Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 Hoot

A year ago, Boo and I took Hapy to our first Horning's Hideout Hootenanny (HHH). Today's post is about our triumphant return this year.

Pant... Pant... Pant...
After a crazy can-I-finish-it month of April and May, we entered Memorial Day weekend with a bus in one piece. I took the bus on a few short test drives, starting the Tuesday evening prior to Memorial day with T. We simply drove down our street, turned up the hill, drove about 500 feet and drove home. Thrilled, we parked and called the bus ready to roll. I drove the bus to work that Thursday, to prove that he could handle traffic, as well as to get him all the way up to normal operating temperature. While a little nerve-wracking to drive to work with a mystery car, I was grateful for the proof on Saturday morning.

proud owner
Saturday, we awoke having done virtually no planning nor packing. We hit the grocery store the night before, so we had food and drink, but nothing else was ready. I've lamented preparing for the first camping trip of the season before, never really being sure you had everything you needed. This time, the week leading up to the trip was 80* or hotter and we were super-focused on getting the bus ready. So, we didn't notice that the weather forecast changed, leaving us a little under-dressed for the Hoot. Still, the camping stuff is pretty well sorted now, so packing is simply tossing a couple of storage shelves worth of stuff into the bus, some clothes and the food and we were off.

We stopped first at the fueling station. Since the last filling, we pulled 32mpg. Again, that's amazing, and its starting to appear to be a trend. After a final stop for forgotten bits, we headed for highway 26 West and Horning's Hideout.

When I re-assembled the bus, I neglected to install the outer door seals in the front doors. One of them was damaged anyway, but because they were not in, the drive at highway speed was louder than it used to be. Boo and I agreed that putting outer door seals in before the next, longer, drive would be a good idea. Unexpectedly, the overall noise in the bus at city-traffic speed is quieter than expected, especially after removing all of the wood floors and leaving the steel floor in the center of the bus uncovered.

Give a Hoot
Scotty with Hapy
Since we slept a little later than we had meant to, hadn't packed the night before and had to make a couple stops before we left for the Hoot, we arrived a little later than we wanted to. Still, the first band started at noon and we arrived at 12:15. Close enough.

So, what's the Hootenanny anyway? Starting 10 years ago, the organizer (Scotty, in the pictures) decided to celebrate his birthday with a few bands, some disc-golf and whoever else wanted to join in. 10 years later, he throws himself a birthday party requiring a staff of 23, 12 bands over 2 days and a disc golf tournament that attracts up to 500 people. For Boo and I, it represents the start of the music festival season with a very mellow send off. The attendees are an interesting blend of disc-golf fanatics and jam-band music fans. While there are a few that cross-over between the groups, most disc-golfers miss the daylight music, but make the evening shows so there's a good sized crowd after dinner.

Besides the music and disc-golf, there are vendors. Boo and I trolled the booths before we set up in the music bowl on the first day. One woman had Indian tapestries, there was a couple slinging tye-dyes from an ancient yellow school bus, an espresso cart, T-shirts, etc. Central to the car-camping side of the bowl was an old green school bus from Montana running a wood-fired pizza oven. Their call for "pizza" during song breaks became a dependable running joke through the festival.

There have been concerns about whether the Hoot can or will continue at Horning's Hideout. Last year, some attendants were unruly, creating noise the Hormings objected to. This also made Scotty question the integrity of the event, and whether it could continue. We saw some curious behavior, mostly from the Trust-afarian couple next-door, but the security folks contained things very quickly. For the most part, there were lots of returning families with little kids, twenty-somethings playing disc-golf and a virtual melting pot of good vibes folks otherwise.

Band Preview
I'm going to dedicate another posting to a deeper review of the bands, but there was a strong crop this year. Returning favorites from last year included Yr Daddy, the HillWilliams, JoyTribe and the Garcia Birthday Band (GBB). Returning after a few years absent, were Kina Lyn and Jesta. New to the festival were the Grateful Buds, Bottleneck Blues, Rainbow Electric and Shafty. Urban Shaman was new, but featured most of the folks from Vivid Curve (one of my favorites from last year). The music was good, and while the styles were not as widely varied as last year, the music-fans had a great time.

entrance volunteers
Leaving the Hoot is hard. It lasts for such a short period of time, and just about the time you get your groove for the event, its time to go. We took our time, enjoying our coffee and slowly pulling our things together. We weren't hassled out at all. We took that as a good sign for how the Hornings considered the event. We talked to Scotty about the event both on our way in and on the way out. Based on those conversations, and his stage announcements, it sounds like my fellow Hoot-villers collectively behaved much better this year, and the Hornings will welcome us back next year. From Boo and me to the Hornings, thank you.

That's it for today. The drive home was uneventful, though I think my tires are low on air. I'll post a band review soon, hopefully before I forget all of my mental notes. As always, thanks for following along-

Hapy at Hoot

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