Things haven't changed much.
Boonville's Beerfest has become the event of the year for me. Granted, other things happen that are exciting through out a year, but none that I can count on with unwavering certainty to provide me with a soulful, stumbling, hippie-esque experience.
It combines three things I love: camping, friends and dirty feet (included in camping?). I adore camping among hundreds of other Beerfesters, all gathered in a valley with looming, heavy trees sprinkled about. I get a kick out of the wanderers who, out of the darkness, sidle up next to our fire to drop a few friendly, slurred lines.
This year's highlight for me was post-fest, sweaty and exhausted (beer+sun for 5 hours, go figure), when we made our way down to the creek. In it's own micro-climate, a few feet below the level of camp, enshrouded in a protective tunnel of trees, the creek flows. Voices echoed from inside the tunnel, where it was shady, cool and oh-so lovely. I waded for a bit, with my long, cotton skirt tied in a knot above my knees. Then I gave in. I had no phone, no wallet, nothing on me to complicate my decision. PLOP! I sat down. It was the most divine decision I made all weekend.
Sitting there, watching the people around me: perched on the shoreline with feet dangling, laid back into the creek bed with only faces peeking above the surface, giggling and chattering, I felt perfect. I felt like I belonged. I could chat with everyone of them and we would skip the "you're a stranger, so I need to be awkward with you" stage and go head first into "old friends" territory. It was a bit surreal, almost like a Shakespeare play with fairies and nymphs gathered in a safe place to be free and playful. It's the way we want to always be, but aren't willing to let go.
One night we danced and sang with the marching band who played Cee-Lo Green and Adele. Everyone with beer in hand, decked out in their pajamas and letting loose under the glow of strung up Christmas lights and electric lanterns. My friend and I even made an imaginary band with two other campers- one of us playing a blade of grass, the armpit, the rim of a glass and...I don't remember the forth thing.
Good times people, good times.