Another fucking fantastic Colorado weekend has passed me by and I have officially been living in the greatest state ever for one whole year. I am very happy and proud about my achievement and life seems to get better and better every day. I can’t seem to get enough of what this state has to offer me, and that’s just how I like it. (“It takes dynamite to get me up, too much of everything is just enough…”)
This weekend I drove my shitty car up and down the canyon to Nederland to hang out with a friend and go to Ned Fest, a bluegrass festival I had wanted to go to since hearing about it when I first moved to CO. I purchased a single day Saturday ticket for $60 which I thought was expensive at the time, but as soon as I walked inside the gate I knew I was in the right place.
A weekend in Nederland is well worth what I paid for the ticket, even if I had paid more for the three-day pass. There were hula hoops, unique vendors, $4 beers and incredibly delicious Mead made out of fermented honey wine from Redstone Meadery in Boulder, CO. There was a good turnout of awesome people and I have a feeling everyone in attendance had snacked on a few psilocybin mushrooms. There were late-night parties at the local bars with live bands, and during the day the town shops were bustling with activity.
I caught a handful of bands at the festival on Saturday, including Larry Keel and His Big Friends, The Schwillbillies, Runaway Truck Ramp (first time playing together in ten years, very awesome!), and Cornmeal. My favorite part of Ned Fest was the Saturday night headliner, The David Grisman Sextet. I don’t recall ever having seen David Grisman before, though of course I have known of him from being a Jerry Garcia fan. I was surprisingly blown away by the sextet’s performance. There was a flutist and a stand-up bass, and David Grisman is a mandolin pluckin’ bluegrass legend on his own accord. I couldn’t stop staring at him and I felt like seeing him outside under the stars in Nederland is the closest I’ll ever come to experiencing a performance by Jerry Garcia himself, especially when Grisman sang “Shady Grove” as the encore after a completely instrumental set.
I felt very inspired during the Sextet’s performance. Their music reminded me of Native Americans and living off the land, and during the show I wanted to pick up and immediately leave for the desert. Not only do I hope to see David Grisman play again, but I hope to meet him. He looks like he’s got some good stories under his hat!
Another thing I loved about Ned Fest was the small and eccentric crowd it drew. The streets of the town were full of longhairs in Grateful Dead attire, and tents were set up in the park, even though camping is normally prohibited.
One person (I’m assuming) the festival drew to town included an ex-boyfriend of mine that I dated a few years ago in NJ. The ex is an artist who makes wire-wrap jewelry and I first passed by him in Nederalnd sitting at a picnic table in a small park with his head down, intently working on a piece. I felt that it was him when I passed by, I could tell by the way he worked. I definitely took a second or third look but really didn’t think it would actually be him sitting there and I continued walking along; brushing it off. Lo and behold about two hours later I passed by him again on a pedestrian bridge. It had been raining and at the time I was wearing a long rain jacket with the hood up and big sunglasses on, and he did not notice it was me. I looked up and saw it was him, but for some reason I didn’t say anything and kept walking. I actually wasn’t that surprised to see him in Nederland, especially with the festival going on. He always was a traveler and I can only assume he was traveling. I kind of wish I said something to him because now I’m starting to think its crazy that I passed by him twice in this random place. The thing that really makes it crazy is that I had been wearing a wire-wrapped stone pendant he made and had spoke of him the day prior to seeing him, and when I worked on my book last week I began writing his chapter. He and I don’t keep in touch, but I have a feeling I may spot him at Phish next weekend. Next time I’ll at least say hello. Cosmic Charlie, how do you do?
Overall, I loved the weekend I spent in Nederland in honor of Ned Fest, also commemorating my one year anniversary in Colorado. I imagine I’ll become a regular attendee of the festival. Colorado has so many wonderful things to offer me and I fall more and more in love with this place every day. I am so happy I moved here and that I am making it happen. As I read in a book a few weeks before I moved, “leap, and a net will appear.”