dukesean and I left Salt Lake mid-day on Wednesday (with a detour to Pocatello). We stayed with kelwinratslayer (thanks again, Kelwin). We took our time on Thursday. Stopped several places, including Multnomah Falls (beautiful!), Fred Meyer for more booze than we could possibly have consumed, a place called The Timber Pub and Grub which was awesome good food.
Then on to the site - Milo McIver State Park. Grass. Real trees. We don't get that at home :) The site was really lovely. We were camping in the autocrat camp where I got to know some people better that I had met before (hi, shaiagipsie , ula1066 and khalja ) and met a whole bunch of new people. They had graciously arranged a yurt for me and an a-frame tent for Sean. We got settled in and Sean went off to do "movie night", which was actually a class on how to analyze fighting video. We stayed up late and ran into more people. I saw kaz36 and we visited for a bit, then it was off to bed.
Friday Morning: Breakfast at the Virgin Countess (the all weekend three meal a day really yummy food tavern that they had on site). I saw some more people I had previously met, and had a great breakfast. Then I taught three classes. The first was "Choosing and Utilizing a Retinue," the second was "Communication with a Retinue," and then a class about making court interesting for those sitting the thrones and the audience. I had a great time teaching. Many of the students stayed for all three classes and there was much discussion about the different points I made. I got a lot of really good feedback on the information and a lot of really good questions. All in all the teaching was a great experience.
Later that afternoon, I went over to watch some pick-up fights. The tournament stadium was set up beautifully - two long rows of fighting area with a wide walkway down the middle. Flagging on the ropes. There were bleachers for the observers with sunshades over them along one of the long sides of the fighting field. At one narrow end was where the royal and baronial pavilions were and at the other end was a "castle wall." There were no mundane things in sight to speak of. It was really cool. I watched some more fights and they were amazing! I loved just hanging out, and really didn't get to any other classes the rest of the weekend.
On Friday night there was a torchlight tournament. We hung around and watched for a while. I had fun hanging out, but I was super tired and went to bed fairly early.
Saturday was another great day. I watched a lot of fighting and fighting classes (even though I don't fight). It was really cool to see so many people of all levels of experience come together to learn things. Then there was the Grand Tournament. It was pretty awesome to watch. Sean was in the finals, and I think his quote was "I have never been so pleased to lose two fights in my life." They were awesome fights. And then more pick-up fights. And then court. And then more partying. And lots of laughter. And an awesome bardic which inspired me to sing at a Bardic at Coronation (which I will talk about in the next post)
Sunday came early. Sadly it was time to pack up and go. And it was a long trip home with much conversation about many things.
I know this post doesn't even begin to cover the details. I may add more later. But I leave you with my favorite quote of the whole weekend. At one point, I saw Kazimir (kaz36 ) at the side of the field. When I asked him if he was having a good time, he said "It's like Super Christmas." And that really does sum it up well.