70th National Folk Festival - Butte MT (7/12-13/2008)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

When I hear the words "Folk Festival", I envision Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Kingston Trio and Peter Paul and Mary. Well, the 70th National Folk Festival completely changed my mind. Take a look at the list of performers and you'll see what I mean.

From the website: "Music and dance traditions from every part of the nation are represented, performed by the country’s very finest traditional artists. Audiences are treated to authentic blues, gospel, jazz, polka, cowboy, bluegrass, klezmer, old-time, Cajun, rhythm and blues, mariachi, western swing, zydeco and more. Continuous performances on seven stages celebrate Native American, Celtic, Acadian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, East Asian, Appalachian, Hispanic, Eastern European, African and Pacific Island cultures."

What a wonderful eclectic gathering of extremely talented and passionate musicians. With only one late afternoon/evening and one full day, we saw only a small smattering of the performers. But what we saw....oh my!

The main reason for out attending was so Stu could see his retiree friends, Bill (mentioned yesterday) and Freddie, who plays in the bluegrass band, The Seldom Scene. When we arrived on Saturday afternoon, it was just in time to catch the band and meet up briefly with Freddie. When they were done we managed to meet up with Bill & Cindy (remember that proverbial needle in a haystack, thank goodness for cell phones) and headed off for drinks & something to eat. Here is a pic from Sunday after the festival ended. From left to right, Stu, Freddie & Bill.



Let me interject a little about the setting for the event. We were quite impressed with how well Butte had this set up. There were multiple stages but they were scattered throughout the closed downtown area. Rarely did the music from one stage impact that playing on another. There was a lot of walking and most of it up or down hill, but we just took our time. Parking was provided at community parking center with free shuttles to take you back & forth. The food tents were all in one location with drink tents scattered around. Another area contained souvenirs and other items to purchase.



There were people of all ages.....young and old, from babies to the elderly. Everyone was having a good time and often there was spontaneous dancing in front of the stages. At one point Cindy dragged Stu out to dance and I soon followed. First time I'd really danced in 10 years. LOL! What fun...well, except for trying to fast dance on an uneven rocky surface. We both felt it the next day.



The closing act for the night was Shemekia Copeland....she hosts Sirius Blues and I have listened to her for several years. Wonderful to see her perform in person!



From there Freddie invited us to the hotel (where all the performers were staying) to have a few drinks at the reception. We walked into the lobby and listened to a jam with folks from at least 4 different bands while we waited for Freddie. Once back in the reception area we saw the same thing repeated several more times. These people are truly passionate about their craft. Eventually we saddled up the trike and headed back to the campground, taking an interesting back road scenic route picked by the GPS.

We got a bit of a slow start on Sunday and missed the first couple of acts that we had hoped to catch. We did see The Seldom Scene performing again (different stage).



Then we wandered around, enjoyed the beautiful views as well as historic sites, ate a little and eventually caught my new favorite group, Le Vent du Nord. They were the closing act for Sunday and the crowd was very appreciative. Dancing galore....everyone getting into the act. (I have already downloaded some of their music from iTunes). We didn't understand a word they sang, but we sure enjoyed the entertainment!



So what was the cost for all this? Three days of professional music, morning - noon - night? Nothing...nada....zip...zilch...zero! Needless to say, we've already put the dates for the 71st National Folk Festival on our calendar, July 10-12 2009 in Butte. Hope to see you there!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Traveling to Anaconda, MT (7/12/2008)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our fearless heroine's travels continue..

Our time in Yellowstone done, we now headed northerly to attend the 70th Annual Folk Festival in Butte, MT. We had reservations at a park in Anaconda, not very far west of Butte. We headed north out of Cameron and stopped in the little town of Ennis for lunch. We found a great place on the NW side of town where we could easily park the rig and walked downtown. Ennis is one of those towns with character...famous for local fly fishing in the Madison River, the very western flavored town is fun to visit. We browsed through several stores before stopping to eat buffalo burgers at the Ennis Cafe....delicious!



Although the first part of our drive was a repeat, things always look different when driving the opposite direction. Eventually we headed more westerly on a new-to-us road. Spectacular views, lightly winding road, mountains, rivers, rocks...



We got into the campground in Anaconda, set up, talked to Stu's friend, Bill (another retired firefighter/paramedic who now lives in Helena) and headed out to catch a couple hours of the Music Festival...planned to meet Bill & his wife, Cindy, there....kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack. LOL! Music Festival blog coming next!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Vista User Profile Corruption

Thursday, August 28, 2008

For those who are interested in the whys & wherefores, I was trying to run MS Outlook...things locked up and I had to reboot. Maybe should have done a restore at that point but wasn't thinking clearly, just panic-stricken. Here are some links that helped me:
  1. Windows Help Page
  2. EggHead Forum
  3. Vista Forum 1
  4. Vista Forum 2
Lots more out there...appears it's fairly common. Today I tried to run scandisk and even it won't run. Just sits there. Sigh... So folks, keep your backups current and be aware that things like this can happen...especially, it seems, with Vista.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Word of Warning....

Yesterday afternoon disaster hit....my user profile on my laptop got corrupted. While a first for me, after reading around a lot, it's not all that uncommon especially with Vista. After my initial panic and multiple reboots trying to get into my profile, I found out what I needed to do (create two new admin level profiles, one of which would become my new ID).

Five hours of copying all my user contents (24GB) to the new ID (using the second new one), then resetting up the things that didn't come over (default programs, desktop settings, start menu, quick launch - still working on those) and I was somewhat back in action. Any program that referenced data locations in my old user profile had to be changed to the new user name.

I am still having a lot of problems...things are missing or not working in Vista. Even though I have two good admin level profiles, a lot of commands just aren't responded to....other programs tell me they can't find the Windows installer and won't run (FrontPage is one of those). I need to run my Vista install disk and restore things but guess what is on its way to Baltimore. Yup...all my disks & manuals. LOL!

So, I am being very careful & cautious for the next two weeks till I can get what I need an hopefully get Vista back on its feet. I just wanted to post a warning, if I disappear - stop blogging and appearing in fthe fourms, then my laptop has bit the big one. Best I can do is add Stu as an author here and hope he can get in and post an update.

Next laptop is going to be a MAC....

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Yellowstone - Day Two (7/11/2008)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day two dawned and we once more headed towards Yellowstone. We managed to catch the Visitor's Center for Earthquake Lake this time and thoroughly enjoyed learning about what happened...and wondering if it might happen again. We once again continued into West Yellowstone and tried out another spot for breakfast. Then we hit the stores one more time...and I got to get MY photo taken with DA BEARs. LOL!



Today we planned to visit Artist Point, the falls that we were too tired to see late yesterday, and then take the northerly route, up and around Mammoth Springs. Absolutely spectacular....oh, and Stu found a spot just make for trike parking...LOL!



The day was perfect weather...cool enough to keep our chaps on all day but still sunny. The northern half of Yellowstone takes you through forests, past lush meadows full of wildflowers, up and over snow covered mountains and then around to the world famous Mammoth Hot Springs. Here is just a smidgeon of the photos we took that day. You can see more in my SmugMug album.



Wildlife was out in full force that day....more elk, a Grizzly (VERY far away), a coyote walking down the road with traffic backed up behind it, a black bear eating wildflowers right by the side of the road and a variety of birds.



It was past lunchtime before we knew it and we started to watch for the picnic area signs. We lucked into a perfect spot....under the trees, beside a fast moving creek with inquisitive (and hungry) ground squirrels.



The last stop of the day was Mammoth Springs....again, we were tired and opted to take the scenic drive rather than walking around some of the more popular hot springs. Great drive....very glad we did it.



Back to West Yellowstone for dinner and then back to Howlin' Mad Moon campground where we opted to visit the bar/restaurant, now open, to warm up. It got VERY COLD on the ride home...LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna