I’m back in Seattle again after my 14th annual motorcycle trip to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. Even though the headliners at the folk fest weren’t my favorites, and even though I got rained on a couple of times on the bike, it was a good trip.
I spent the first couple of nights with Caroline, Alex and Elina. The first at the CITW and the second in Nelson, BC. Nelson is a pretty cool place that is a center for all things outdoors, and has the world’s highest concentration of hippies in the world. And no, I don’t mean refugees from the 60’s in their 60’s like me. The streets are filled with real live 20- and 30-something kids that look like something out of the 60’s. I wish I’d had my camera when I was chatting with three of them. One was wearing a Cat in the Hat hat over his dreadlocks, an old-style sports coat, and checked pajama bottoms. The other guy had hair down past his butt, but was wearing a conventional t-shirt and shorts. The girl had long hair, a tank top and a long skirt, and was as sexy as I remember the hippie chicks of my misspent wannabe hippie youth. They seemed like good kids and didn’t mind me reminiscing about the old days and their forebears.
It wasn’t long after I got into Alberta that the rains started. I stopped in Longview for a beer and changed into my rain suit. Then it was on to Cochrane where I spent an enjoyable evening with Keith and Carmen.
One of the interesting things at the folk fest, aside from the music, were the traffic control police and their vehicles. Every night when we left, the police were out in force with the lights flashing on their cruisers. But their cruisers weren’t all cars. They had a scooter all decked out with flashing lights and all the gear a real police motorcycle would have. I don’t know if they used it to run down speeding bicyclists or what, but it sure was cute.
One thing I couldn’t get a picture of even if I wanted to is something that no longer exists, at least in the world of commerce. I’m sure there are jars of them on every bedroom dresser, but pennies are no longer in circulation. There are no “give a penny take a penny” tubs at checkouts because prices get rounded up or down. I wish the same would happen in the USA, but I suspect the copper penny lobby is too strong here.
When I left on Monday morning, I put on my full rainsuit because there was a 50% chance of rain in Edson. Edson is a cold rainy and generally terrible place that has no redeeming social value and could be wiped off the face of the earth without tears from me. But I was prepared for the rains that never came. In Jasper I took off the rainsuit, but ran into rain (of course) 80 miles later in Valemount. I pulled over an waited out the storm rather than putting all that gear back on. The weather soon cleared, and I was on my way again. It rained a bit between Avola and Clearwater, but not enough to stop me or put on the gear.
Avola, lovely Avola. Whenever I drive through there, I think the name sounds like a highly erogenous but little known female body part.