October 2, 2008 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

Wimble Scale: Easy, Length: 6.7 miles, Climb: 400 feet, Time: 4 hours

The announcement
This week we’re heading up to the City for the traditional hike at Golden Gate Park which is a thinly disguised excuse to spend an hour or three at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass concert. Favorites that we will likely want to listen to include the Dry Branch Fire Squad at 11, Laurie Lewis & Friends at 11:55, Richard Thompson (1955 Vince Black Lightning) at 1:30, Three Girls & Their Buddy at 2:05, The Del McCoury Band at 4:10, and Asleep At The Wheel at 5:20. I’m sure we won’t listen to all of the, but we’ll definitely shoot for Dry Branch Fire Squad. If the rain doesn’t prevent us.

Those who want to go back on Sunday should think about seeing Hazel Dickens, Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Bill Evens, or even the founder’s band, The Wronglers.

We leave here at 9 and hope to find a parking place near the arboretum entrance around 10. We’ll head on down to the concert area, listen a bit, come back towards the arboretum and play the “I don’t know, what do you want to eat” game for a bit (unless we eat at the concert), then hike more of the park and maybe listen to a bit more bluegrass. We may want to think about how we carpool up, depending on who might want to stay there longer or shorter.

The hike
You can’t beat bluegrass, hiking, friends and food. Well, maybe you can, but beating it involves activities I won’t go into here. It was great to have a bit of texture in the weather, a small bit of rain early on. We can’t wait for winter walking conditions.

We listened to our favorite bluegrass band—Dry Branch Fire Squad. There were a few new stories, and one or two old favorites. Everything was great until they brought Walter onto the stage, whereupon the sound got messed up. We also heard a bit of Laurie Lewis before heading off to our favorite (out of one) Russian Cafe just outside of the park. Between 3 GPS units, an iPod, and 2 sets of residents in the area, we had plenty of opinions as to just where the restaurant was.

We took the time to explore some new foods. Kvas (yum!), barley, peroski, talapia, and various desserts. Then we went exploring the park, returning to our favorite place, the arboretum. No Segways this time, though, but I bet we do another Segway tour before the year is out. But first we need to wait for Grey to try to come back from overseas, and see if we can also talk Dave into it after his return from the heart of all the Red State heartland of the country.

My photos can be found at

Grey’s photos can be found at

Ron’s photos can be found at

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