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Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Forgot My Camera.

Last Saturday, I got up at 7:30 a.m. feeling increasingly frustrated and ill-prepared like I do for pretty much every festival, which always gives way to feeling accomplished and validated at festival's end.  On the highway out to Dahlonega, where I set up a table at the Fool's Gold 100/50 Mile Mountain Bike Race & Festival thanks to an invite from Namrita O'Dea, I had a weird highway "missed connection" of sorts.  I was pretty much in the left lane most of the way there, thanks to my stomach ache induced late start, where I noticed a mustache clad douchebag in a big ass Tacoma weaving in and out of lanes and driving fairly aggressively.  I don't like to keep stride with drivers like this and will adjust my speed/distance/lane to avoid them.  As I pass a car on the left, he passes it on the right and then ends up in the lane next to mine, pacing me.  I thought maybe it was just a coincidence, so I slowed..  he slowed.  I sped up..   he sped up.  I got the distinct feeling that this was intentional and when I looked over at the truck, I saw the driver staring at me with a creepy smile beneath his creepy mustache with a wide eyed "hey baby, wanna give me a li'l show?" gross, creepy look on his face.  I strayed from my usual policies and flipped him the bird to make sure there was no confusion as to whether I was into it or not.  Fortunately for me, he dropped way back after that and I exited for a beverage just to ensure that we would not meet again.  Blech.  That left me slightly on edge, but I calmed down once I made it to the beautiful curvy road that would take me to Camp Wahsega and the start/finish line for the race.  Here is where I would normally illustrate this story with some digital images, however, I forgot my camera in the morning rush.

Fortunately, you can go to Andrew Kornylak's website to see pictures of me and all the awesome racers. He's a bad ass photographer.

I ended up arriving around noon, about an hour after I had planned, but it was a pretty casual affair and was still a fine time to set up.  I ran into Namrita pretty much right away and she told me to set up wherever, so I did.  I was a little nervous, since I was by myself at an event where I didn't really know many people.  Fortunately, I did get to see my good friend and hilarious ex-co-worker Crispin and my acquaintance-ish friend who is nice to me despite bearing witness to several acts of drunken inappropriateness; Austin.  They both had just finished the 50 mile.  Crispin left soon after I set up and there I was, all my soap laid out on the table.  Throughout the day, there was not a moment where I wasn't either selling soap, engaged in pleasant (not "pleasant", but actually interesting and enjoyable) conversation with racers, spectators, or other vendors.  Chris Weller from Blue Ridge Outdoors was a constant source of entertainment, was promoting a really cool magazine (click above) AND he bought soap.  In all seriousness, everyone that I interacted with was super nice, laid back and seemed to be genuinely interested in me and my soap.  It was truly a great day.

After the entertaining and gnat infested awards ceremony, I packed up and headed out on the gravel road I thought I came in on.  As I headed down the dusty road in the twilight hour, I noticed that my GPS wasn't picking up a signal.  Ah, well, about a mile to the ranger station, make a right and it'll pick up once I get onto the main road...   except that two miles in, there was no ranger station.  Hmm..   I ended up doing the classic turn around & repeat, constantly second guessing my judgement and in a bit of a panic, noticing that while everything looked the same, nothing looked familiar.  I was alone with no cell phone reception, barely any cell phone battery, no GPS reception and with low blood sugar clouding my judgement and adding to my panic.  I couldn't remember where I'd turned, how to get back to the place where I'd just left hundreds of people with bikes.  At one turn, a truck with two bikes on the back whizzed past me and I pulled out to follow them.  Alas, they were in a big ol' 4 wheel drive truck and I was in my li'l hatchback and eventually they got away from me.  Then, my rational brain slapped my overreacting emotional brain upside the head and I decided to stop turning since I was lost, and just follow the road straight ahead.  It had to lead somewhere, and I had a half tank of gas that said I'd make it.  I passed the parking for Bull Mountain - a ride where Matt and Crispin once almost had to snuggle to preserve their body heat after some technical difficulties since the trail is so isolated and long, which both aggravated my fears and eased them, strangely.  Finally, I made it out to a main road where I regained cell phone service and satellite signal.  The whole ordeal was so unnerving that I maintained a pretty high state of alert all the way home.  

Book-ended between two less than desirable driving experiences was one of the more enjoyable days I've had peddling my wares.  Thank you to Namrita and Eddie O'Dea for putting on a festival for fantastic people and welcoming me to set up in the midst of all of their hard work.  Also, thank you to all of the engaging people I met, most of whom bought soap from me.  You all made my day fantastic.  I hope many of you will make it out to see me at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival next weekend.  I'll be on Savannah Circle at booth #69, three spots away from a beer tent.  And no, I did not pick my booth number ;)

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Kim said...

Yay, I went to Camp Wahsega! Sadly, I will not be able to shop up at the festival this weekend bearing life-giving popsicles, as I am closing on my house (!!!).

Holly said...

You have the coolest life :).

Lupo said...

If you scroll down to the "sponsors/vendors" folder, there are a couple of pics you might be interested in. These are from one of the main photographers who was at the fest. p.s., by the way, i see how you are demonstrating proper 'fight club' technique. i knew it.

jimiyo said...

Are you dancin? :)

You ARE beautiful. How can you blame a fool in a truck? I watched Species III the other day... if you were an alien that I knew was gonna kill me after we made out, I'd still go ahead with the plan.

I'm a wreck. The irrational anger is crippling. I keep kicking people's asses in online tetris, but it does nothing to extinguish my silent rage because there's not an explosion animation/sound when you jack their shit up to the top. I think it's mostly because of the medication causing the irritability, but there's other stuff... I f-ing hate people from the past that try to reconnect, especially when there was nothing special in the past to begin with. It's like what, are you bored or lonely or something? These would be multiple girls... multiple recently divorced girls. FUNK THAT. Oh and some bitch I worked with, that said "I miss you so much" and I NEVER really knew her, then she proceeded to ask me to design a t-shirt for her 12 member kickball team. WTF!!!!?

Anyways, I found more online TV/movies, although hulu is still my fav. Started watching 30 Rock. Pretty good.

jimiyo said...

My rage has turned into weepy appreciation for life through your act of kindness. People are not so bad. There ARE good people. You are good people. I <3 you.

I will send a wonderful package.

-low bow-

kat said...

No, Jimiyo.. not an act of kindness. I need hope in my life right now and if it has to be the word on the shirt in a beautiful design on pink, my latest favorite... then that's where I shall find hope. I'm glad it made you happy though. I am a good person, incidentally.