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.









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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.


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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!