Have you ever been?
I had not.
The Country Stampede Music & Camping Festival is held just outside of Manhattan, Kansas at Tuttle Creek Reservoir, in a huge grassy area, sort of like a big pasture. Trees are scarce. Shade is in short supply. Sunshine is plentiful. Clothing is negligible. It is sort of like a big ol’ beach party, without the beach, and with cowboy boots in place of beach sandals. Actually, there were a lot of flip flops. But you know, as the day wore on, and muddy spots got trampled, and grassy areas were worn bare, and the daylight in the porta-potties grew dim, it was kind of nice to have on a pair of boots. It reckoned me back to my cowgirl days, just a bit.
The NSAI tent was at the opposite end of the Stampede grounds from the Main Stage. Thankfully, it was a tent – so we were in the shade. We spent our time playing our songs, or talking up NSAI to interested people, or just sitting there drinking water, staring into space in a semi-trance, due to the heat. I know that at some point, I ate an order of nachos and an order of deep fried pickles with a side of ranch dressing. The words “what was I thinking??” do not even begin to express how that worked out for me.
The best part of the day was getting to say hello and reconnect with old friends who stopped by. It definitely made the heat bearable.
During our last set, the remains of the day were weighing on the Stampeders. I learned later that someone jumped on our stage and mooned the crowed but I missed it. Probably because I was being distracted by the guy in our audience who kept pointing to his shorts and yelling what sounded like, “California!, California!” I don’t really know. But I smiled and kind of nodded. Gave him the ol’ thumbs up.
As strains of Toby Keith’s voice singing “I wanna talk about me…” wafted over the Stampede grounds and into the night, we packed up our things and headed East. Back to the city.
|Apalling and yet fascinating|
|A batallion of porta-potties behind our tent|
|whether you want to see it or not|
|standard issue bikini and daisy dukes|