Sunday, August 28, 2011

Everything Up to the Burn

To whomever might read this,

I have not been diligent about updating this blog as I should have this summer. However seeing as that really few people actually read this and it is more of a mental release for me I will update it as I see fit. These events will be summarized for now but hopefully expanded upon at a later date.

This time next week hopefully I will be a resident of Black Rock City in Nevada while attending my first Burning Man which coincidentally is celebrating it's 25th year not unlike myself. I am going to fill in briefly all the gaps from Sasquatch at then end of May until the current moment.

After leaving the Gorge after what I concluded was indubitably the best Sasquatch! ever I returned to Whatcom County and visited with friends. The next weekend I traveled with my friend Sparkle Sam down to Seattle and attended the Moody Blues at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA. With us were other friends Morgan & Bekah to enjoy the experience. The concert was fantastic and was a good send off for Sam before she had to fly to Alaska the next morning.

Again I returned to Bellingham and enjoyed time spent with the Alternative Library Crew and adventures with my Pedicab. The Naked Bike Ride took place the next weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed taking the tricycle taxi around town in the buff with some enthusiastic passengers.

The next weekend I went down to Seattle again for the Fremont Solstice parade. The night before the event I was out seeing my friends band Rise n' Shine at the Nectar Lounge and came back to my car only to find it broken into. One window was smashed and the only things they took were my Accordion and a hiking backpack with my camping stove. These things were essential materials in my summer adventures but I put the misfortune behind me and pressed on. The Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade were rather enjoyable with more naked bikers. Thanks to the guys in Acorn Project for playing an awesome show and the hospitality of all my friends in that area.

That next week I spent living in a cave outside of Leavenworth, WA. On the solstice which happened to be my 25th birthday some friends and I arranged a large party in the cave which went until sunrise. I have a lot of respect and fondness for that area of Washington, as well as the people who call it home. Thanks to Jared a.k.a. Rooster, Dustin, Sweeny and everyone who made that week especially memorable.

I returned to Seattle for my friend Beth's birthday that Friday and enjoyed catching up with her and other friends. I ended up busking with my guitar for quite sometime that weekend during the Pride Parade in Seattle. On Sunday I got a free ticket from an awesome acquaintance to see My Morning Jacket at the Paramount, which was an amazing, epic and life changing show. Thank you Adam.

The next weekend my friend Patrick and I booked it down to Quincy, CA for the 21st annual High Sierra Music Festival. We were volunteers with an organization called Clean Vibes that is involved with responsible waste management for Festivals. The experience at this place was what I would deem pure magic. The music was off the charts, the Clean Vibes crew was incredibly kind and over all I had one of the best weekends of my life. I will never forget playing music during sunrise while watching the silent disco and eventually being overtaken by a kickball game. Thanks a lot to Julie Ann, Justin, Laura Squared and Rainbow for providing some lifelong memories.

On our way back up to Whatcom County Patrick and I were obliged to stop at the 40th annual National Rainbow Gathering being held in Washington just south of Mt. St. Helens. The experience was enlightening to say the least and it was humbling to see so many people interacting in a beautiful landscape on a no money economy. I have a lot of stories from our brief time spent there but they need not be elaborated upon. Thanks to the Sushi Tribe for being so hospitable.

Got back to Whatcom County and caught March Forth Marching Band for the Bellingham Street Sounds series. That band has more live energy than an atom bomb that just flew into the sun, really fun stuff. Spent a little time the next week back out in Eastern Whatcom County connecting with that community and what I had left behind. I rolled the Pedicab when I could and made enough money to get by while still thoroughly enjoying my experience.

My travels then brought me down to the Northwest String Summit outside of Portland Oregon. I had heard about this event and knew that I belonged there this summer. Not only did I witness some of the most amazing live bluegrass one can imagine but I remain humbled by the entire experience. I was a volunteer and helped out with whatever they needed me to. Basically it was an avenue for meeting incredible people. Thanks to Patrick, Cristal, Amber, Matt and Laura for all the kind interactions throughout the weekend. I cherish my time spent at Horning's Hideout and can't wait to go back.

An awesome by-product of the String Summit was meeting an incredible woman who offered to straight up trade her full sized Accordion for my small Concertina. I met up with her a couple days after the weekend and it was a beautiful interaction in which we both ended up with what we wanted with no monetary value attached.

I spent some time with an old friend who I met when we volunteered in Australia together. Kim invited me to come to an open mic she had her about and I got the chance to play music and listen to others with some really great people. Portland Oregon is a city that ends up feeling like a community and I can appreciate that. Thanks to Ratboy, Kim and Mercedes.

The next stop on the tour was up to Kethcum, ID and some quality time with my brother Kyle. I got out there and we attended a concert in the town of Ketchum with Bruce Hornsby and Bela Fleck & his Flecktones. I was familiar with both of the artists but seeing them live was absolutely astounding. The instrumentation and spontaneity of the show was out of this world. It remains one of my favorite live acts I have eve witnessed.

We traveled to the town of Stanley for the Sawtooth Music Festival the next day. I again volunteered and got to meet a lot of amazing people coming in doing Parking Duty. The setting of the venue is absolutely spectacular with the ridges of the Sawtooth Mountains in the background. The music was great on the first night and all seemed in the right place. The next day was shaping up to be another great one until after the second act the thunder clouds started clouding the horizon. That evening and night we witnessed one of the most intense performances put on by Mother Nature. Lightning Strikes were plenty and the rain fell pretty hard for a good amount of time. The music was canceled but the experience lives on. We hit up some hidden hot springs the next day and spent the next couple days relaxing in Ketchum. Thanks to my brother Kyle, Kathryn, Coil, Nickster and Jill for all the memories.

I spent a little time with my family in Spokane. A brief trip out to lake Coeur d'Alene was a nice place to cool off in the hot inland heat. It is necessary to thank all of my immediate family for all their continued support. So PJ, Mom, Freena Bean, T.A. and cousin Jason please know I love you with all of my being.

The next weekend was spent with my good friend Morgan traveling to Phish at the Gorge in his newly acquired Volkswagen Camping EuroVan. I had never seen Phish and really got my fill with two nights at my favorite place to see live music. We camped next to the Bellingham crew and were delightfully treated to having Acorn Project play in the campground after the Phish sets. The times that were spent that weekend really reverberate magic with me still. Thanks to Morgan for driving and being such an amazing honest friend.

After some brief time spent in Bellingham over the next week and a little rolling on the Tricycle Taxi, I picked up again and booked it down to San Fransisco with a ride share on Craigslist. The ride was interesting but it worked out and I got there on Friday morning. Again with my friend Morgan, his girlfriend Bekah and other people I knew from college.

The reason I was down in the Bay Area was to volunteer again with the Clean Vibes crew at the Outside Lands Festival at Golden Gate Park. I ended up in a little bit of a conundrum not having enough money to put down my deposit for after-show clean-up. That night I ended up walking around the perimeter of the concert listening to Phish again but not seeing them it ended up being a humbling occasion. The next day I raised the necessary money for the deposit by busking around the city with my somewhat newly acquired accordion. The show for the second two days was absolutely insane and I was surprised at how well it was ran. Some highlight shows were definitely Muse, Tune-Yards, STS9, Deigo's Umbrella and Beirut The park is incredibly scenic, especially in a city setting, so having a festival crowd has a big impact. I spent the two days following the event doing sweeps of the grounds with dozens of others cleaning up every cigarette butt and pistachio shell in our path. It was dirty work but rewarding for the experience of the entire weekend. I saw some of the crew from High Sierra again and meet a lot of new people. Thanks a lot to Axel & Alyscia, Morgan & Bekah, Detectives Dave & Dan and Erica from Clean Vibes for the amazing time spent in San Fran.

I took the Greyhound back to Seattle to spend some with an old friend who was in town for a wedding and to attend the 20th annual Hempfest. The weekend was spent between West Seattle, Downtown & Myrtle Edwards Park. There was a significant amount of busking with the accordion and lots of reminiscing of summers past. It was good to find a ride back to Whatcom County on Sunday from good friends and get out of a big city environment for a while. Thanks to Chris, Steak O, P@Trix, Robbie and Volpone.

This past week was spent again in my favorite county, Whatcom. I have been working and preparing for the Burn. Life seems endlessly complicated but at the same time the contentment in my actions is clear.  There is a lot of things that I do not know about myself and my potential seems to be restricted. One of my mantras has always been "Life is a journey, not a destination." This is the longest time that I have been nomadic and it has worn on my body and mind. There is much that needs to be figured out during the Burn and I want to leave Black Rock City with a purpose. The ritual of spending a week in the desert is what my compatriot Patrick thinks of as a metaphoric cleanse of soul. I lead a very privileged and blessed existence. Thank you to whomever I encounter because it is truly the people who help guide my way. There will be another post sometime after Burning Man and hopefully elaboration on it all.

Peace & Love,



Anonymous said...

Please help me by reading my appeal on my profile

shenandoah bed and breakfast said...

Nice to know you volunteer and have some social work. Have you traveled to Luray, VA?

Anonymous said...

wow looks like you've had some awesome adventures! when did you volunteer in Australia? I'd love to ask you some questions about that experience. Email me at katie at if you're interested. Thanks!