The North Country Fair

Last weekend Jerry took me, along with his daughter Kari and some of her friends, the a hippie music festival called The North Country Fair. At first it was really strange to be there. So many hippies! There were also a lot of non-hippie youngsters there just for the music and to be high and drunk all weekend. I saw my first law enforcement there! Lots of crowd control officers and some RCMP (mounties!) cars.

We were there from Friday night until Sunday afternoon and it was a really good, fun experience. We camped next to one of Kari’s friend’s family campsite. They were really nice and took me in almost immediately, I think I’m getting better at interacting with adults (it gets easier when you don’t have any choice haha).

The music was really diverse. It ranged from hillbilly country to R&B to ska to reggae and on and on. My favorite band was a trio called the Sunparlour Players. They were all wearing suits and the lead singer was this chubby, curly haired and middle aged guy who was SUPER intense. He was sweating profusely by the second song and his head was steaming (really!) as he screamed and spit while delivering his lines. The cool thing was that the main stage was in a big grassy area so you could stand right up at the stage if you wanted to, I did for this group and it was pretty entrancing. Each of the band members must have switched instruments three or four times and at one point one of them was playing the bass and the keyboard at the same time (he’d hit the bass string hard to make it sound and play chords with his other hand), so crazy. I’m pretty inspired to learn how to play guitar better, and maybe pick up harmonica and banjo 😀

Saturday afternoon Jerry and I went on an Edible Plants hike through the bush. The leader was this hairy red-headed guy named Kelly. He looked the part in olive drab cargo pants and low buttoned shirt, with a safari hat and knife hanging from it’s sheath on his neck. He had a french-canadianish accent (like Georges St. Pierre, because you all know who he is haha) and knew CRAZY amounts about all the plants around. He’d pick plants up and explain the different uses and ways to identify them and along the way would point out plants to put into a bowl for a wild salad (that we had later). At one point he picked up the thin trunk of a small dead tree and made a freaking blow gun out it it and a sharpened stick! Then he told us what plants you could use to make poison for the dart. So cool. There are so many edible plants out there, but I guess you should kind of know what’s safe to eat before trying them (though I guess at some point SOMEONE tried all the plants without really knowing what was poison and what wasn’t). Apparently, if you’re going to eat a wild salad, you should eat a fraction of what you would if you were consuming a supermarket salad, because the nutrtional value of wild plants is way higher. I tried all the plants he showed us along the way and had a pretty bad stomach ache by the end. When I reflected on this I realized that it’s pretty sad that my body is so used to all the crap I eat, that it’s gotten to the point where it rejects actually healthy things 😦 But after I went to the bathroom I felt better.

I almost bought a shirt but it said “Hippie Daze” on the back… haha okay that’s not why I didn’t get it, but I’m not sure if I’d qualify as a hippie… yet.

One of the rules of the fair was “No Canned Music”, i.e. Live music only. I think that’s such a good rule, I think it’d be fun to go to something like that with you guys and at night sit around a camp fire just playing music.


~ by justinhong on June 26, 2009.

4 Responses to “The North Country Fair”

  1. “I think that’s such a good rule, I think it’d be fun to go to something like that with you guys and at night sit around a camp fire just playing music.”

    yes please 🙂

  2. I’m going to need to see some data on this salad thing; until then it’s hearsay.

  3. i just finished reading a book called “West of the West” by Mark Arax (he used to be a reporter for the LA times). I think you would find it interesting! one chapter of the book focuses on a case of e coli supposedly found in raw milk and poisoning several little kids, but which the grower said was because their stomachs weren’t yet used to the raw milk and didn’t have enough “good bacteria” to outnumber the bad.

  4. oh and by grower i mean dairy farmer haha.

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