As I write this at 8 a.m. on Sunday, the Alumapalooza field is half cleared out. The programmed part of the event is over, and only the “after party” remains. A lot of trailers pulled out last night around dinnertime, fearing that they would be stuck in the mud by Sunday, but most remained until this morning.
There was a lot of rain yesterday — our wettest day all week. We just dropped the walls down on the western side of the big tent, to keep the rain from blowing in, and the seminars proceeded comfortably: Kristiana Spaulding talking about interior design, Sean & Kristy Michaels talking about their Long Long Honeymoon, and Joe Diamond’s amazing “bizarre” magic on stage.
The 7:30 a.m. blast of Jimi Hendrix was perfectly appropriate given the weather conditions. Imagine the scene: a hundred Airstreams quietly parked in the gray early morning fog, grass glistening with dew, patches of mud at all the traffic areas, and people inside their trailers getting breakfast on … when suddenly from the tent comes the loud and clear notes of Jimi’s guitar wailing out the National Anthem in similar weather conditions at Woodstock, NY, forty years ago.
We kept the schedule light on Saturday so that people would have plenty of time to tour the trailers during Open House (including a display of new Airstreams), and meet Airstream staff during lunch under the tent. That turned out well, and despite the swaths of mud that were growing everywhere, spirits stayed high. In the afternoon, as a few people got nervous, Guy Lotz got busy pulling out the trailers that needed help, and by sunset there was a small outpost of perhaps 6-7 trailers parked on the asphalt by Airstream’s paint building. The Terra Port filled up, too. I kept telling people that they would not become permanent residents of the field, and we would definitely get them out with the tractor, but some of them didn’t want to wait for the tractor and pulled themselves out at their first opportunity.
Last night the biggest storms blew through. I have had a weather radio set on “Alert” mode for the past few days, and twice last night I heard the alarm for tornado watches. Those were not near us, and we were never in danger, but it was disconcerting. Eleanor and I woke up at 3:30 and checked the weather radar again on the laptop. Plenty of action around the state, but not much more here than occasional heavy rain and high winds. High winds are not much concern for an Airstream that is designed to slip down the highway at 70+ MPH all day long, so we went back to sleep. When we awoke, we discovered that the western side of the big tent had collapsed partially, and the vendor tent was starting to dismantle itself.
… I was interrupted in writing this blog by the arrival of a few people who wanted to say goodbye, or just chat. Sky came over, as well as Forrest, Brett, Lisa, Zach, Deb,etc. Everyone wants to keep the sociability of the event going, even though the field is now nearly empty. We finally packed up our trailer and headed over to the Terra Port around noon, grateful to be out of the field. It had gone from squishy to borderline marsh overnight. It was getting tricky to walk around and retain dry feet.
The Terra Port is packed with leftover campers from Alumapalooza. Most of them have service appointments for the coming days, but a few like us are just spending one more night before heading onward. For us, this last day is our chance to get everything cleaned up (including the Airstream and the last few bits of stuff from the field) and decompress. We’ll have a pleasant afternoon with our friends in the Terra Port and then head out on Monday.