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I like roadtrips. I’m no longer so interested in the crazy and grueling drive to Cody Wyoming in 36 hours kind of roadtrips I used to do with my buddy East Texas Red, back when we were pretty serious about chasing trout with a fly rod. These days I’m just not in so much of a hurry. I take my time, make plenty of stops and enjoy the trip as much as the destination.

Next week I’ll be on my own on the road to indulge in two of my top interests, art and music. The first destination will be the Hudson Valley in New York State to visit the Storm King Art Center and the Dia Art Foundation: Beacon. Storm King is an open-air museum, a 500-acre sculpture park with an amazing collection of large-scale sculpture in the landscape. Dia’s collection focuses on the work of artists who came to prominence in the 60s and 70s, including site-specific and long-term exhibitions.

When I leave the Hudson Valley, I’ll be heading south to Virginia for the Rockbridge Mountain Music and Dance Festival. There will be square dancing and min-concerts by the Earl White Stringband and the Crooked Road Ramblers as well as banjo, fiddle and flat-footing workshops. The real joy of festivals like this though, is jamming at the campsites. I attended this festival last year, made some friends and played lots of music. There are a number of old time music festivals each summer, mostly in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina and some people do the whole circuit. Some of the people I met last year knew one another well because they’ve been going to many of the festivals over a period of many years. I was told that Rockbridge was a relatively small, laid-back festival – perfect for me.

Last year, people at Rockbridge were very friendly and inviting and made me feel very comfortable. There were some really great players there. In fact, it seemed as if most of the players were far more accomplished than me.

This morning I went through my camping gear to make sure everything was in good order. I’ve added a screened shelter to my gear this year, just in case it rains. As well as cooking in the campsites, there will also be some quality food trucks at the festival. Last year you could get a variety of food, and it was all pretty tasty. The town of Buena Vista is just across the river from the festival, so going into town for dinner is also an option.

I can’t thank Tuffy P enough for looking after the house and the menagerie on her own while I’m enjoying my solo roadtrip. I’ll be able to make it up to her later in the month – she’s going to fly over to England for a wedding, and plans a short trip to France while she’s in the neighbourhood, to visit Paris and Monet’s garden in Giverny.


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