July 30, 2011
Yesterday was the first test run of scheduling posts for future publication in wordpress; today is the second. If you’re seeing this and you saw the Chicken Lady yesterday, then all is good!
The picture above is a wholly inaccurate illustration of what goes on the first Saturday of Pennsic War. How the day actually goes is something like this:
-arrive at The Barn at 8am and grab a cup of watery coffee;
-stand around in the already hot sun scanning the growing crowd for the Land Agents of the other groups camping in our block (about six or seven groups this year);
-marvel at how the same people as always are there, some of them wearing the same wacky uniform they always wear (I should get a photo for y’all sometime of the lady who dresses head to toe in about seventeen different colours of camouflage);
-wait a Very Long Time for the last Land Agent to show up (I’m not saying who that is but it’s usually the same person every year who is late);
-draw campsite boundaries on seven copies of a map of the block of land we’re sharing with these groups, based on the square footage allotment given us according to how many have pre-registered to camp with our group
-sign every map (but not before arguing a bit about whether we’re supposed to use our Real Name or Fake Name) (no I’m serious);
-crowd around the barn opening at 9:00 in order to be lectured in a condescending manner by people who think we are stupid;
-run in a group to try and get to the front of a confusingly roped off queue that snakes through the barn in a different pattern each year just to keep us all guessing;
-make it to the front of the line, hand over our maps, receive cards and stickers and temporary parking passes which will allow us to bring our vehicles off of the Battlefield and down the hill to our campsites;
-leave the line and then realize that someone in our group doesn’t have enough parking passes for all of their cars, and bumble around in confusion asking for more passes, counting and re-counting everyone’s cars until it’s all sorted;
-make haste to the Battlefield, pile into cars (for some this means breaking camp as well, as many people sleep on the Battlefield next to their cars on Friday night) (we, having done this for too many bloody years already, have taken to spending Friday night in a hotel so as not to be kept awake all night by obnoxious revelers) (oh, just saying that makes me feel SO OLD and also like a fuddy-duddy);
-spend up to an hour waiting in a bottleneck of cars all trying to get off the Battlefield and into camp proper;
-drive down the hill to our block, where we now have to measure and mark off for real those boundaries we drew on our maps;
-talk for an hour about how to configure our camp;
-unload vehicles, set up pavilions, set up carport tents for the kitchen and dining room, perform the magic that transforms our campmate’s trailer into a shower platform, set up the shower, set up the kitchen, set up set up everything, all of course contingent on how quickly the neighbouring group unloads their storage trailer, which remains on site year round and in which we rent space for our kitchen and dining tents and our things always seem to be the most buried in their trailer because of course they are;
-get everything to the point where we can throw tarps over whatever isn’t finished, usually sometime after what would be our normal suppertime, then leave it all and drive into Grove City;
-traditional family supper at Hoss’s Steak and Sea, which for my family means struggling to get enough protein off the quality of salad bar you’d expect to find at a place called “Hoss’s”;
-get back to camp after dark, realize we don’t know where any of the candles are and didn’t set up the tiki torches, fumble for lights;
-rest, take off shoes, open a can of Guinness (if you are Thorvald), Mountain Dew (if you are Tarl), or bottle of water (if you are Peter, Claire and I).
-build a wall of 2x2s and rope and sheets;
-assemble our gate (another, slightly nicer carport tent), hang our sign and our heraldry;
-drive into Lyndora for food and supplies which also includes the first of many lunches at Rey Azteca, the only good Mexican restaurant anywhere near Pennsic;
-return to camp, put away groceries, finish setting up kitchen, finish setting up whatever else isn’t done yet, be too tired to make supper;
-while away the evening discussing all of the work that still needs to be done.
-start having a holiday. But only if there’s no more work to do (realistically, we usually don’t actually build the wall or put up the gate until Monday; doing it on Sunday is just always my ambition).
Posted by jodi on July 30, 2011 at 3.03pm