Saturday, August 15, 2009

In which i finally get to the Land with cheesy ass tears in my eyes

Sunday morning I woke up in the crusty motel room and hustled out in record time.

I began my Sunday morning in Grand Rapids before Michigan ritual.  I'm pretty damn predictable.  There are certain things that I can be relied on to do.  One of them is my this Starbucks, Target, Meijers, drive to the land, get lost a little, finally arrive at the land.

28th Street in GR is a Big Box paradise.  There is a Starbucks (drive thru no less) in the Target parking lot.  I got my Nonfat Venti Iced Latte in my re-usable cup.  And a cinnamon chip scone.  My tradition and nourishing pre-mich breakfast.  I promptly left the scone on the counter.

Then on to Target for fishing line, canned espresso, one of those tape deck thingies that lets a girl listen to her iphone on the stereo, and a few other things.

In the parking lot I ran into Kristin and Madeline, fellow crafters and fabulous women.  We hugged.  I jumped up and down and clapped my hands.  Then: Meijers.  Where they have heat treated milk in boxes so that I can make lattes on the land.  I am seriously addicted to caffeine.  I refuse to live without it.  And Pop Tarts.  

As I got back in the car, S called.  We were happily chattering away when I saw the sign for 131.  The highway splits at Muskegan.  Every year, I don't take the split and end up in downtown Muskegan. But this year I was smarter.  And hopped right on 131.

Except I wasn't supposed to be on 131.  I was supposed to be on 31.  The highway splits twice.  Brilliant.  I've made this drive from Baltimore many times, but I have yet to actually get it right.  At first I drove along happily, patted myself on the back repeatedly for not ending up in downtown Muskegan, chuckled with the special Lutheran episode of Prairie Home Companion and gleefully sang along to "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God".  I started to notice that some things weren't looking right.  So I checked the directions on my trusty iphone.  I had just driven about, oh, an hour out of my way.  

Which meant that I got to explore some of the back roads of Michigan.  It didn't really suck.

Eventually, I pulled thru the little one stop light town closest to the land, passed the fields with lacy asparagus dancing in the breeze, the homes with boxes of fruits and giant zucchini accompanied by a handwritten torn cardboard sign next to a cup for money and turned onto the dirt road that leads to the land.  I was hopping up and down in my seat with glee.  And tearing up a little.  Because I'm a sap.

The car, trailer and I bumped cautiously down the road until the gate came into view.  It's an old metal gate decorated with ribbons and other stuff.  Womyn sit just inside around a fire pit, each car is greeted as we enter.

"Hi - welcome!  Are you a crafts womyn?"


"I see you're well stocked." she said, eyeing the pringles, twizzlers and pop tarts that littered the front seat.  Geez.  Unlike some dykes, I'm not driving half way across the country on grapes, soy nuts and nutritional yeast.  Preservatives, caffeine and nicotine are where it's at for long drives.

She then directed me to my next check point, where I left the ticket for Jenae at HAG (Hold At Gate), said hi to the crafting crew, got banded and got my parking pass.  Once you are on the land, it's 5 miles an hour.  And they mean it.  I've gotten corrected for going 7 MPH. There are a lot of rules on this land.  And I've learned that it's best to just follow them. I chugged along, did some more paper work and finally showed up at the crafts area.

I triple, quadruple checked that I knew which booth space was mine.  Every year someone unloads in the wrong space and has to move all their shit.  Hell no.  After a bunch of sweating, some swearing and my first bottle of water from the land, the crap was loaded, the store tent was up, all the stock was safe. I watched two women have to move all their shit after they set up in the wrong spot.  Double checked my spot again.  It was good.  And I was starting to smell.  It was official.  I had arrived.

It was time to set up The Grotto.

*Thanks to Miranda for the Pic of Lois Lane - the main road on the Land.

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