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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bears in the Mist

Last week we went away for a week of frolicking in the woods - our yearly bit of outdoor madness - Motion Notion. It's a 4 day electronic outdoor festival in Drayton Valley, Alberta. Always a great time.
This year some friends of ours were in charge of the second stage and we came up a day early to help them with some last minute stage decorations. Mel is a force of nature and can make anything out of her head come to reality...she's the official "Minister of Visions" of the Grumpy Old Men collective from Edmonton - they put on great shows and events. We have gotten to know them pretty well over the years and had many great times with them - they're great. Mel and Bari (and their cat Pasha MD) are great people. :)
After weeks of Mel's weekend work the woods stage went from nothing to look like this:
Then the weekend began.It's always a good time - the event happens on a camping ranch, and there are lots of great places to camp. We were back in the woods by the second stage and I spent a bit of time making sure we were well tarped off in case the rain came...good thing I did! A few times over the weekend it rained hard - once was a full out thunderstorm! We got to listen to the storm in the tent...beautiful...loud. We could hear the thunder calling and answering and hear the rain fall all snug and dry :) I've never been outside in the middle of a thunderstorm before. Having all our new rain gear was great. We wandered about and did whatever we pleased regardless of the weather.
There was a whole day of hot hot hot sun when we swam in the (very high) river and I convinced J to ride down the river with me on an inner tube - haven't done it in years and first time ever for him. The way the area is set up you can hop on at a small beach and float down the river for about 20 minutes to the main beach, where they had a stage set up playing funky music on the beach. Great way to spend a sunny afternoon...
And the DJs at night were great - there were 2 stages of music and some great psytrance and breaks were played. The main stage is draped with UV reactive art, and there was an interactive dance floor, as well as a video projector shone on to a disco ball, sending dozens of images all over the trees...I tried my hand at capturing video on my camera with my new gorilla pod - here's a little taste of what our woods stage was like once the nightly music began:

video

(this only took 2 h to upload...sheesh) You can't tell to much from the video I grabbed, but hearing electronic music outside is really the way to hear it - no echo, no distortion, just very very loud very crystal clear sound to dance to. My knee gave me no trouble at all so I danced up a storm :) I even remembered a few costumes - one night I had my bellydance gear complete with a furry black vest (thanks Value Village!) and the last night was a dance costume complete with bear head! There were some amazing costumes this year...it's so interesting what people come up with.

The reaction to the bear head was great as always...convulsions of laughter, photos, people wanting to wear it - so much fun. About 1 in every 30 people were really weirded out by it - I find it funny that a yellow cartoon bear head could weird someone out, but I guess it takes all kinds. I got to practice my poi and dance like a monkey - the bear head is the warmest hat imaginable...the perfect thing when the night cools off :) As the sun came up on the last night J and I went for a walk and stumbled across a great little clearing full of mist, sparkling as the sun came up. We took some great pictures...like this one...

Yes - it was a good time.
We stayed overnight and helped tear down a bit, and then it was (*sniff*) back home to unpack and spend a day being lazy and napping and barbecuing and unwinding before we had to go back to the real world. It just wasn't long enough...just a few more weeks and then it is time for Shambhala.

What are *your* plans for your holidays?

3 comments:

Terry said...

You were in Drayton Valley and didn't come to visit me????? Sheesh. It's only another 4 hours driving!!
:)
Sounds like you had a great time, and I LOVE the bear head picture!

the Bag Lady said...

Oops - I was signed in under a different account!
I'm still whining about you not coming to visit, though!

diddums said...

(Sees the bear head and freaks out).

Great photo, otherwise... LOL. :-) Pretty light effects, but I think that bright star would have given me a headache after a while. Maybe I'm just getting old.

My plans... No holiday. Just waiting for my laptop to stop rendering a 3D picture. It's taken two days and two nights so far. And it's not as if it was a special, carefully put together picture; just a whimsy.