My vacation started last Tuesday with a couple of days staying with The Ott Lake Rambler and his family, then we moved to Marquette’s Tourist Park for the Hiawatha Music Festival. The unofficial start of the festival was Thursday night, and it ran through Sunday. I came home on Monday.
I’ve been having a problem getting started writing about the trip. I think part of it is, it would be easy to just dump out details in kind of a bullet list, but I kept writing 150 words for each one, which isn’t really a good match of content-to-format. And then I realized that in some ways this trip wasn’t all that remarkable. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed myself and the company of my friends. There just isn’t the sort of story that would grab attention of anyone who’s not regularly interested in folk festivals or Marquette, Michigan. Plus, I took no photos or video. I just didn’t want to be bothered by the intermediary devices, especially since I didn’t go anywhere I hadn’t been before. Photos of people would’ve been nice, but then I would’ve had to put the guitar down.
And I had the guitar in my hands a lot. We had something like five or six jam sessions at our campsite, all old-timey except for a very quiet one where I played some of my songs. I played mandolin once on Friday night, which was the first time I played mandolin in over a year, and then I decided to stick to the easier instrument. That turned out to be a good decision, as I learned some things and started getting compliments on my back-up playing from fiddlers in the jams. That was cool. I was part of a two-hour old-timey jam formally encsconced on one of the small stages with the gang and others, too.
I don’t think I saw a lot of the main stage activity. I did catch Dan Crary and Thunderation twice, and thoroughly enjoyed watching him and his band play. He’s a fine flatpicker with slightly twisted versions of some old tunes. He’s also a spokesman for Taylor Guitars and had a six- and a 12-string guitar onstage. I didn’t realize you could do old-timey with a 12-string. I’ll have to try that some. (Sorry if this frightens people in both Marquette or Detroit.)
This time the weather was too hot. It wasn’t in the upper 90s like in Detroit, but it was about ten degrees warmer than normal for there. I’m done with this stupidly hot summer; wake me when it starts snowing again.
So, in summary: I was up north, and it was good. I’m sorry I didn’t catch up with b_vainamoinen who was right there but somehow our paths didn’t cross. Next time. I’m grateful to have had the time with the friends there I managed to find, some of whom I’ve known for (gulp) over 30 years now. Let’s do it again next year!