Sunday was the last day of the festival so, quite logically, we had to leave on Monday. Shortly after emerging from Psychedelica-induced limbo, we started packing. When we had done the bulk of it we went back to the Café in the woods where we were set to endure our volunteer shift. It was not as bad as expected actually since we only had to clean up and organize the place.
We had had a short unexpected shift the day before and sold some drinks and other ingestible wares so we were already quite familiar with the place. We started with counting how many drinks and how much ice-cream was left and shipped some materials down to the main office.
As we soldiered on with this diminutive task we were regularly interrupted by wary festival-goers that needed their morning fix of liquid strength to go on with their day. While some were easily contented with the high-end locally brewed coffee, some ordered rather unhealthy fizzy drinks. Gatorade, Mountain Dew, Doctor Pepper… each more disgusting than the other and filled to the top with icky High-Fructose Corn Syrup. My thought on such drinks is that I am not unhappy that we don’t have them in Europe.
Anyway, once we were done with the cleaning of the Café we went back to the camping area and finished packing our stuff. It was at that exact moment that the elements decided that ‘meh’, they were bored with nice weather and started a torrential rainfall. Thankfully we had already completed the bulk of the work but we still had to attach various wares on to the top of the car. A task that, you can imagine, is not exactly rendered easier by waves of tropical showers.
We managed nevertheless and escaped this madness.
When finally safe in the car, we cheerfully played the Town Pants latest album, “Connections”, a re-recording of various traditional Celtic Folk songs. The best of all was probably “Loch Lomond” which is the unofficial anthem of the Buchanan clan from which the line of Linnea’s grandmother stems.
On our way through beautiful Pennsylvania (or P.A. as the locals call it) the weather bettered and we finally managed to reach our destination: Donna and John’s house. Donna is Linnea’s grand-aunt and it was very important for me to make a good impression and show that I was a good match for her. Thankfully, she, together with John (her husband) and Kate (their doggie) seemed to like me and we shared a great meal together. Shortly afterwards, we had the opportunity to taste an incredibly tasty Californian wine which made me doubt everything I ever learned in France about American wines. Later on, we even went as far as spending a night in a bed! A great luxury for the wood-dwellers that we had almost become.
Ultimately, my first impression of Pennsylvania was of a beautiful and welcoming place, but that’s only because I didn’t talk about the smelly Skunks.
Text by Lyonel Perabo | | Photos by Linnea Nordström