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Oregon. Silver Lake Fiddle Camp, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 @2:55:12 PM

Silver Lake Fiddle Camp, 2012. High Desert in central Oregon. Day 1, dry snow. Hard to explain, but it would hit the ground and blow around until it disappeared. Nothing got wet. Jammed almost non-stop until past 3am Saturday morning.

4pm Friday afternoon, dinner at the Cowboy Dinner Tree. Two choices that must be called in a week in advance. Sandy and I picked the 32oz steak, Mike picked the whole chicken. Waddled back to our cabin ... a REALLY rustic cabin. But warm, comfortable beds, and a shower. Packed the leftovers in our ice chests and back to the Fire Station to jam some more.

There is a tradition at the Silver Lake camp that in order to gain Teddy Bear status you must jam until 3am. I am no longer a poo poo bear, but rather a full fledged Teddy.

Day 2, Mike and Sandy slept in. I was up and at it at about 7:30 and took the dirt road to Fort Rock. Gorgeous morning. Awesome land formation. It's an ancient volcano crater with one side blown out (about 10,000 years ago) making it look like a huge rock fort. Lunch time and back to jamming. Only this afternoon every one is doing a "band scramble". That's where names are drawn from a hat to create several 5 piece bands and you get a few hours to put two songs together, and perform them. The towns people love this.

After dinner (32oz steak again) back to jamming. Even though the three of us earned our Teddy status the previous night, we jammed until past 3am again. It was a hoot, even more than the first night. Laughed so hard for so long it was starting to hurt. Watched three others earn their Teddy status.

Sunday morning. Everybody is feeling pretty rough. Packed up and on the road home. Decide to swing by Fort Rock so Mike and Sandy could see it. As we're starting our hike up we hear a familiar song being sung at us from a car pulling into the parking lot. It's our good friends Mark and Amy (two of the new Teddy's). We all hike up to "the flat" and yak for about an hour. Amy suggests that we all dig out our instruments and jam ... so back down the hill and we're jamming in the beautiful sunshine. Crowds gather to listen, including a very large Mennonite family (with lots of children). It was Sunday, so we kept it clean, and even gospel. The music is melting away the roughness of all the late night jamming. Feeling pretty good now. As we're packing up, the Mennonite family hikes up to "the flat". "The flat" is an area backed up to a huge vertical rock cliff. The children start singing Amazing Grace. It's obvious they are a choir. It was beautiful. It was spiritual. The voices filled the desert as it bounced off the rock backdrop. Words can't explain how we all felt that afternoon. Even video or pictures couldn't. Sandy used the word 'serendipity', but it isn't enough.

Did I enjoy myself? Yeah, I think so.


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