08 August 2011

311 Pow Wow Festival

If you follow me on Twitter, you should be well aware that I spent the weekend doing lots and lots of bitching and moaning. BUT, I had good reason.

Me and Rich traveled the seven hour trip to the Suwannee Campgrounds in Live Oak, FL for a 3-day 311 music festival, also known as the 311 Pow Wow Festival. I'm not a huge 311 fan (mostly because I've never listened to their music very much; I knew a few of the more popular songs like "All Mixed Up" & "Amber"), but Rich loves them. He asked me to go a few months ago, and I agreed. I didn't expect the 110 degree heat index values at the time and neither did he. I started getting nervous as the day to leave grew closer because I knew it was going to be hot! I even debated renting a nearby hotel room but decided to be a trooper and rough it out with the rest of them.

Our camping quarters - the state of SC was definitely being represented.

Our 311 candle

We made the trip down on Thursday and arrived around 7 PM. We met up with one of Rich's friends from Columbia and his girlfriend. A few of the earlier shows had already gotten under way, but we didn't care much about seeing any of them. So, we downed a few beers, a shot, and headed down to the main stage to watch the Deftones play. They're a little too hardcore for me, but I thought they put on a good show. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I did get a too hot and puked in the bushes while listening to the after show--DJ Soulman (who was REALLY good, by the way). After getting sick, I decided to take it easy for the rest of the weekend (even though four beers and one shot is hardly getting hammered for me).

Our Tent Setup

The heat from the sun woke us around 9 AM on Friday. We were sticky and nasty, so we ventured out to find some river everyone was talking about. Matt & Liz (Rich's friend & his GF) were headed over to the wonderful camping facilities to take a shower (ummm hmmm... sarcasm), but there was a long line... so we decided to just wash ourselves off in the river. We headed off in the general direction of the river but couldn't find it, so we walked back to the campsite to look at the map. Turns out, we just hadn't walked far enough! (Apparently, a small road on a small map can be deceiving.) This river was actually like a mile down the road. So, we walked all the way there in the 110 degree heat... with the millions of gnats.

We were SO happy to see the water when we finally found it. We even brought soap and shampoo---and yes, we washed our hair and our bodies right there in the river with our swimsuits on. And, we weren't the only ones. After about 30 minutes in the hot sun, we came to the realization that it might have been a good idea to bring sunscreen. Rich took one for the team and walked the mile back to the campsite alone to get the sunscreen and a cooler, as well as Matt & Liz. He decided he would drive the car down this time.

After the swim in the river, I decided to take a real shower in those wonderful facilities because I didn't think about my body being sandy from the river. (Heat obviously affects your ability to think logically.) I think it was the most refreshing and needed shower I've had in my life. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out, grilling, and getting ready for the 311 show that night.

Sublime opened for 311 on Friday night, which started at 7. We walked down to the stage a lot earlier than we did the night before, and I was glad I hadn't been drinking. With the sun beating down and a fitful night of sleep the night before, I was exhausted. I sat down in a lounge chair for the entire show. I felt like a loser because everyone was jumping up, going crazy, when 311 walked out on stage, and I was about to fall asleep in a lounge chair. We went to sleep soon after the show ended and despite the heat, I didn't have a difficult time making it happen.

We spent most of the day on Saturday being lazy. To be honest, I spent the majority of the day in my car with the AC on blast. I felt like I was being super anti-social, and I hope Richard's friends didn't take it personally, but I knew I would be sitting in a chair again that night if I didn't stay out of the sun. I sat in the AC & finished reading "Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea". Once the sun started to go down, I ventured out a little more and actually played a game of corn hole. The AC did its job because I had a great time at the show on Saturday. I felt a bit rundown towards the end (but, in my defense, they played two sets, and we watched G Love and some comedian prior to 311), but I made it a lot longer than I did on Friday!

Needless to say, I was happy about going home on Sunday. Rich was happy too. Even he said he'd never go camping in Florida again. It would have been SO much better if the festival had been in October. There are a few things I probably still wouldn't enjoy, like the bug bites... but I could have tolerated it. Despite all of the complaining and whatnot, I'm glad I went. I was able to experience something I'll probably never do again. And, if I ever have a lapse in judgment and agree to such a thing again, I will either a) rent a hotel or b) steal a big ass RV with AC & plumbing. I've never been so happy to see a real toilet in my life.

PS. Please excuse my nappy head in the pictures. I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not... but I was CAMPING!

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