Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Seasons Greetings!


I'd like to wish a Happy Holiday to all my friends. We are once again in Tahoe for the winter and waiting for more snow to fall and cover us all. Heavenly is open with limited terrain and I can hardly wait for Kirkwood and Sierra at Tahoe to open so we can get up there and start shooting photos, I love it up there. Hope we get up on the mountain before Xmas this year.

While (not so) patiently waiting for it to snow, my mind turns to Christmas, the holidays and gift giving. I've got a whole series of gift guides highlighting the best gifts of the year and I have been keeping very busy finding fresh new gift ideas and updating all the pages.

Have you seen this years top Christmas Gifts? WOW!!! Whether your shopping for a kid, an adult, a tween boy or girl this years top Christmas gift ideas include the coolest gifts ever, like the slickest gadgets, personalized gifts, video gamer gifts, toys, and gourmet gifts and more. Please, if your looking for inspiration stop by one of my popular gift guides for a quick look at the best Christmas gifts of the season.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Phish at Dicks Sporting Goods Park for Labor Day

We had gotten everything out of our friends houses and storage into our house and pretty much gotten everything out of our storage to move into the place when we realized that Phish in Denver was only a couple days away. So we spent all day getting the van ready with all of our vending supplies and cleaning out all the moving stuff. I grabbed all the nice crystal cases and our general store tubs and all the necklaces and bracelets and stacked them all in the back of the van.  All of our camping gear that we had left at my parents house was over at the post box so we went and picked all that up and took what was needed.

It was about 1100 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Denver with the GPS route we calculated. Flowski took an evening nap while I finished getting everything ready and figured out what we were missing. It took longer than I thought to gather up all the loose ends but Flowski got an extra long nap so it worked out that he was not tired at all for the trip. We didn't end up leaving until about 3 AM so it was not long on the drive before it started to get light.

Flowski drove non-stop all the way to Denver and we ended up making it the night before everything got going so we had time in the morning to shop and get over to the venue before it opened and they let everyone in. We picked up an awesome variety of sodas for $5 a case. It is tough to get that kind of a deal anymore. I have seen 12-packs for $6. We also grabbed a bunch of ice along with waters Gatorades and other beverages.

We came with no tickets so our first priority once we got to the venue was to find tickets. We got the biggest run-around ever on the camping passes. We pulled up to the gate to the camping area and we tried to get camping passes. They told us to go back over to the box office around the other side of the venue. We went over to the box office and after being told they were sold out they mentioned that there were some available at the camping headquarters and gave us directions on how to get back over to the same place we just came from. We went back over to the camping area and the supervisor of the staff was extremely rude.  We were told that we were not allowed to go the camping headquarters and that our only chance of getting a camping pass was back at the box office. We went back over to the box office and with no hesitation they told me to go back to the camping headquarters which is where the only remaining camping passes were. At this point in time I decided to try my luck just talking to people that were around the venue to see if there were any spares. The first person that I talked to actually had one and hooked it up for face value. There were not very many people around so after standing around for half an hour we went back over to the camping area figuring that people coming into camping may have extras. When we made it back over to the campground area, I was writing up a sign on a paper plate stating that I was looking for tickets and our good friends Jeff and Chantel pull up behind us. They had camping tickets they were not going to use and sold them to us.

When we pulled back up to the entrance to the camping and got our wristbands to go park, the police officer watching the area walked over to our vehicle and apologized for all the troubles this morning which definitely surprised me, I was not expecting that.  It was a park and walk your stuff in situation kinda like Moe. Down, but it was not quite as far. You did have to get searched every time into the venue. At the beginning of the weekend they were super harsh on the searches coming in. I have been to a lot of festivals and you usually don't get a hard pat-down just trying to get into the campground.

They were really weird about the camping spots because it was very vague on the website and the staff were told to fit 2.1 people into a spot because they were trying to conserve space, but there ended up being more than enough space for everybody to camp.  We came in an claimed a nice spot right on the fire-lane to vend. Thats when the staff came over and told us there would be no vending in the campground and the day lot was where shakedown should be. So we setup a quick campsite then made our way over to the day lot when it opened at 3 PM.

We got to the day parking shakedown lot at about 3:05 and it looked like we missed the good spots but when we got up close there were still plenty of space to squeeze into. We did much better here in Denver on crystals and gemstones. I think people appreciated the rocks a little more with the big gem show coming up in Denver.

Our friends Heather and Jake made it out to shakedown and hung out with us before the show and were cool enough to wait for us to pack up and we all went in together. It was really cool going in with the kids. We always end up meeting for a short time but never get to rage the show together.

The first night was epic! All the songs they played that first night started with the letter S. The show also started late because of lightning in the area so they played a nice long show.

The rest of the weekend was pretty awesome for the most part. We got in all 3 shows and partied on shakedown for the rest of the weekend. The campground turned out alright for late night beverage vending. There was a band in the campground all weekend so there were plenty of thirsty hippies wandering around to make it worth it to stay up and keep the cooler open.

We had a whole bunch of fun, made enough to get the $70 camping tickets for 3 people and $50 show tix for all 3 nights for Flowski, Dwight and I. Plus gas money to make it 1100 miles back to Tahoe. All in All I think it was a really good weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Phish at The Gorge, WA. August 5th and 6th 2011

It was quite an amazing time at the Gorge. Phish started their second leg of tour up in George, Washington at the Gorge. We stopped in Tahoe before making our way up so that we could unload all of the extra stuff that we would not need for the weekend to make room for stock.

We left 2 days before the Gorge shows to drive up from Tahoe. It was about an 850 mile journey to get up there. We carpooled up to the Gorge with our Tahoe friends. It was really fun riding with the kids instead of just driving on our own. We made it about 6 PM the day before Phish played and there were already at least 50 vendors with spots claimed on shakedown. We did some finagling and managed to squeeze into the main intersection area right behind Louie and his Jerry Rolls and Falafel.


We ended up having lots of space to spread out which was really awesome because we had a lot of stuff to sell. I brought my nice crystals and gemstones, we had our usual beverages, picked up some chips, and we also grabbed a bunch of general store type items. We had all the little trinkets and necessities that people would forget or use and need. Earplugs were a very popular item. so were little flashlights.



We came here for Phish and made it into the music both nights. It was a really epic weekend. Here are some shots



Thursday, August 04, 2011

Trip Log 11808 Oregon Travel Tips Traveling to the Gorge for Phish.

We rode with our friends out of Reno on a trip towards the Gorge WA. We tried to get out during the day but ended up eating together at about dinner time. We grabbed some In and Out before heading out on 395 N.

Oregon is a weird state. They have lots of strange laws that I really don't understand. Why is 55 mph the speed limit on the Highways when most other states are 60-75? Also you are not allowed to pump your own gasoline in Oregon. So if you are heading through Oregon at night, none of the stations are open and the pumps are locked. I guess they don't think people are smart enough to pump their own gas in Oregon in the middle of the night?  It was really frustrating because we were trying to carpool with our friends from Tahoe. They drive a sprinter which gets way better gas mileage than us and about the same size tank. So we got about halfway across the state and it was about 4 AM. We tried to stop at a couple pumps and we got it to take the card, we even found a nozzle that wasn't locked, it told us to start pumping, and didn't do anything. So instead of being able to stay with our friends, we had to stay in a little town in Oregon to wait until the gas station opened.

We all needed to get to the Gorge as soon as possible, so them staying would probably have meant that we would have ended up farther back on shakedown in not as good of a spot. As it turns out, they ended up catching a little sleep up the road from us. We slept until about 7 AM when Flowski woke up to see if there was anyone around to help us. There was nobody for half an hour, when a nice older couple pulls up to the pump. Brandon hopped out and went over to ask a couple questions. He asked what time the station opened and she replied about 8 AM. At this point we really just wanted to get back on the road and another half an hour was like torture. Flowski asked her if we could get some gas because she was pumping it herself. She said sure and helped us get back on the road.  I guess she had some kind of a commercial gas card that let her fill up whenever. I think that is pretty unfair to the rest of the people that can't get gas at night or whenever it is needed.

We found the kids down the road a ways taking a little nap and continued to travel together. We made it to Bend Oregon together where we needed to wrap up our shopping by finding some ice and a few other things we were missing, so we parted ways again and found the Costco.

Thank goodness for Costco, this one in Bend Oregon specifically. Many of the Costco's we have been to do not carry ice, but this one did. $2.25 for a 20 pound bag of ice is way better than Wal-Mart at $3.89 for the same weight. So we got 500 pounds to take with us and we found the Gatorades that we were missing. Glad we found that Costco, we needed it.

Now we are all set and ready to get to the venue. We are driving through Washington right now, about 40 miles away from the Gorge in George, WA. Flowski has been driving with the heat on because the motor has been running a little warm, so it's 87 degrees outside and it feels like 95 in the van even with the windows open. But it's the day before Phish plays two nights at the Gorge and they are letting us camp there tonight so it is reminiscent of a festival. I am excited this is gonna be another epic time at the Gorge.

Trip Log 11059 Miles Almost Home

We had a fun time at the Collegiate Peaks Music festival in Colorado with our friends from Alma. We partied hard to Kyle Hollingsworth from String Cheese Incident and Keller Williams.

After the shows, we parked over at a nearby rose quartz mine that we knew of to camp for the night. So when we woke up, it was crystal mining time. I have been to the rose quartz mine a few times so it was really easy to find some pink quartz. There was also some black tourmaline and dark smoky quartz around that we gathered up.

We drove straight from Denver to Reno with only a few hours of rest on the Wyoming Utah border at the Wal-Mart. Flowski likes the upper route with the least time in Utah and avoiding the loneliest highway so we drove up through Steamboat Springs and up into Wyoming then caught 80 across.

We almost made it to Tahoe. We ran out of cash and money on the debit card. We scraped and counted change to get us the last 100 miles and we ran out about 13 miles from Reno. If we had made it to Reno in time, we would have been able to trade in a couple silver rounds to make it home. But, because we ran out of gas and had to count out nickels to the gas station attendant the coin shop was closed by the time we made it into Reno on fumes. So we had to call Scotty to come save us.

Thank goodness for Scotty, he rode up on my XT250 motorcycle from Tahoe to bring us a little cash to make it home and save our kiesters.

Now we just need to re-organize everything tomorrow, shop and get up to the Gorge for 2 epic nights of Phish.

Trip Log 11228 On our way to the Gorge for Phish!

We are packed and organized and ready.  It took all day but we are more prepared coming into the Gorge than we usually are.  We unloaded a bunch of the large in-matrix heavy rocks for the weekend to make room for beverages and supplies to sell.

We had to cash some checks and get the mail when we got to town. It's really nice to have a home base that you can stop into and get stuff done. Everyone wanted to say hi and hang out but we just didn't have any time. We will be back after the Gorge before Phish plays in our home town of South Lake Tahoe on the 9th and 10th of August.

We met up with our awesome Tahoe friends and we are gonna caravan up to the Gorge with them. It is nice traveling with another vehicle. You know that friends are close by.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Collegiate Peaks Music Festival Kyle and Keller in Buena Vista

We drove all the way from New York out to Colorado. We were relaxing on the day after the Canandaigua, NY Furthur show and we realized that Kyle Hollingsworth and Keller Williams were playing at a festival in Buena Vista over the weekend. Our next major destination was Phish at the Gorge WA and we have friends in Alma CO, so we hopped in the van and headed west.

Flowski drove non-stop from Eastern New York all the way to Denver CO. It took approximately 30 hours or so with the time change. He listened to tunes he could recognize and sang along all night to keep from getting tired.

We left Wednesday afternoon and got to Denver Thursday evening. We got a hotel room when we got to Denver to get cleaned up and refreshed and ready. During the night one of the bikes started giving us problems, the lights went  out and it stopped working completely, On Friday we needed to get a couple tasks accomplished. We dropped the bike off at Larson's Ski & Sport and tried to get the airbag on the van fixed but the mechanic thought if we took it back to Tahoe they might fix it under warranty. So we went up Mt Evans which is the highest paved road in North America. It went up to 14,260 feet in elevation.

Saturday was the big day of Collegiate Peaks so we went there for the last day. There was no day ticket so we had to buy a 3 day pass. It was only $35 but with 3 people it adds up pretty quick. The venue was pretty small. It was in the town of Buena Vista right down by the river. There were kayakers in the water playing around in the rapids, and about 20 vendors or so total on either side and a few in the middle. We walked right into the front center area about 5 rows from the front before Kyle started. My dad is a pianist so I appreciate some skilled keyboard work.  It was a great set and Keller came out in the middle of a song, they played something with Keller, then finished the song.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Headed West Towards the Gorge

Trip Log 8034mi.

We are on our way west. We are in NY right now driving on I-86 and our next stop is Colorado for a small festival on the way before heading up to the Gorge for Phish coming up on the 5th and 6th of August.  They are playing in our home town of South Lake Tahoe CA on the 9th and 10th so I am really excited to show the local kids a little sample of tour life

We had a lot of fun on Furthur tour. We went to Bethel, Jones Beach, SPAC, Gathering of the Vibes and Canandaigua for the Furthur shows. It was a bunch of fun. Flowski's birthday was on July 21 which was the pre-party for Gathering of the Vibes. We had originally planned to make it to Redrocks for Yes and Styx but we ran out of time after Gathering, so we went to Canandaigua for one last Furthur show before heading west.

We did all right on Furthur tour, we also had a little money come in from our websites so it will be much easier to get across the country at this point. I think if we left after Phish Superball, it would have been a lot tougher to make it across and we would have missed all the awesome Furthur shows that we caught.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bethel Woods and Jones Beach Furthur

Well, we made it to Furthur at Bethel Woods and that was a lot of fun. Definitely a much better attitude related to rocks with the Furthur kids than there was on Phish lot.

They let us in nice and early for the lot scene at Bethel. It was funny watching everybody circling around the staff trying to figure out where to park. It was the shakedown shuffle with vehicles.

At first they said no EZ-ups or tents at first and it was a really hot day. So we all tried to obey the rules until about an hour later and new people that had just shown up didn't know about the no tents thing so they were just throwing them up and nobody was chasing them down, so we all busted a move and set up our 10x10.

It turned out to be a really good lot scene at Bethel. They gave us an hour after the show so we had a decent blowout too.

Jones Beach started out pretty good, we pulled in right at noon and the lot was already open and there were 20 vendors with spots claimed already. We managed to squeeze into a nice spot and it was cool to not have to rush setting everything up because there were not many custies yet.

It was a super hot day at Jones Beach so beverages did pretty well. It was a nice full shakedown. They didnt harass the food vendors like the last time Phish came through, but they shut down blowout before it even happened. We lucked out and got 10th row for $50 each so it was an awesome show, but we left right at Encore and by the time we got back to shakedown, they started blaring their sirens and being very rude and obnoxious holding the button on the siren right in front of people's booths for minutes at a time. It was hurting my ears and I was 100 feet away trying to pack stuff into my van. I am sure that is not good for anyones ears. Most of the people were not even out of the concert yet so there was no way all the drivers of the vehicles could even be there yet and they were acting like that. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

We packed up and got out of there. There was a Wal-Mart about a 10 min drive down the road so we pulled in and crashed out until about noon.

Today we are headed up to Spac but first we took a drive through NYC because we needed a bike charger. After crossing the Queensboro bridge into Manhattan we stopped at NYCe wheels to get a charger for our electric bikes. It was the only place in the NYC area that had a charger in stock. They tried to hook me up with a faster charger but it wasn't compatible with my bike so he found the right one for me.

Right now we are headed up the New York State Thruway on I-87. We are going up to Lee's Campground where there should be plenty of kids hanging out before tomorrow's show. I don't like toll roads but it is worth $5 to drive an hour less. Probably compensate with the amount of gas used.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 15, 2011

Trip Log 6839 Furthur Tour

We had a lot of fun at the Phish festival. Afterwards we headed back to Herkimer to dig some more diamonds. We also got to visit with our friends from Little Falls before getting back on the road.

We almost left to go towards All Good but it would have cost a bundle so we are catching Bethel Woods the 2nd stop on Furthur and we will catch all the NE shows before heading towards RedRocks and the Gorge.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Phish Superball IX Festival

Phish Superball IX was Phish's ninth festival and it was the social event of the season for Jack and I. Unlike most music festivals, with several stages featuring more music than you can ever see performed, there was a casual, relaxed vibe that prevailed throughout the weekend in Watkins Glen, NY. Phish was the only act on the playbill this 4th of July weekend and they performed only 8 sets including an unannounced late night psychedelic jam session that rivaled some of Pink Floyd's early work. Other than that the day was spent cooking, camping and visiting with family and friends plus chatting with interesting people and making new friends.
The weekend in Watkins Glen promised to be fantastic and it delivered. The Phish staff at the festival was very friendly and went out of their way to smooth out problems and make us feel like guests, but the police and fire department presence at Phish IX was too much. The mounties can handle things and call the officials in if needed, they don't need to drive around and around creating more dust. The weather was quite nice with a passing rain shower one morning while most festival goers were sleeping.
We were in the Glen Close Campground at Superball IX which was considerably closer to the stage than the general camping area where we actually spent most of our time in between music sets. The problem for us was that the 2 camps were separated by the main concert grounds which meant extra walking if you wanted to hookup with friends in general camping and that sucked. Then if you wanted to take anything over to the other camping area it was even worse, you had to walk all the way around the entire race track, which was miles. Overall we'd have been better off in the general camping area. Thank goodness they let me ride the electric bike around. The renegade shakedown took a while to come together, but once it did they raged it thank goodness. I like the Renegade Shakedown St. They are such an important part of it for many customers like me. It adds a necessary element to the scene. I would really miss some of the products and services. If they got greedy and didn't allow a renegade shakedown any longer, I would not be going to nearly as many Phish shows for sure. It just wouldn't be the same without that part of the family, you know?
Phish was sounding good this weekend too! The stage was weird, very tall and skinny with a nice sized column and a half of speakers hung from each side. It was fairly loud but could have had stronger bass. If I was Phish I'd insist on more bass. With Bass Nectar, Pretty Lights & Girl Talk so popular it's obvious that the fans want xtra bass so why not take it up a notch? Noticeably absent however were the typical video monitors on each side of the stage. It was difficult to get a look at Phish performing the music because there was no slope to the main field. Video monitors would have been appropriate at this location. Phish has been looking and sounding awesome lately with what appears to be new lights and speakers, just double the bass and were there! Fans came to have fun with glow sticks as big glow stick wars broke out on several occasions in the concert crowd.
I'm sure Phish is always looking for fresh ideas, so here's something new and different. How about an ice cream social at the next festival? I'm sure you can pal-up with Ben & Jerry's who was giving away free ice cream at Phish's Superball IX all weekend anyway and hand out Phish Food Ice Cream to concert goers while they mingle around and listen to Phish performing an afternoon set of something appropriate for the moment. I believe an ice cream social would be the talk of the town!
It was so wonderful to see Phish family and friends again, at times it was like a reunion. I just wonder how "twinkle trees" (Electric Forest) went. Wish they were on different weekends, I would have loved to have gone to both festivals.

How to Save the USA

The question, How to Save The USA?

If you read the blog regularly you know I try to stick to blogging about our excellent travel adventures. I don't really comment on political issues, but I'm afraid things have gone noticeably awry in The United States of America, something is wrong, terribly wrong. So I got to thinking about what's wrong and about How to Save the USA. It seems to me that the professional politicians are selling out the rest of us and we need to get rid of them because they are ruining our country. We need to get regular everyday citizens running the show here in the United States of America, the question is how do we pluck unbiased people to lead our country out of society? I finally came up with something that I have not even seen on an alternative news website.

Not that this will ever be implemented, but none the less, here's my brilliant idea. We have a system currently in place that picks people right out of their everyday lives to serve the community when the call of duty rings and it's called jury duty. That's right, I'm suggesting that we use a similar system only modified to select a field of candidates for serving government offices. Initially we can select a rather large pool of candidates to choose from in much the same way they do for jury duty, then we can devise a new system to screen and narrow down the field of candidates to ready, willing and qualified individuals. Obviously certain things will disqualify some people from the start like felons etc... Then after the field has been narrowed down, the candidates are given equal funding for campaigns and we all vote from a field of real regular people for a change. That's how to save the United States of America. Let's break this cycle of bad professional politicians and get back to a government of the people, by the people and for the people!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Herkimer Diamond Mining at the Ace of Diamonds

We had about a week in between Phish tour and their festival so we decided to go up to Herkimer to dig for some crystals. It's really cool mining for your own rocks. I was breaking boulders and pulling out nice crystals. If you pick the right rock that starts producing, you can get a handful of nice Herkimers pretty quickly. It's all about finding the rocks that have black pockets calked vugs in them. The more holes the better. Here is a small herkimer in matrix. It was my pocket rock.

The first afternoon we pulled in and recognized a couple of the workers and the mine owner knew our van. I don't know if it was good timing or if he likes us because that first evening, he brought out a whole bunch of new material to work with.

We had a squirrel that would raid our camps at night. He must have liked the smell of coffee, cause he chewed on the lid to my coffee grounds.

It was a great time at the Ace of Diamonds. We got lotsa nice rocks and Flowski took some time and got our nice Kenwood car stereo installed and got the whole van cleaned and organized.

I am really stoked on the new head unit. We can use the iPod and have hundreds of hours of music at our fingertips.

Definitely coming back to Herkimer after Phish Superball in Watkins Glen NY.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, June 24, 2011

Good place to hangout before Phish Superball

It's Friday today and a little less than a week from Phish's big festival Superball. It's their 9th festival and we are definitely going.

But we have a little time so we are going up to the Ace of Diamonds Mine in Herkimer county NY. It's right in Middleville a little over 2 hours away from Watkins Glen where the festival will be.

We are gonna mine some Herkimer Diamonds. Right now it is raining at the Wal-Mart right down the street so I am sure it's raining on the mine. It washes off all the mud from the crystals so you can just walk around and pickup handfuls of them. There are a bunch of ways to mine and it's only $8 a day to mine some beautiful crystals and $1 a tool to rent small tools right at the mine.

It's a lot of fun and it's awesome when you start finding them. If you have some time before Superball and like crystals, then the Ace of Diamond is the place to be.

- Posted by Jack using BlogPress from my iPhone

Trip Log 5604 Welcome to Pennsylvaniaw

Just passed into Pennsylvania headed North after visiting my brother Paul and his wife Bia. I had a great time visiting. We had a nice dinner at Outback Steakhouse the night we got to Morgantown. The steak was great, but they got our orders mixed up and didn't have my side dish. It all worked out, we got a meal free and an extra steak to take home. Here's the blooming onion from the dinner.
I should have taken it when it was served but we were hungry.

My brother Paul is totally a rock hound. He is the one that got me into rocks years ago when I was growing up. So we spent half the time looking at rocks and specimens. It was really cool.

Now we are off to Herkimer NY to go dig and mine some rocks at the Ace of Diamonds Mine. It should be easy pickings with the recent rain.

We stopped for dinner after getting halfway to Herk and grabbed some Johnny Rockets burgers. Good stuff.

- Posted by Jack using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shenandoah National Park

We had a fun day driving through the national park. The weather ended up nicer than we expected. There are a whole bunch of nice pull offs and hiking trails in the Shenandoah National Park. We stopped a bunch of times for pictures. Here are some of them.

I convinced Flowski to let me drive for a while. It was fun on the windy curvy roads.

It's unusual to catch Flowski in the passenger seat.

We are off to visit my brother Paul in WV before heading up to Herkimer NY before the Phish festival Superball.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Trip Log 5190 - Shenandoah National Park - Blue Ridge Pkwy

We spent the night last night in Waynesboro, VA at the Best Western. It was definitely the best hotel we have stayed at this summer. King size bed, comfy chairs and pillows, and a full hot breakfast downstairs. It was only about $20 more than we usually pay and it was well worth it.

Today is the first day of summer and we lucked out. The national park is free today! So we are going on a beautiful scenic drive through the Appalachians up into Shenandoah National Park.

Right now we are driving on Skyline Drive. Here's a shot from the 1st scenic overlook.

Looking back over Waynesboro above and overlooking the McCormick Gap below.

This is cool driving up along the mountain ridge. It is looking like a beautiful day today. It is supposed to start storming this afternoon and rain for a few days so we are gonna sightsee while we can.

Just about a week to kill time between now and Superball. I think after the park, we are gonna go mine some Herkimers for a few days up in Herkimer NY ad probably visit our friends Jay and Carrie.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 20, 2011

Finished 1st leg of Phish.

We wrapped up a fun tour leg with a stop in Portsmouth, VA yesterday for Phish at the NTELOS Wireless Pavilion. It was only the 2nd or 3rd stop that let us in nice and early. We pulled in at about 1:30 and people were already setting up Easy Ups and claiming their spots.

It's always good when they ask if you are vending and tell you where to go. We got a nice spot near the middle of shakedown and setup. It was still super early, so no customers were even there yet, so I didn't pull out my rock cases for a while. It ended up raining on us a couple times during the day but cleared up before most of the people got there. Here is everybody hiding from the short downpour.

It was a really fun time. We were making sales right through the start of the show, then packed up and went in.

It was a cool venue because it was all general admission and it was a small venue so it was easy to get close.

I wandered up closer a couple times but it was a small lawn and I was pretty tired from running the booth all day so we relaxed and danced on the lawn.

I was a little worried when we got back out to shakedown because there were rumors circling around that there wouldn't be a blowout. Well rumors are not always true. A staff member stopped in and said, "U guys need to be out of here by 6 AM". Every other venue is usually chasing us out with cops and sirens before 1 AM so it was really nice to be able to pack up and organize everything without felling rushed and pressured.

Thanks Porthsmouth for an awesome finish to the first leg of tour.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Trip Log 4429 Welcome to South Carolina - Phish 2011

We just passed into SC.

I looked up at the clock and realized it's about 4:27 and we are just passing 4429 miles. Awesome timing for a blog post.

We had 2 fun nights in Alpharetta GA. The rain was super crazy the second night. Phish had to stop mid-song because of the strong lightning really close and intense wind.

It rained the whole second set. We lucked out and got Pavilion seats in the Phish lottery, and got a little break from the rain for blowout so I was almost dry from the pre-show mini typhoon, but it still drizzled until we were trying to pack up then it opened up on us again with a heavy downpour which soaked me again.

OMG! Thank goodness for South Carolina. This is the cheapest gas I have seen yet on our journey across the country.

- Posted by Jack using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 13, 2011

Trip Log 4132 After Bonnaroo Visiting the Murray Family

What an amazing weekend that I had at Bonnaroo. I got my serving of String Cheese that I was craving and caught Eminem's return show. It's his first since 2005 and it was sick! I had a really good time.

It would have been even better if I hadn't been worrying about my iPhone all weekend.

We are driving down to my parents house to visit for the one day off in between Bonnaroo and Phish.

I am really excited to see my family, it has been about a year since I last got to see them and spend time together. It's gonna be sweet!

We decided to go VIP to Bonnaroo this year and it was definitely the way to go. It was an extra couple hundred a person for the food program, which was a little much. You kinda had to catch every meal to make it worth it and we never have great timing for the scheduled meals. But Thursday night was the pre-party where all the VIP got one free dinner and free beer! You could walk up and get two beers every time through the line. It was Magic Hat #9. I had already had about 4 fat tires when we stumbled onto the beer. Needless to say I got a little schwilly and somehow turned off the phone and managed to set it down, I thought I left it on the table but it ended up in the van at the end of the weekend. Thank goodness.

All in all it was an awesome weekend and we have another amazing week of Phish ahead of us. Alpharetta, 2 nights, Raleigh, Charlotte NC, and Portsmouth VA. We have tickets for every night!!

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Cuyahoga Falls Phish

We made it to the Cuyahoga Falls Phish concert last night, it was really awesome. We pulled up around 12:30 and it was perfect timing to get into the parking lot.

They wanted to park us all the way down in the far corner of the grassy field, but last year everybody setup along the wood lined walkway. So we pulled up into the corner spot, let them pull a couple other cars in then busted a move while the parking guys were busy elsewhere. They were really chill anyways. We pulled up and parked on Shakedown, the parking people were headed over to talk to a couple of kids and they told them, "Only vendors can park here" which is perfect for us it means they are letting us do our thing.

This is a shot of Dwight standing on Shakedown in Cuyahoga. It's still early, not too crowded.

We ended up next to RJ which is always fun, and entertaining. He cooks Falafel with a Pickle. It's a performance as much as food preparation. He draws a large crowd with his show.

It was really awesome to make it to Cuyahoga and see all of our friends. Most of the tour phamily started in Bethel, NY and caught the Homdel, NJ shows before Cuyahoga. We came from Summer Camp so it was way out of the way to drive to NJ from Peoria IL before the Detroit Phish show. So everybody came together at Cuyahoga it was a big phamily reunion of all the vendors and kids on Phish tour.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Phish Cincinnati Show

There were a few vendors who were skipping Cincinnati, but we could only catch a few Phish shows before Bonnaroo and needed to generate some income to get Dwight home so we took our chances since it was on the way towards Tennessee.

It was at an amusement park so it took a few minutes of driving around through the inside venue parking lots before we spotted everybody across the street. It was a gravel lot across from the pool on a super hot day. I heard a friend say that if they didn't let us vend we were gonna go hippie out the pool. But it ended up being a chill scene.

Everybody was not sure what was up when we got there, so there were no EZ-Ups setup or really any tables out. But eventually we tested the waters and got a couple 10x10's up.

I heard rumors that the lawns were sold out, but that didn't end up being the case. We walked up to the gates and got 2 tickets for $45 each and headed into the venue after a fun lot scene.

There were some really cool statues on top of the pavilion awning. There were not a lot of good view corridors from the lawn. I wandered around some during the show and it seemed like every 50-60 feet I would look up and there was something else blocking the stage view. They had some decent screens for the lawn but I would rather have a view of the real thing.

Overall it was a good show, but they Blew me away in Cuyahoga with the epic Lizards and an awesome possum. It's hard to top that for me.

- Posted by Jack using BlogPress from my iPhone

Trip Log 3645 Bonnaroo Bound

We are 3645 miles into this summers adventures. We caught 3 awesome Phish shows in Detroit, Cuyahoga Falls, and Cincinatti, but Phish is headed towards Mansfield and they have never been very chill, and we have VIP Bonnaroo tickets in Tennessee so we are headed south on I-65 through Kentucky right now.

We dropped off Dwight at the greyhound station in Cinci today before headed out to the Roo. It was only $200 to get him all the way to Reno from Cincinnati.

We are stopping for dinner at a Cracker Barrel and I had to snap a quick shot of the sunset here in Elizabethtown KY.

I think we are gonna get a hotel room for one more night to rest up and get ready for 4 days of craziness with over 100,000 people at Bonnaroo this year it's gonna be nuts!

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Van Repairs

We stopped into a Napa Auto Care center to get a couple things done. Our exhaust pipe, slid back or something because there is a gap in the piping before the catalytic converter so we were totally losing a bunch of power. So we are getting that fixed and an oil change, which we are probably about 3,000 miles behind on. I think we needed an oil change before we left Tahoe.

There's Flowski sitting in the waiting room. Hopefully they can get this done quickly and we will be on the way down to Bonnaroo after dropping Dwight off at the bus stop to go home.

- Posted by Jack using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Summer Camp Music Festival

We made it to the first festival of the summer! We drove all the way from Lake Tahoe, CA to start things of right. Moe., Widespread Panic, and Bassnectar were a few of the headliners for the weekend.

We got There and realize that there was no car camping and the gates must have opened really early in the morning, because there were at least 5,000 people already there claiming all the close spots.

We lucked out and squeezed in right by the side of the sunshine stage. It took at least 5 trips back and forth from the van to get everything we need. I tried to make lists but you always miss or can't find something. Or it's not needed yet so not thought of.
At least the walk isn't too far, this is the entranceway where they search your stuff as seen from the van. He squeezed right onto the end of a row.

After we got the majority of the stuff over and the EZ-UP setup it was just about sunset.

The staff running the festival actually had a very chill attitude. They were nice and polite for the most part.

We actually met a couple really cool locals named Mitch and JD. We hung out all weekend it was great. Mitch was our parking attendant at the beginning of the weekend. We kept him company while at the van getting supplies. It ended up working out for all of us, because they needed a place to crash and we needed someone in the tent to watch our stuff. We have the nice memory foam mattress in the van and it was dry.

Overall we had a really fun weekend. Lots of music, Moe. had really cool lasers.

I will definitely be attending Summer Camp Music Festival next year!

- Posted by Jack using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Chillicothe, IL