Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Schwagstock or bust - May 21-25

Last year my brother told me about this place Camp Zoe (http://www.campzoe.org/)

- that held these big concert events called Schwagstock ( I guess it's kind of Missouri version of Woodstock). Got rained out last year, but I was determined to go this year - cause I could be high and dry in the vardo. Couldn't convince anyone to go with me (think all my friends thought this might be a little too "out there" for them) so I said "what the hey I'm going on my own. Brother Jeff and Linda were planning on going too, so I wouldn't be completely alone. By the way it was his big 50 birthday coming up. So Meg and I made him a special cake with a bobber harley. Making a motorcyle out of fondant is really a challenge - but I think it turned out rather well!

I had called the Camp asking about an electic sites (air would be nice - so would my Cpap machine) they said no guarantees. I left early Thursday morning and made my merry way to Salem, MO. Course I had to stop at Walmart for stuff to sustain me the whole weekend - forgot about the cake in the truck - in 80 degree heat that's when the major melting and sliding occured - oh well at least you can still tell it's a motorcycle - although it looked like it was going down

On the way to Camp Zoe there was a hiway patrol rodeblock - a little panic (no I was not carrying any illegal substances - although I did have expired tags - no renewal sticker) The officer said -"what's with your tags" I said I worked in the inner city and someone kept stealing my stickers. He bought that and didn't give me a ticket. Guess they were more concerned with contraband than legal plates!! Easily found the entrace to camp Zoe - huge gravel hill and another checkpoint - Camp Zoe security looking for weapons and dogs (don't think they counted my mace as a weapon - thought I'd bring it along incase of another stranger in a panel van situtation!) Made it to the main entrance where I asked about needing electricity for medical reasons - they flagged over someone important in a little golf cart - she took a look at the vardo and said "I like your rig - so I'm gonna park you over in this handicapped area " it was right next to the VIP camping area (which cost another $25 bucks or so) and there was a sweet space right next to a driveway where a large RV was plugged into a outlet on a pole. I backed her in and was right next to a shady pine tree row which gave me shade from late morning on. I leveled her up and quickly pulled out my 100 foot extension cord and asked some nice hippy couple who were hanging up this big graffit banner if I could plug into their outlet. They said sure and I was wired!!!
Got the Emma Rose all set up - lights and tables and such. Settled down for dinner at my little table with umbrella light and all - and here is my perfect view of the main stage. I swear I had the best spot in the place. Could see it all from my own little gypsy domain! Met some interesting people who were curious about the vardo. One nice older man brought back his chair and sit to talk for a while. He shared that he had been diagnosed a few years ago with cancer - just finished his treatments although he still had the stint for the chemo in. He'd just gotten back from San Fran/Haight Ashbury area where he found releif from his pain in medicinal grade herbs(if ya know what I mean) That night enjoyed some mellow music with the help of a little homemade wine (delivered by a wandering vendor) that was little more potent than your regular stuff. Found myself walking a little sideways to the handicap portapotty - which conveniently was located just behind my site. Nicest port a potty I'd been in - also guarded by a Nancy - one of the friendly private security guards of Camp Zoe - who added her special touch of a candle. VIP camping is the bomb!

Next day Jeff and Linda found me (not hard to do) and I gave him the slightly tilted cake and a Harley Davidson blanket. They hung around for a while, and came back for breakfast and dinner on Fri and Sat. Linda made a mean deluxe breakfast burrito on an electric griddle and Jeff cooked up some good burgers.

Met a lot of nice people - including Tanya and her boys Credence and Red, and their friend Mike who sports the red mohawk (seen below drumming) He did some amazing fire dancing - including a flaming mohawk! If I can figure out how I'll add a video I took of his performance.
There was supposed to be a contest for best campsite and of course I had to get in the action, so I did some bartering and got this gal who does airbrushing to create my Camp Gypsy Nomad sign - let's all live like nomads! When I figure out how to enter - might win tickets to go back to another Schwag event.
It really ended up being a lovely time - pretty interesting and mellow music, dancing, light show, giant bonfire with drumming and dancing all night long (believe it or not I was able to sleep through it all. What an experience with a couple thousand friendly hippies - I'll probably go again sometime... hope someone will go with me next time!!

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