Scrubs finally paid off

I decided to take some time off from work last weekend and get back in touch with nature. This is most often a great idea. Dave has never been camping before, so I figured that going to a music festival would take some of the sting out of his first real camping experience. We roughed it (No electricity, no running water) but there were porta-potties all over the place, which is so very necessary at a music festival where beer drinking is encouraged.

I've never really been a huge fan of bluegrass, but this festival was a great primer in the genre. The fans of bluegrass music are pretty outstanding, too. Lots of nice hippies. Lots of organic cotton and tie dye. Lots of campers. We stayed at Camp Ben McCulloch, which is a really good spot. It's in the hill country and right next to a cold, clear creek and it's got some really beautiful grounds. It was a stonesthrow away from the Salt Lick Pavilion, which is where most of the festival music was.

We got to the camp late on Wednesday night and had to set up in the dark. It wasn't hard because when our tent arrived from REI.com on Tuesday (in the nick of time!) we set it up in the back yard. We went with the Sirius 3 by Sierra Designs mostly because it's light enough to be carried by one person on a backpacking trip but big enough for two people on a regular camping trip.

So we set up our tent and I helped our friend Cody set up the screened shelter and then we cooked some dinner. I missed cooking dinner outside. It's a real blast. For some reason, cooking while camping makes everything taste ten times better. On the menu that night: Beer brats, sauerkraut and potato salad. I pre-made a lot of the stuff for the trip that couldn't be thrown over a grill in a hurry, like the potato salad, and marinated all of the meat before hand. Needless to say it was some tasty stuff. We stayed up and drank for a while and then I passed out. We woke up pretty early the next day and sobered up over cowboy coffee, eggs and bacon.

The downside to roughing it in the country is the lack of opportunities to shower. Lucky for me, it didn't get too hot during the day, so we really didn't sweat much. It got maybe 85, max. At night, though, it was nice and chilly. It dipped down into the 40s and 50s -- perfect cuddling weather. Despite the lack of showers, Onion Creek passed right by our campsite, so I grabbed some castille soap and washed off in the creek. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences to dive into what would become my bath tub. I swam as much as I could this weekend because it's not exactly like Dallas is surrounded by spring-fed creeks to swim in.

I almost didn't dive in the creek, though, because on Thursday, not long after our other camping companions arrived, we saw a lot of folks gathering around the rope-swing. It turns out that the creek was too shallow to rope-swing into, and one guy must have hurt himself pretty badly because he was flown out on a buck board and neck brace by helicopter. Scary.

So, we drank, ate and that night we went to a show at the campsite. It was pretty awesome, and what made it even awesome-er was the fact that they had HULA HOOPS!!! Any concert is better with hula hoops. Dave's back was acting up, though, so we headed back to camp before everyone else, which was a good idea because we may have been 20 yards from the campsite before it started to drizzle. As soon as we started to gather things in the tent and under the shelter it was like the sky opened and we were soaked in a deluge. Sheets of rain propelled by heinous winds crashed against our little tent while lightening coursed the sky like cracks in an eggshell. We woke up the next morning and -- surprise!-- we were the only ones in our camp that stayed dry! We had the smallest tent, but we didn't take on any water!

We hung out at the campsite until just after lunch. Plenty of time for me to finish my FIRST PAIR OF SOCKS!!!

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Awesome, no? I was pretty much bragging on them all weekend, saying stuff like, "That's a beautiful sunset! It's almost as beautiful as MY HANDKNIT SOCKS, EH???"

FYI, already started my second pair!

Anywho, we went to the Salt Lick Pavilion, where they had vendors and more bands. Lots of tie dye, and lots of cool hippie-type clothing. Lots of poeple in both tie-dye and hippie duds.

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Later that night we went to Gruene Hall to see SonVolt. Dave was right up next to the stage all night like a huge dork. He snagged some autographs and a picture of him with his idol, Jay Farrar.

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We came back and ate grilled meat and eggplant, which was pretty awesome.

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The next day? More creek bathing/swimming, more bluegrass, more gorgeous weather, more hula hoops, more relaxation, a little impromptu yoga and a LOT of beer. Dave and I brought two boxes of wine, a four pack of Murphy's and a four pack of Boddingtons and two 12-packs of Modelo. We finished the modelo, finished one box of wine, finished the Murphy's and drank the exceptional draft beer they had at the Salt Lick. In four days. My liver needs a break.

We returned to Dallas to dogs that missed us and roses that bloomed vigorously in our absence.

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Now, Dave and I watch quality shows, but one that we have watched almost religiously is Scrubs. It's funny, and unapologetically so. It's good that we watch it, because Dave knew exactly what he needed to do when he took me to the emergency room last night after I was attacked by a dog. The dog freakin' jumped the fence of a neighbor's yard and came barrelling toward us. It started attacking Hornsby, and I was trying to pull on Hornsby's leash to get him free so we could run away, but I must have made that dog pretty angry, because he bit the crap out of me. See for yourself *WARNING* Don't follow the link if you have a weak stomach!

So I've been laid up at home, my leg is swollen and I can't really walk. Dave is doint his best to wait on me, but I'm sure it's getting old. What a crappy thing to happen after a really great vacation, right?

4 comments:

MattJ said...

Owch! That's a nasty bite, hope you get all mended soon!

now, onto business. Bluegrass I have a secret affection for, that is if bluegrass is what i think it is - people like Rye Cooder right?

Secondly, I think you mean 'more awesomer'. Even awesomer indeed! :p

Thirdly - You got yourself some boddies bitter?! That si so cool, real ale drinkers will turn their nose up at it but they are elitists who think you should be able to chew your beer.

Also I have found myself defending American beer since going out there, its only the shit that gets exported over here en masse (bud, coors, miller and the like) that is crap - the smaller breweries and the micro breweries kick out soem great stuff that is sometimes like a weird cross breed of bitter and lager! I had a merry evening in a Pittsburgh bar drinking Iron City and some Microbrewery creation whose name I forget!

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Dude who has a dog that bites people?!

I understand that dogs are dogs, and Murph gets in the occasional fight with another dog, but never a person. Unbelievable. I hope that you're fine once your leg starts to heal, and...

Great Socks!

Olivia said...

Oww, that's a proper bite!

I can't believe you stayed chronological and wrote about that after the festival. I would have started:

"I got bitten, look! But before that, this is what I did..."

Hehe. Speaking of which, that festival looks like fun, but I doubt I'd ever camp outdoors. You make me laugh when you say you can't sweat at 85 degrees. You really are a Texan.

Get better soon.

Jo said...

Liv, trust me, I wouldn't have started with the bite if I had intended to stray from a chronographical account of my vacation. It would have started like this:

"GUESS WHAT Y'ALL? I KNIT MY VERY FIRST PAIR OF SOCKS!!! AREN'T THEY FABULOUS???"

Seriously, though. If you want to follow the healing process, check out the "BITE WATCH 2008" set on my flikr page.