Friday, July 25, 2014

NC Rockhounding

We had a few days before Phish in Charlotte, so we got a hotel room, relaxed, had a nice dinner after getting a good ways towards North Carolina.

We got to stop and visit our buddy gypsy Joe, and go rockhounding and sightseeing for a couple days.


We managed to find some beautiful Kyanites, and Aquamarines and a whole bunch of pretty pieces of mica. Had fun until we got caught in the rain while up on the hill.

Probably won't sell much mica here, because it is everywhere around NC,  But once you get out of the area, people really like it.

Now we are on the way to Charlotte for Phish tonight! Starting the next series of shows after a short break, then practically non-stop until Phish finishes this group of shows on the 3rd of August.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bears Picnic

We were official paid vendors at Bears Picnic this last weekend. It was 468 miles from Clarkston, MI to Liberty, PA and we drove it pretty much all in one day. Along the way my friend Dwight from Tahoe called. He was burned out on SLT and ready to go on tour, so we got him a bus ticket from Reno to Harrisburg, PA a couple hours before getting to Bears Picnic. It was a 2 day 11 hour trip, so he would get there in time for the last day.  Got to the festival Thrusday around 7 PM. It was nice to be able to walk up and be official vendors at a festival. We got a prime spot right in front of the main stage and with a great view of the side stage. So it was perfect to see all the performances all weekend anddance along while being able to vend.

We got a 20x20 booth area and were able to fit the car and tent right in with our setup. By the time we got the EZ-up's, tables, and tablecloths setup we decided to start nice and early Friday and setup the store. So we got good sleep Thursday night and woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go, setup the full booth and got to meet some really nice people. Our buddy rob setup with us, and we got to see lots of friends and get to know some new ones.

We didn't kill it, because of a low attendance, but we did well enough, despite the turnout. We stayed open until about 2 or 3 AM every day, then re-opened by 10 or so. It was nice being able to keep a slightly normal sleep schedule. Usually at bigger festivals, I get very little to no sleep, because there are always lots of people out and about and shopping into the wee hours of the morning, and I like to stay open as much as I can when there are cool trades to be made and people to meet.

Flowski went out to get Dwight on Sunday morning, they made it back just a little after the music started on Sunday.  We got to see a bunch of great music together and hang-out and relax after a long journey and a long weekend.

Now, we are on our way back to Phish tour! Next stop is Charlotte NC, we are going to mine for a few days before the show on the 25th at the PNC Pavillion. Hopefully we can find some more cool North Carolina crystals to share some fresh energy from mother nature with people.

Canandaigua, NY and Clarkston, MI Phish Shows

We had a really fun time at both of these shows! We got to Canadaigua a little late this year, half of shakedown was already setup by 11:30 AM. Usually they make us lineup out on the road till noon or one it seems like, but they got stuff going quickly this year. We got a good spot regardless right in the center of everyone.

Mike Gordon came out onto shakedown again at Canandaigua, it is cool to see that the artist like the lot scene, he actually came out and browsed some of the booths. Stopped right next door and checked out some of the cool crystals and art my neighbors had.

We did well enough on lot, to grab tickets and go in the show! It was a really good show, with lots of energy and funky music.

Clarkston is just north of Detroit, they gave us the run around for a few hours in the morning and finally opened the lot by 2 PM.  We were there by 9:30 AM and there were 20+ motorcycle cops riding in circles around cones. It looked like a bunch of shriners or circus clowns, but we were the only ones there so decided to park around the corner. We ended up running into our good friends John and Kim at the Rite-Aid around the corner. It was nice to be able to relax and visit for a while before setting up, we ended up having 10 or 15 vendors hanging out waiting for lot to open. It's difficult to socialize when you are busy and not directly next to your friends on lot.

They let us setup and rage in the grass in the center of the parking area, it was a one sided shake but it worked pretty well for us. Got to setup next to Andy, who we haven't seen yet this year, it was another great time.

Got tickets and went in again to the Clarkston show too! I lucked out and got 14th row Paige side and raged up there for a while, got some really good pictures of the boys too, then went back to lawn to rage with friends and Flowski. We both had pavilions, but he was over on Mikey side and they were very particular about which gate to get to your seat from, there was also another checkpoint at AA and Z row, so his double letter would not have helped to get all the way down.

Pretty much no blowout at either CMAC or DTE Center, but we still managed to get rid of a few beverages at the end of both, Lighten the load for the long journey ahead of us.

We talked to our friends right around show time at DTE and realized that Bears Picnic was going on at the same time as Chicago Phish so we calculated out which would be better and decided to head towards PA instead of Chi town.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Phishin' in New York Summer Tour 2014 Randall's Island

We had a great time at SPAC, those were a few really fun shows mined a bunch more herkimer's then headed to Randall's Island in the middle of New York City. We had VIP parking tickets so we got to park right behind the venue, under the RFK bridge.

When we first got there, they said "no tailgating" so I was a little worried, then lots of Phish fans showed up and they all started tailgating without being hassled, so things started to look better.

Then we all setup and the Park Police came by, they told our neighbors that you could display hand-made goods, no name brand merchandise. So I was able to display my whole store of crystals and hemp necklaces and all the cool little stuff.


We ended up working inside the venue selling beers for one of our vendor friends, it was awesome! We got vendor wristbands to work and got to see Phish! Awesome jammin shows with Manhattan in the backdrop.


Mikey came out onto shakedown at least two of the three days at Randall's! I saw him a few times, and was able to give his daughter a beautiful Herkimer Diamond that I mined earlier in the week. It is really awesome that Mikey likes the lot. I think it adds to the experience.


After Randall's Island, we stopped and visited our friends in New Paltz, NY and got to see Heady Teddy's Outfitters. He has some really cool Grateful Dead items in his store and lots of great hippie gifts. Heady Teddy also has an Etsy with lots of his fresh merchandise on there. You should definitely stop in and check it out if you are passing by New Paltz, NY!


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Gone Phishin' Leg Two of Summer 2014 Tour

After a fun Widespread Panic tour, we left on the 30th of June to get to Phish in Saratoga Springs NY.

From Breckenridge to New York was quite the drive. We drove practically non stop to Chicago with a short nap in a rest area in Nebraska. 

Flowski was craving some Chicago style pizza, so we stopped at Lou Malnati's and got the Chicago Classic. Lotsa cheese and amazing sausage on a buttery flaky good crust with lots of tomato chunks. We had dinner there and lunch and dinner the next day with leftovers from a large. 

Then Flowski drove all the way to Herkimer and we made it to Ace of Diamonds the day before the SPAC shows, so we had time for a day of Herkimer digging. 

I found some really nice, double terminated herkimer while I was there, but not enough for tour. So I checked the schedule and saw that we has a couple days after the Saratoga shows to mine again.

Phish played at SPAC on the 3-5 of July, we showed up at Lee's Campground the night before and found a good camping spot, then showed up on lot at around 7:30 AM. I was shocked to find the first row more than half full and we ended up close to the front of the second row.

We would have done well, and were starting to make decent sales at peak blow-in, when the rain with wind gust came in. We were forced to drop down the EZ-up's instead of losing one or both to the wind. Then we ran into a friend that had an extra for each night so Flow let me go in the show.

2nd day, we got there about 6:15 and managed to snag a good front row spot. We did much better in the first row but hard to judge when it ended shortly the first day.

The main problem with SPAC vending is little or no blowout (after show sales) and nothing can stay setup during show or they will hassle you.

I let Flowski go in the second night and had to pack up a 20x10 store by myself. It wasn't too bad, I do most of the setup and breakdown anyways.

Third night was the best of the 3. We did well with crystals and pins and bracelets and necklaces, sold a few rings and it all came together for us.

Now we are back up at Herkimer mining at the Ace of Diamonds. We were planning on going to the Philly shows last night and tonight, but I have talk to friends that went down there, and glad I didn't go.

I think it's sad that the Philadelphia Mann Center harshes on vendors, steals people's property, harassed their patrons and people coming to the shows. But they love their nitrous and I am sure the police are taking bribes in Corrupt Philly. It is pathetic when the only people that can make money are the nitrous mafia.

I found a bunch of cool herkimer here in Upstate New York. We have been here for a few days now and I had to take a day off to rest. Literally every finger has cuts on them from the sharp rocks and debris from breaking apart. But I always say blood, sweat and tears go into herkimer mining to get the good stuff.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

1st leg of Tour 2014, Widespread Panic

We have had an awesome time so far this summer. We left Colorado on Widpread Panic tour in June, we drove all the way from Breckenridge Colorado to Raleigh NC f 2 nights of Panic at the Red Hat, totally chill for a second year there. They let us stay in the parking lot, so I was able to close the store and put walls up instead of packing up in-between nights. Such great sound at our booth, it was hard to talk to customers over Galactic who opened for Widespread. After Raleigh we were planning on heading up North with Widespread then looked at the tour, it was 8-9K miles with mostly maybe stops where we might be able to vend, then our friend Jeff called and reminded us it was about time for Friendship Flea Market in Indiana. So of we went up to Indiana for a Friendship flea market that lasted 10 days. It was nice to camp and setup in one spot and able to close and re-open the store without packing and setting up somewhere new every night. We did decent at Friendship, we ended up finding some cool new stuff to bring with on tour and made some good connections. It was hard to beat 180 for 10 days of selling. It was 9 days but lots of people shopping the Friday before it got going made it 10 days of selling with a band playing by the fire every night. After Friendship, we needed to get back to Colorado, Flowski's license expires in July so we caught a couple more Widespread Shows on the way back. We went all the way to Lincoln, Nebraska for a disappointing time, negative energy and harassment, luckily Kansas City was a good show and we were able to make enough there to get back to Colorado for Widespread Panic. They were totally Chill in KC, they let us setup our full shakedown, even though there were only a dozen vendors or less, it still came together nicely into a very chill scene. We made it all the way back to Colorado for Widespread Panic at Red Rocks, it was a sold out show, and surprisingly very hard even for me to get tickets. I travel all summer to sold out concerts and festivals and seldom have a hard time getting a ticket, but got skunked at Red Rocks. I think our timing was a little off, we setup at the flea market on Saturday and Sunday so it was difficult to get over with the best timing to find the ticket. We actually ended up getting there with just enough time to get Flow's license taken care of, get our rent taken care of and grab some more supplies and things we left at our place the first tour. It ended up being a fun, 4,000+ mile month trip, made it back to Colorado and ready for Leg 2! Phish Tour!