Friday, September 24, 2010

39th Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival.

I can't, I'm going to Winfield
Every third week in September for the past four years we take off work and pull the kids out of school to go to Winfield Kansas for the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival. In a way, this has become a kind of community building project since each year we convince more and more of our community to join us.  We load up our bikes and camp necessities and share one large camp.  Each family plans to cook at least once (sometimes twice) and we share the meals communally.  This year there were 4 families and our friend David for a total of 9 adults and 7 kids.  In fact, this may be the first year that adults out numbered the kids!

We always bring our 1963 Airstream travel trailer named Charlotte and pack her full of bikes, bedding, a communal keg of Schlafly APA, and whatever doesn't fit in our friend's cars.  We fit 6 bikes in Charlotte this year including my xtra cycle!   The best part is that we don't concern ourselves with any political guilt pulling such a heavy rig because Jamie collects used fryer grease from local restaurants, filters it, and burns it as fuel.  We have to use a little bit of diesel, but we only spent about $40 to go nearly 700 miles round trip.

Jamie is filtering grease and filling up cubies for the trip
All the cubies and containers get wrapped in plastic and stored in the back of the Suburban.  Jamie always brings extra filters just in case one gets clogged on the way.

This year was by far the most pain free trip we've taken to Winfield. Something has gone wrong every year between adjusting to using a greasel system and problems with pulling a vintage trailer.   The only problem we ran into this year was getting stuck in the mud at the festival as we pulled into the camp ground. There had been a major storm and a tornado there the night before that destroyed many campsites and turned the roads into mud pits. We thought we would be fine since we have four wheel drive. But about 1/4 of the way to our site we got stuck because the four wheel drive wouldn't engage. Fortunately, there was another rig stuck up the road and a nice farmer with a tractor was already there pulling them out. The tractor ended up pulling us out twice and hauling us right into our camp site.

covered in mud, but happy to be back to our walnut valley home!

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