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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mountain retreat

There are two hard things about the Lake Eden Arts Festival.

The first hard thing is the getting there. The actual road trip is easy. From where I sit, it's only an hour and half drive, most of it on interstates. Camp Rockmont (which, despite the sound of its name, is not a place where people are regularly massacred by serial killers or a place where 18 year-old girls in white cotton panties experiment with some crazy new interests) is a simple little place on a simple little mountain lake.

The hard part is the anticipation of getting there and then fear of not getting a prime spot next to the lake. That is my job today. The wife and I are the first wave of The Advance Team. The job we have chosen to accept is that of scout and flag-planter. I should remember that in nine years of LEAF-ing, we have never failed to get a good camp site for this four-day event. Yet, I always worry. I'm sick with it right now. I'm leaving two hours before I really should in some false hope that it will make me feel better. When we get there, it will be a mad dash over a split-wood fence and to the lake. There, we will begin forming the Tent City U for a party of around 20 people (a small year in comparison to the 32 we had last year). Within a few hours, we will be joined by the rest of The Advance Team, Jane, T, and Ted. They will help us build Tent City and make it our weekend home. By 8pm, we will be finished and drinking beer. The hard part will be over.

The other hard part is the leaving. Sunday morning, we will all wake up up. More than half of our group will be hung over. Everyone will be tired. No one will want to spend three hours breaking down Tent City and cleaning up our site to leave the land as we found it. But everyone does.

Those are the two parts of LEAF that I hate. If those were the only things I knew about LEAF, I most certainly would never go. Thing is, everything else in the middle of those two times is easy. Beyond easy, really. A picture T took last year pretty much sums up LEAF in October.

I could spend a couple hours writing about how much I enjoy this weekend, but I don't think most people would get it. I've spent years trying to convince people why it's fun, and nobody has understood it...until they have joined me. I think in our group's LEAF history (which pre-dates the Otis clan by several years), only two people have joined us at LEAF and not liked it. Dozens of others have vowed to come back as often as possible. And they have.

So, it's off the grid for me this weekend. I'm not simply setting an away message on my computer. I'm turning the damned thing off.

I've never been one to run away, but this weekend, I'm retreating and not feeling the least bit bad about it.

Seeya next week.

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Anonymous Su said...

ENJOY! You deserve it!

1:43 PM  

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