Monday, August 10, 2009

Back Home, Sunburned and Tired

...But with a smile on my face and great memories of Rockin' the Rivers 2009. This photo of a full moon was taken on Thursday evening after Joe and I decided to get a good, full nights sleep on a real bed instead of trying to drive to the festival campground and set up in the dark. Now, you DO know crazy stuff happens on a full moon, right? Well, our crazy day began long before the sun went down! The day started innocent enough, but then "the incidents" began. I used my lunch hour to head to Wal-Mart for the last minute perishables. I shopped for 20 minutes, had to stand in the check-out line for 30! Joe used his lunch hour to do some running around, and while he was gone his mechanic dropped off his Jeep. I said something about Joe being happy it was all in good running order, and the shop assistant said something under his breath that I didn't quite catch, but it sounded negative. Then Mr. Shop Assistant asked me to have Joe call the mechanic. Hmmmm...
Joe called and was told the "squeaking noise" was dumbfounding the mechanic. Very odd, as this is a VERY knowledgeable guy. The Jeep should be OK for the short trip and if the noise changes to take it back in.
Fast Forward to 6pm. Yea! Joe has packed the Jeep, my Rav-4 is almost packed, and we are on our way for a much needed and looked forward to 4 day vacation filled with Classic rock, new friends, a little too much alcohol, and lots of fun! I leave first, telling Joe to meet me at my house in Helena as I wanted to make a last minute check on the dog, water the garden, and pack a pair of jeans that were in the drier.
I'm 20 miles outside of Great Falls when my cell rings. Joe is one mile out of Great Falls on the side of the road with coolant running out of the bottom of the car and the engine overheated. He thinks it may just be a hose, but I have a bad feeling and turn around at the next exit and head back to where he sits. When I get there, the mechanic had also just arrived with his tow truck. This is a very nice fellow and he is doing this free of charge (he also did the repairs needed free of charge, working over the weekend!) Joe and I had to make a quick decision of what we needed from the Jeep and what would stay behind. The little Rav was packed from floor to roof! We knew we would have to stop at my house, now not just for the little things I needed to do, but also to remove and re-pack our stuff to be sure we had everything we needed, and to make the load a little safer in the event we had an accident. Decapitation was not on my to-do list for the weekend!
By the time everything was said and done, it was after 10pm. I had been hearing weather reports of thunder storms moving through the area, and made the suggestion for us to just stay at my house and head out in the early morning. Joe was so stressed it didn't take much to convince him this was a good idea! As it turned out... it was an excellent choice. A storm dropped hail ranging in size from golf ball to tennis ball size over the campground that night. (It broke the windshield of a neighboring campers pickup!)
We arrived at the festival area about 9am. You have no idea anything is happening way out here in the middle of nowhere until you crest a hill and see this:

Hundreds of campers, RV's, and tents! We had arrived! We set up camp in our tiny allotted spot (see previous post for a photo!), met some of our neighbors, and finally relaxed into festival / vacation mode!
The music began at noon with some local Montana bands. They were followed up with Jared Stewart, Rhino Bucket (a new artist, not a classic rock band, but in the same style as many of the late 70's rock bands), The Smithereens, Tesla, and closing with a very popular Montana band who are gaining a national following- The Clintons- who finished up about 2am. We went to the air bed and our sleeping bags right after Tesla played while the younger set continued to party all around us. A short rain shower dampened the dust while we were heading back to camp, but only lasted a few minutes.

Saturday we woke to a beautiful morning. The mornings are quiet and actually peaceful! All the parties last into the wee hours, so those people don't even begin to stir until after 10am, leaving the sunrise to those of us who can't last that long anymore! After coffee from the percolator and a breakfast of fruit and bagels, we drove the few miles to Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. Not many of the festival goers know about the parks little gem--- Hot Showers!! A ten minute shower will cost you $3.00 in quarters, but after a day in the dust it is a small price to pay.

After the showers, we took a little drive to the town of Bozeman. It is about an hour or so south of Rockin' the Rivers, which is between Cardwell and Three Forks, Mt. The Bozeman area Geocachers were holding an event, and as we didn't plan to watch any of the bands playing before 3pm this was a great way to spend the day. One of our Geocaching friends from Great Falls was planning to catch the bands ( mostly wanted to see Peter Frampton!) at RtR that evening, so we invited him to stay at our camp site so he wouldn't have to drive afterwards.
We returned to RtR after the Geocaching event about 3pm, just in time to catch one of our festival favorites Too Slim & the Taildraggers:

Yep, just the 3 of 'em! (Too Slim always reminds me of the actor Steve Buscemi). The rest of the Saturday evening line-up was the Pat Travers Band, Sweet:

Peter Frampton (too dark for photo), and the night closed out with another festival favorite Hells Belles, an all girl AC/DC cover band. Since our friend Greg was hanging out with us, and we all had had a long day, we just sat at the campsite chatting by the light of the Coleman lantern after watching Peter Frampton perform. We headed to bed while listening to the last band's music flow over the campground.
Sunday morning was once again picture perfect. We just sat around chatting about nothing in particular while making omelets, washing them down with Mimosas. Greg took off for home around three, and Joe and I just hung around camp, listening to the music, people watching and swapping stories with our campground neighbors. Sunday's music lineup
was Randy Hansen (playing Jimi Hendrix tunes), Dave Walker Band, Spencer Davis Group-- this photo was taken while we were walking from the campsite to the music arena to watch Spencer Davis. The sunset was glowing off the old Sappington Junction Bridge:

My eye caught this licence plate, too. This was on an old bus style RV painted teal blue:

After Spencer Davis finished, it was Tommy James and the Shondells. I got this (bad) photo during the song "Mony, Mony!":

The Outlaws performed next, but I really wasn't impressed. I guess I'm just not that into 10 minute guitar sequences that were incorporated into every song. "Ghost Riders in the Sky" was about the only song I really knew of theirs. I sat and people-watched while Joe dozed off. We were trying to stay awake to watch the closing band El Loco, a very good ZZ Top cover band. We had never watched them, but many people had given them rave reviews. We managed to stay awake, but the night sky was clear as a bell and the temperature dropped into the 50's. We were both a little sunburned so the cool air was uncomfortably cold to us. We left for our camp site after only a few songs.
Monday morning (wow, was that only earlier today?!) we woke early and after a quick breakfast of coffee, Orange juice, and bagels; we began the task of tearing down our camp. It really didn't take much, but we would stop every now and then to joke with our camp neighbors:

Starting with the two guys sitting closest: Pete and his buddy Sam (who I dubbed re-Pete because I had trouble remembering his name!); Steve (lounging, hung over); Michelle (Mrs. "My Baby"); Tonya (Steve's wife); Lyn (Mr. "My Baby"); and this other dude who I don't think I was ever told his name. This was a great group to be set up next to-- although this was Michelle and Lyn's first anniversary and EVERYTHING was "Hey, My Baby? Can you ...." followed by:" Of course, My Baby!" On Sunday morning I counted six "My Baby"'s in less than 10 minutes!!! It became a running joke in our campsite. Of course, only when the newlyweds were out of earshot, that is! This photo was taken at about 9am, just as Joe and I were about to hop into the Rav-4 and head for home.
Joe was anxious to pick up his Jeep from the shop so we stopped at my house to unload most of the stuff that belongs here, then I took him home to Great Falls. We drove straight to the shop and although the Jeep wasn't quite finished, we did find out the radiator had split when the engine overheated. The squeak was diagnosed as a malfunctioning rocker arm (whatever that is), and since they were in the same area... they checked the water pump. That was looking worn, too, so it was replaced. A radiator, rocker arm replacement, water pump, and thermostat all replaced for free... not to mention the tow truck, too!
The mechanic was going to finish up on that, then deliver it to Joe's house.
I dropped Joe off, we finished unpacking the stuff that belonged there, and I turned around and came back home.
Chores were calling.
Vacation was over! I took a hot shower (no quarters required) and scrubbed my body squeaky clean with a shower loofa. I washed my hair three times. I brushed my teeth for about 10 minutes. Ahhhhhh! Clean again!
Life returned to normal.
Laundry started.
Garden watered.
Dog loved on.
Blog updated.
Now it's bedtime.

P.S. I would have taken more photos, but Joe had just found a great deal on a new camera for me and I am still learning how to use it. It is a Kodak Easy Share Z812 IS. This camera is really nice! 8.1 mega pixel, image stabilizer, 12x Optical zoom.... and I think if I can figure out all the functions, it just may wash dishes and fold laundry, too!


Jamie D. said...

Wow - looks like you had a really great time, and a cozy campsite! Frampton must have been up there just before he came down here to Billings - we saw him at MontanaFair on Sunday night (excellent concert).

Bummer it was such a rough start, but congrats on a great vacation (and all that free vehicle work...nice)!

Colorado Girl said...

Looks like a fun festival!