Pennsic 2016 Diary: Saturday, July 30

Pennsic 45 Diary (2016)
The Pocket Bard Melts in the Heat

After a two-year absence, it was time for me to head back to Pennsic… just in time for a brutal heat wave! Yay! While I didn’t get as much done as I normally do, it was great being back, seeing old friends, and doing enough bardic to last me a year. I just wish the weather could have cooperated a little better.

Saturday, July 30

1:45 pm – Warners Service Station, NY

The good news is I’m on the road to Pennsic. The bad news is I’m running behind schedule. The good news is it could have been much worse.


Ready to hit the road!

I hit the road this morning exactly on time at 8:00 am. Made great time out of the city – no traffic, no construction. Stopped just past the Ontario border to fill up with gas.

My gas cap wouldn’t open. The lever to open it was a mass of rust.

Cue the terror and panic. Call my mom to see how she’d fixed this in the past – awful reception. Called CAA – awful reception. Finally went inside the service station and placed the call. CAA confirmed someone was on their way. In the meantime I kept fiddling with it and eventually got it to open. Called back CAA to let them know they were no longer needed, let Mom know about the status, and filled up. I’m keeping the gas cap cover permanently open for the trip – the last thing I want is to go through that again or, worse, need to get my car serviced.

Had another small pit stop right before the border, which I hit around 11:30. Crossing was very smooth and only delayed me about 10 minutes, so that’s good. Ultimately stopped here, at the first service station after entering the I90. I really wanted to wait for the next one so I wouldn’t have to subject myself to McDonalds, but beggars can’t be choosers, and hungry beggars less so.

Anyway, Pennsic bound. That’s the important thing. I’m very much missing Pennsic after my two-year absence. I hope I can arrive by nightfall. If I can’t, I may need to stay somewhere overnight to avoid the driving on unlit highways in the dark. But hopefully it won’t come to that.

Speaking of my two-year absence, a few things that have happened in the meantime:

  1. I got married. Which is one of the reasons I missed Pennsic 2014. This is the first extended period in two years that I’m not wearing my rings and it feels so weird. I’ve got a hilarious tan line on my ring finger. But I just can’t bring them. I’d be beside myself if I lost an heirloom diamond in a field in Pennsylvania.
  2. I got steady work that allows me to take time off in the summer. Since last January, I’ve been working as the administrator of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. Summer is our slow season, so for as long as I work here (indefinitely, and for the foreseeable future), I shouldn’t have any job conflicts with Pennsic. This makes me insanely happy.
  3. Got a cell phone plan that works in the States, including data. It’ll be an effort of will not to be constantly checking my phone at War, but I’m gonna try to keep it to twice a day. Pennsic is where I go to escape the modern world, and the last thing I need is to be tethered to my phone.

Obviously other stuff has happened as well, but those are the major Pennsic-related ones.

As always seems to be the case, I’m not nearly as ready for Pennsic as I want to be, but I’m probably ready enough. I’ve brushed up on my bardic, bought a new tote (how do I keep finding myself with more stuff?! It’s embarrassing!), and prepped my schedule. Anything else will happen in its own time.

And speaking of time, it’s probably about time I got back on the road. Google Maps says it’s 4.5 hours to Pennsic from here. Figure on a few more pit stops and it’ll probably be 5.5. I’ll try to only have snacks on the road and have supper when I arrive. It’s a plan, anyway. We’ll see if I can make it stick.


8:10 – Pennsic troll line

So close and yet so far. Just got into line at troll, and am very grateful I picked up a sandwich before I came on-site – the nice Coopers lady told me it’s a 1.5-2 hour wait. Oh, well. The sun is low on the horizon and will most likely be down by the time I get to camp. So no unpacking in daylight for me. No unpacking at all for me, actually – my tent isn’t up yet. Thankfully, Drake and Jessa’s tent is up and they’ve set up a twin-size air mattress for me. (They will be staying in a hotel tonight.) This situation suits me fine; I made sure my cloak and pillow were accessible. (Though it just occurs to me now that the pillowcase is not. Oh, well. I’ll find something I can use.


First hugs of War! Danr, Katriona, and Niko! Yay hugs! Yay familiar faces!

I feel very sad for John. Apparently the super-awesome bath trailer he’s been working on all year had some electrical wiring problems and, long story short, can’t be at War this year. After all that effort, I can only imagine the frustration.


Lines are moving much faster than I thought. They’ve let through 2.5 of the 3 rows ahead of me, and it’s only been half an hour. Good stuff! Don’t think I’ll get to camp with any sunlight left, but it’ll be a near thing.

Okay, time to put the journal away. More later.


Night – Marauders

I am here! I have given and received hugs! I don’t have a tent yet, but you can’t have everything. Actually, that’s not 100% true. I have a tent roof, but not tent walls. Apparently they’ve gone AWOL or are still in the storage locker. Oops. I’m sure it’ll all get worked out tomorrow. When it’s raining again. It’s not raining now, but it was for much of the day and will continue for the next two days. Alas.

On the topic of rain, my sneakers are already damp, even on the inside. I’d prefer to be wearing my boots but they’re packed away. I guess I’ll have to wait for my tent to be up and my stuff unpacked. Tomorrow, I guess.

After I got to camp I did enough unpacking to be able to sleep tonight. Helped unload some of Lorelei’s stuff, and then there wasn’t much else to do in camp, so I did a mini-wander. Tried to say hi to Ernst but no one was up at his camp, so instead I gave some hugs to the folks at High Rafters. Didn’t stay long but I promised to come back soon.

Speaking of wandering, it’s hard to wander at night when only a handful of tents are up and I haven’t set my landmarks yet. I definitely need to go around during the day to get my bearings.

Pennsic is also more… aromatic than I remember. Especially the portos. I’m not sure if that’s because of the nose surgery I had last year (and consequent better sense of smell) or because it’s so damp out, but I’m definitely smelling the portos as I go past them. Le sigh.

It’s only 10:40, which feels far too early to go to bed (even in Mundania), but on the other hand I’m quite tired. I was reaching the point of “OMG, OMG, OMG where’s my phone?! Oh, wait, it’s in my hand.” Not my finest moment, I must say. So even though it’s still hot and sticky, maybe I’ll just have an early night – it may be the only one I get all War.

Forward to Sunday, July 31

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