Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Country Thunder

Had a pretty wild, for me, weekend - drove up to Florence, Arizona for the (14th Annual) Country Thunder concert. Many tops names in the country music world performing for 4 days and nights. And I dry-camped for the first time. And I'm delighted to report it wasn't as scary as I anticipated! I might even do it again some day! Maybe.
My old pal, Liz, and her little Chihuahua Misty Blu went too. Liz's son Paul and his girlfriend joined us off and on thru the course of the weekend. What an experience! The event, I mean!

There were hundreds of campsites for the event, and I had to buy two because my coach was too big for just one. Worked out OK because that way Paul could come and go and have a place to park!

I decided to go in a day early, as was allowed, thinking that it would be easier to get my rig in before it became jammed with trucks and tents and other RVs. Very wise decision! There was a steady stream of vehicles from noon until way after dark.

We parked in old alfalfa fields, so we were ankle deep (or more!) in alfalfa wherever we went. The doggies were on leashes when we walked, which was a good thing or they would have been lost forever!

Didn't need to worry about entertainment on that first night, because the campsites themselves provided plenty! Drinking started early and lasted late, and everyone had music pumped up loud! But security was tight and the curfew was enforced! at 2 a.m.

We were lucky in that whoever had bought the place beside me never showed up, so we had a little breathing room, but most of the area was tightly packed. Everybody was friendly, pet the doggies when we walked them, and was eager to help anyone in need. One gal, who had obviously been there before, had brought a weed-whacker to clear her spot before setting up. Then loaned the thing out to anyone who asked.

Some of the sites were primitive (tent and firepit) while others had huge bar-b-ques with tables for 20 people and gazebo type tents with full screening to keep out the riff-raff and bugs (not too many bugs at all!!).

A couple of the cowboys really had a great fireplace set up!

And then the entertainment really began. When they opened the gates to the arena, there was a mad dash to get the best seating. Neat set-up. You could buy reserved seating right up by the stage, or as a camper you got general admission seating - on the grass behind the up close seating. Everyone brought chairs and staked out their area - very orderly, amazingly enough!
As I mentioned - some really big names in the industry - Reba, Trace Adkins, Grethen Wilson, Big & Rich, Montgomery Gentry, Neal McCoy, Blake Sheldon, Randy Owen, Heartland, Trick Pony, Lorrie Morgan, JoDee Messina, and on and on and on.

This is Lorrie Morgan - she's been around a long time, and is still gorgeous and still has a sultry voice!

Unfortunately, the weather was ghastly almost the whole weekend! The first night the wind came up and brought a real chill with it. Then the clouds rolled in. We chickened out right after Lorrie performed, and made it back to the coach just as the skies opened up. Blowing rain, lightning, thunder (as befits 'Country Thunder'??)! Absolutely wild! Poor JoDee Messina was literally rained out! But Trace said 'ah what the hell - the fans are here, I'll go on!' and he put on a great show! We could hear him at our campsite, almost as if we were still there right in front of him!
The days were usually very nice and the pretty little cowgirls were out in force,

and lined the walkway around the stage.

But usually the winds came up again and brought super cold nights. I felt for the entertainers and the fans. And I'm not embarrassed to say that we often chose to go back to the coach at night and listen from there! It was just too cold and blowy, and we were close enough to hear just fine!
The last show Sunday night was Montgomery Gentry, and it lasted til 10:30 - way too late to even think about driving outta there. We were welcome to stay the night and leave the next day, which about half the campers did. And of course Monday morning dawned clear and lovely!
I was pleasantly surprised to see there was almost no loose trash - there had been plenty of trash cans, and there was daily trash pick-up. There was also a water truck cruising all day every day if anyone needed fresh water, and there was even a honey wagon making the rounds!
All in all, a very pleasant and fun weekend! Don't know that I'll do it again, but I really did enjoy it - and learned that I can really boondock without fear!
Took Lizzie and Misty home and picked up my Mustang, which she'd kept for me while in Mexico and Paul had been kind enough to wash, and headed back to Tucson with the car in tow. Only to be caught in another rain storm! Just enough rain on the roads to turn my sweet car from shiny glowing red to dull mud! Oh well, she got another bath yesterday!
a little p.s. here - I was finally able to get some pictures into my last post, if you feel like looking!

The Animal Rescue Site
LogoThere is
person with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?