All posts by Ridin' Rick

Merlefest, Day 3

Not quite as cold last night and everybody started stirring about 7:00am

Patti and Larry provided a great breakfast of homemade granola, strawberries and yogurt.

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Neighbor Vic return the favor of borrowing some salt by making a trip to the local Krispe Cream and leaving us a dozen sugar bombs.


m . . . healthy or not healthy, such a dilemma. Easiest solution . . try some of both!


Kate decides to try the dunk technique. Arial looks a little apprehensive!


Patti prepares some gourmet coffee


Soon we were on the bus and headed to the fest.


One of the great things about the fest grounds is the no alcohol and tobacco rule.


Fuller service festival . . . before you even get through the ticket area they have a welcome band rotating through on an hourly basis.


Part of the Bluebird Fleet that transports campers from four different areas around town.


Lets go shopping!


Free sniffing!


The weather was overcast and a little cool today, actually a nice change from yesterdays glaring sun. But it did slow down hat sales.


The fest had a great sand sculpture area located in the crossroads so you could check up on the progress several times during the day.


Pam and Terrys favorite dance band. They saw them four times!


We are hoping Wisconsin looks like this by the time we return.


While passing through one of the buildings to get to the Hillside stage, I came across this auditorium and stopped in to hear the Greencards . . . probably one of the best groups I’ve heard and I just happened upon them!

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At the Hillside waiting for Michael Martin Murphy


That’s his son Ryan playing the mandolin.


The big closing with his big hit Wildfire. Hear it hear:


The Hillside offer GREAT viewing but is very steep. Here is our happy group with our heels dug in to keep from sliding down the hill onto the stage!


The pesky raccoon, the Merlefest mascot, ha been visiting our camp kitchen all week and we finally see him during the daylight hours!


After our usual 4:00pm cheese and crackers break we headed back to see tonight’s headliner, the Sam Bush band. The were REALLY great!


We got back to camp about 11:30pm, there was a light drizzle but as we approached we could her some fantastic singing. There huddled under John’s tarps in a circle were about nine of our crew having a sing along  led by Larry and his son Grayson. We grabbed a chair and joined in for the next 45 minutes. Lots of fun! The only thing that broke it up were when several of the gang, including the guitarists, decided to head back to the festival dance tent to hear Donna the Buffalo.


The rest of us headed to bed still humming the tunes we had been singing.


A really sweet day.

Merlefest, Day 4

Our Dance Crew arrived back in camp about midnight after having worked off all the evening calories dancing the night away to Donna the Buffalo.

Rain was in the forecast for today. A pit stop about 5:30am revealed no rain but about 6:30am one could hear the gentle pitter patter on the tent.

The forecast was 100% rain for the last day of MF and for once the weather man was right.

The group decision was made to break camp, load up everything wet, pack it away and head for the music. Lots of hands make for an easy loading operation and by 10:30 we had the camp down and in the vehicles. We grabbed our rain gear and headed for the music.

The sand sculptors were just about done with their 2013 tribute to MF. Very nice . . . but you wonder what happens to it after the event. Does the clean up crew come around with wheel barrows and shovels or a bobcat?


We headed to the Creekside stage for hear the Avett Family singers. The Hillside stage is aptly named due to the steepness of the terrain. We have yet to see the creek at the Creekside stage but it may appear today in the form of a flash flood! As you can see from the photo, people come to MF to hear the music rain or shine!


Wet + Cold = Fuel for Energy, so by noon we needed to refuel and headed for the food tent. Red beans/rice and Jambalaya were our noon entrees enjoyed under the standing room only big top. By the time I got out my camera both were gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Soon it was time to move on from MF. Although we had planned to camp over Sunday night, the 100% continued precip forecast prompted us to follow Plan B. Patti and Larry packed up their Tahoe and headed north to Wisconsin. Pam and Terry chose to spend the night in Greensboro where they would fly out on Monday afternoon.


The rest of the Fitchburgians drove back to Chapel Hill to spend the night at Suzie’s glorious “B&B”. As we drove along we listened to the Merlefest Main Stage audio broadcast on 90.0 FM until we were out of range. BUT . . . no reason to stop enjoying the tunes of MF as emJay pulled out her recently purchased new collection of music.

We arrived at Suzie’s and were able to meet her twin daughters Anna and Emily who came over for a visit. Two very delightful young women who are making their way in the world as a marketing executive and dentist. After a hot shower and a fabulous Lasagna dinner we were all tucked into our comfy beds by 10:00pm still humming the final tunes we heard at the 2013 Merlefest.

On the way home . . .

What a great final night we had at Susie’s. Great company, great food, great beverages, down bedding, comfy mattress and quiet . . . as I drifted off to sleep I thought I could hear the theme song from Andy of Mayberry, which was filmed just down the road!


By 7:30am we were all up and ready for a little pie . . .  it’s never too early for pie down south!



How are we going to spend our last day discussions ensued.


Spring has definitely sprung in the south and all the little critters were busy doing what critters do. No wonder things grow so well down here.


See Diana’s High hurdles here:


We decided to go to neighboring Pittsboro for a final shopping and eating spree. John and I headed to a used bookstore the our better halves shopped. Susie was at the gym working out and would meet us for lunch.

Being a woodworker I was interested in a shop that taught woodworking classes using of belt driven equipment. Too bad there was not a class going on at the time. It would have been neat to see it all in action.


I did meet the owners pet chicken, Gertie!


Stranger in a strange land . . .


We went to one of John and Diana’s old haunts and as is so common in the restaurant business the ownership had changed hands. The menu look interesting so we agreed to give it a try. The local beer, Bad Betty, was quite tasty as was the fried green tomato appetizer.


Fish tacos all around except for John who was craving MEAT and had the bison burger.


. . . was that carrot cake we saw when we walked in homemade? Yes! (emJay and I shared it)


Lets check out the other side of the street.


One final stop.


Funny about the south. . . .folks seems pretty laid back such as at this store . . . good luck catching them open!


. . . to this place, where like the rest of the country, it’s go, go go.


But wherever we went, people were very friendly and warm to us Yankees.


We’d like to offer thanks Diana and John for introducing us to Merlefest and including us in their 8 year tradition and to Susie for opening her home to us for two nights and being such a gracious hostess.


We are already making plans for Merlefest 2014!

Thanks for coming along.