Saturday, October 04, 2008

Bluegrass Bikeride

Saturday in Golden Gate Park
I slept most of the morning, while Martha was away at a Peace Corps conference, and decided that now that the sun had come out, maybe I'd get on my bike, and head over to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, which has become such a huge annual affair in Golden Gate Park.

Once I got to the park, it was somewhat uphill, and even though I'm in better shape now, I was sure breathing hard on my way past the buffalo, and on to the western border gate of the festival. There were so many people, bike riders were asked to walk their bikes, so my ride turned into a walk. I could hear the sweet pedal steel of the Desert Rose Band, playing on the Star Stage. When I got close enough, I tried to take my picture, with the stage in the background. Now and then, my iPhone camera gets its brain scrambled when taking a picture, and it seemed somewhat fitting I should get this chopped-up image of me still huffing and puffing!

I headed farther into the park to the Rooster Stage, and caught the very last songs of Nick Lowe. Before I got close enough to see, I could hear a solo acoustic guitar singing "I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll," one of Nick's classics. I was hoping that maybe Elvis Costello would join him at the end and sing "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding," a Nick Lowe song most famously done by Elvis. Elvis wasn't in the building, but my wishes were granted anyway, as Nick closed his set with a slower, tasty solo acoustic version. That was worth the bike ride right there!

At this point, I walked my bike (very slowly; walking a bike through a huge crowd is not so easy!) over to the Arrow Stage, where Jerry Jeff Walker was playing. Heard some nice tunes, such as the pretty Navajo Rug, Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother, and heard LA Freeway as I headed back home. Kind of nice to have these lyrics stuck in my head as I left the vicinity for the ride home:
If I can just get off of that L.A. Freeway
Without getting killed or caught
Down the road in a cloud of smoke
For some land, some land that I ain't bought, bought, bought
If I can just get off that L.A. Freeway
If I can just get off of that L.A. Freeway
Without getting killed or caught


Ric said...

Nice report Geoff. Sorry to miss HSB, but we had to be on the "right" coast -- I would have enjoyed that. Marsha told me that she and Karl met there to hear Jerry Douglas! Meantime, Sue and I spent yesterday with daughter Beth at the Snow Hill (MD) Celtic festival. Lots of good music made by locals!

dave said...

Sounds like fun, Geoff--a little exercise, good tunes, and a gorgeous day. Well done!