Feast of the Hunter’s Moon

Each year many of the Fiddlers opt to travel the 5.5 hours to West Lafayette, Indiana to perform at Feast of the Hunter’s Moon. We didn’t go last year, but this year I made reservations at a campground far in advance. I figured we’d just make a fun weekend of it.

It took us closer to 6 hours to get there, owing to a Very Slow Couple of Broads With a Horse Trailer at a truck stop. I don’t know what was wrong with the women in the truck, but I had time to go into the truck stop, wait in line, use the restroom, and come back out before Greg was up at the pump. In fact, I think we waited at least another 5 minutes until they moved. Maybe they couldn’t figure out how to operate the pumps? Maybe they’re just a gaggle of bitches who don’t care someone else is waiting for the pump? Who knows.

Anyway, we finally got on the way and then….

…missed our exit.

Sigh.

Fortunately, in that part of Indiana the state saw fit to employ a grid design for its roads, so we just took the next exit and got to the same place, albeit later that we’d hoped. We were SO ready to GET THERE, but upon reflection I realize we had it easy. I know people who didn’t make it there until midnight Eastern. Wow.

Naturally, it rained. What else is new? In fact, t rained a lot, which made for a  very muddy experience the rest of the weekend.

The next day we headed to the Feast. It didn’t seem like Laurel had to be there early (10:45) but we are slower getting around when we’re camping and just had time to stop at a donut shop for breakfast before heading to the Feast grounds. But oh, the donuts! They were so good! And the lady at the counter was so bitchy!

Is this bitchiness an Indiana thing? We encountered it a lot this weekend. At the Feast, at the campground, the donut shop, the truck stop. What the heck? Did they know we’re from St. Louis and make fun of hoosiers? I don’t know.

We got to the Feast grounds without further incident and parked in a field that was, until very recently, occupied by horses. I have been accustomed to watching where I walk in a field since I was a kid, but my children are not. As luck would have it, they made it out of the field unscathed by manure. It was not long after entering the grounds that Laurel accused us of being Totally Unreasonable because we wouldn’t allow her to purchase weaponry (even with her own money, which amounted to $170 in cash she was carrying around with her, but that’s another story). I think my response was completely appropriate: I got mad and deposited her with her group early. I imagine that is a story with which parents of all almost-but-not-quite-yet-teenagers are familiar.

We couldn’t drop Ethan off, though. Who knows what people would have done with him running around unaccompanied. And it’s a good thing — he needed supervision, considering how enamored he was by the coyote asses hanging around. No, really. The asses. He couldn’t have cared less about the rest of the beast. He is a six-year-old boy, after all. So we humored him and I took photos of him with his head in the coyote’s ass. Because I’m an awesome parent.

Under the coyote tailAlso under the coyote tail

Other than sticking his head in the coyote’s ass, the other thing he dearly wanted was to make a candle. I have to tell you, the Feast people are genius with this if you’re looking for something that will occupy your kids for a LONG time. The candle station consists of a rectangular track with vats of hot wax at either end. The attendants give you a stick with a wick tied to the end, and then you walk around and around (and around) the rectangle, dipping it in each vat in turn. Over and over and over, until the candle is as thick as it should be.

dipping candles

Really. It takes a long, long time.

He was happy to do it, though, and kept at it for a good long while. Meanwhile, I watched the re-enactors march around without having any clue as to why they were doing it.

 marchingmore marching

Then the blacksmith happened. Blacksmiths put some kind of kiddie crack into their anvils. No, really, it’s true. Ethan sat down in front of the blacksmith and flatly refused to go ANYWHERE for perhaps a half-hour. I abandoned Greg after a few minutes, and still had time to saunter around and peruse all the nearby booths, check out the food for sale, and return. Even then, Greg and I had to do some pretty hard convincing to get him off the bench.

fascination

By this time, tempers had cooled and Laurel was ready to play. Almost. Her hands were freezing, she said, and she needed some fingerless gloves. Okay, there are about four trillion vendors at the grounds, but one of her friends in the group had found some. She tried playing part of one of her songs and couldn’t because of her cold, cold fingers. Greg was unsympathetic, but off I trekked to find these gloves. In a hurry. ‘Cause, you know, it was about 10 minutes until her pe
rformance.

When I finally found some gloves, they were FIFTEEN BUCKS.

<insert the vapors here>

I can only assume they were spun from gold.

But I paid it because I knew what it was like to try to play with cold fingers, remembered it wasn’t pleasant, and felt bad for her.

I returned with the golden gloves, delivered them to Laurel, and she said she didn’t want them.

<insert rage here>

So yeah. Fifteen bucks for ugly gloves she didn’t end up using.

But she looked cute and played and sang well:

warming up

I suppose that’s a redeeming factor.

We spent a few hours at the Feast, ate forfar bridies and sauerkraut stew, and then bailed back to camp for a few hours before the nursing home performance and visit to a local pizzeria. While still at camp we visited the Historic Prophetstown working farm, where the kids ran around with chickens, made nice with draft horses, and we bought some local bratwurst.

I don’t have much else to say about that evening, except the kids played well and the pizzeria’s pizza tasted entirely like Totino’s frozen pizza. How about that?

And then it rained all night. All night! And it rained the next morning at the Feast! Parents had to hold umbrellas over the instruments to keep them dry!

So yes, the moment the last note was no longer ringing through the damp air, we hightailed it out of there and got home. We couldn’t wait.

All in all, though, I’d have to say we’re getting pretty used to the rain on these camping trips. Might as well, right?

Plus, it WAS a nice campsite:

Nice campsite even if we didn't spend much time there