On Labor Day Weekend of 2006, Squirrel and I had packed all of our worldly belongings and had roped every friend we could into helping us move them with the promise of undying gratitude, eternal love and intoxicating lemon drinks.
We had been warned that it was “Round-up Weekend.” Not really knowing what this meant, we assumed we’d meet a few cowboys on the hillside or cattle trucks on the road. What it really meant was that for four days our next door neighbors would be hundreds of teenaged cows who had just been taken from their mothers on the open range and shoved into a corral. The noise was an indescribable cacophony of bleating and screaming with a sound underneath it all that was something akin to a Nascar race track. It was absolutely horrible. I looked at my friends with a shaky smile. “They go to sleep at night, don’t they?”
They do not.
By the third night, I couldn’t take it anymore. Squirrel found me at 3 a.m. on the couch with a bottle of wine and tears streaming down my face. “They’ve taken them away from their moms,” I sobbed at him. “And now they won’t stop crying….and now I can’t stop crying…it’s just so sad!!!”
It was at that moment that Squirrel determined that we would be going out of town for Labor Day weekend of 2007 – no matter what.
Fortunately for us, there are two fabulous festivals that happen every year at this time. They’re both close enough for a weekend journey, and the best part is that they both revolve around the legendary and elusive Bigfoot. We decided to start our Bigfoot honeymoon at Bigfoot Daze in Willow Creek, and then move on to Bigfoot Jamboree in Happy Camp. We also decided to compare and contrast the two so we would feel like researchers rather than…well…um…big dorks.
We arrived Friday night at Tish Tang, set up camp, ate the ubiquitous roasted hot dogs and settled in for a peaceful night’s sleep. As soon as we laid down, the noise began. Yelling, laughing, breaking glass, screaming, fighting, loud music…it all wafted up to us from the river bed. Then we began to hear more foreign noises: sirens. It wasn’t a very restful sleep, but since newlyweds aren’t really supposed to be sleeping much anyway, we made the best of it and awoke the next morning ready to start the festivities.
The festival was at the river park, and it was certainly well-attended. There were tons of people – a lot of them who had obviously been indulging in some mind-altering substances (and not the fun kind) – really bad live music and a lot of scary-looking food. I was also expecting some art, craft and bigfoot schwag, but those things were sorely lacking. There were a few booths, but most of them seemed as if they had bought out the local Dollar store and were reselling the items for $3.00. The oddest thing was that there was absolutely nothing Bigfoot – no t-shirts, no action figures, no jewelry. The paper mentioned that someone named Dr. Bigfoot would be on hand to tell stories of sightings, but we didn’t see him anywhere. For a festival in its 47th year, it didn’t have a very fun vibe and was more than a little creepy, so we decided that we’d pack our stuff and move on down the road to Happy Camp.
I did find it interesting that a booth from the “Creation Research of the North Coast” was there in Willow Creek.
As much as I begged Squirrel to ask the guy what day Bigfoot was created on, he just wouldn’t do it.
to be continued….