It’s hard to beat the serenity and slow-paced relaxation that can be found in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I started visiting because I have so many friends in the region, but it’s easy to get addicted to the crystal-clear blue lakes, giant gorges, sprawling vineyards, long mountain ranges and the laid-back lifestyle that so many inhabitants enjoy.
I got the invite from my Skilletation Nation friends to come up for the Purple Pig Music Festival in Naples, New York. It was in the backyard of my amigos from the North, though it was a good five hour drive for me. Totally worth it.
It was bitterly cold those nights, or maybe I just forgot that it was late September and didn’t pack accordingly. I chose to forgo the tent and camp in my (aptly named) Mini, and every bone in my spine regretted that choice. Still, for as cold as it was (and as under-prepared as I happened to be), I was thankful for the option to start the car up every once in a while and blast some heat.
I got the invite to go hang out with my Blue Heron friends up in Canandaigua, and dropped in on their snowboarding event, the Sean Slayer Showdown. I really never tried a snowboard before, and it gave me some motivation to learn next year, but in the mean time, I shot some footage of the stunts they were doing, and was blown away by their dexterity and skill:
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park has become a little serene getaway for my festival-buddies and I. I first heard about the Ledges from my friend Jeremy, and have been to a few festivals here before, but this was my first ‘Hookah’ weekend – a festival with headliners Ekoostik Hookah. In a very impromptu decision, that involved only about a half-hour of packing, my friends Nathan and Lanie hopped in my RV and we headed west towards Ledges.
I have been doing the small, local festival circuit for a few years, and have been really anxious to try to one of the larger domestic festivals. Bonnaroo seemed to fit well; I had a few friends interested in going, and the festival also boasted a killer line-up this year. My friends Maranie, Kristen, and Evan signed up for a little RV excursion, and we crammed in to the little camper for five days away from home.
Spring has finally sprung around these parts. Mom and I had some free time on a Friday, so we took the pups to Oak Hollow Park for a little exercise. Meanwhile, I spent more time with the camera then with dogs… business as usual. 🙂
Without a doubt, I say with great certainty that despite all of the backpacking, camping, and hiking trips I’ve done, I’ve never done one in more extreme weather than the trip I just returned from today. Organized by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Backpackers group on MeetUp, this “short” little trip on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail ended up bring a very brutal weekend in the woods.
Seriously, I’m not sure. The All Good Festival is a place to make wonderful memories and forget them just as quickly.
I consider myself a festival veteran at this point. I’ve been to dozens of smaller outdoor music festivals and I usually feel very safe and comfortable. All Good made me feel like it was my first time. And everyone remembers their first time a little differently than the rest, don’t they? 😉
I’ve grown to have a real preference for festivals like Blue Heron and events at Ledges because of their size. When a festival has about 3,000-8,000 people, it’s large enough to meet new people, provide new experiences, and draw some descent talent, but small enough that you don’t get overwhelmed in the flurry of glow stick juice and sin. (Not that glow stick juice and sin are always bad things).