Now you’re on the trolley. It’s been a summer of musical firsts. Tomball, Shoreline, Hollywood Bowl, Gunnison, Telluride, RockyGrass, Red Rocks (Friday night at the Jerry Garcia birthday show with Bob, John and Oteil) and now Horning’s Hidout. If this is you’re first trip to String Summit, if you’ve never bounded down the forest trails of North Plains, Oregon, stompin’ grounds of Pumpkin Patch Pete, then you’re about to get to know your onions. Festivarians come in all types and from all walks of life. At String Summit they f’sho come together and there’s an open invite for you to be a welcome part of it. Grasshopper, you’ve chosen wisely.
The road can be steep and bumpy when you’re not in the know. Don’t worry little muffin, we’ve all been there and there’s no reason for you to swim against the tide this time. Fun lovin’ hipsters, it’s all downhill from here. All you newbies, follow this tutorial checklist and it’s first come, first served at beautiful North Plains, Oregon.
Things To Know About Northwest String Summit:
- You Will Not Park Where You Camp: This can be a little abrupt for the Live Oak crowd, who are used to carrying very little from their vehicles to Camp Happiness. These NW cats bring heavy-duty wagons that they use to haul their glamping gibberish from hybrid to their campsite. You can make the trek short and sweet or even camp in the parking lot like a clueless redneck, but I digress. Further into the woods, a few more feet up or down the mountain trail will find you some parties that make the walk worth the sweat. No worries if you don’t have your own Radio Flyer. There are plenty around to be borrowed. No sweat Gillette.
- Your Car Will Be Searched: While this can be a little disconcerting to the average party-goer, it’s not a big deal at String Summit. Your searchers are festival volunteers looking to get their shift over so they can get back to the music, which is of the highest caliber anywhere. Slightly-hidden contraband isn’t really a problem, but be aware there is absolutely…
- No Glass: Nope. Nope. Nope. We understand how delicious a bottle of Flor de Cana can be on a Sunday morning but there is nothing sadder than watching a volunteer lighten your load by the weight of one case of imported brew. Plastic, aluminum and space rocks are fine, but leave the glass at home. This is a deal breaker, but not as crucial as…
- No Dogs: Every festival says this but most don’t mean it. These folks out west, apparently are totally serious about having their festival be a quadruped-free zone. Lucienda Rosalita, napping in the back seat, as usual, was surprised by her unexpected unveiling by a zealous volunteer. “How in heaven did another Chihuahua end up in my back seat? I’ve never seen her before in my life. Must be another stowaway. One can pick up all kinds of weird stuff in Salem. Feel free to take her and throw her in the dumpster if that makes you feel better.” No dogs. No deal. Faced with the choice of duct taping her to my chest and smuggling her through the thick North Plains forest, the simplest solution was to leave her with friends in Keizer. Plan B is in effect, for a change.
Muchas gracias to a new member of the team, Andy who stepped right into Sunday morning with a hot plate of bacon, eggs and coffee with Irish Creme. Not too shabby pappy. If you’re looking for some serious white water rafting, Deschutes River Adventures has been doing guided raft trips and raft rentals on the Deschutes River since 1981. Call him and his wife today in Maupin, Oregon at 1-800-RAFTING (723-8464).
- Don’t Forget the Kids: Next to RockyGrass, no festival all summer boasts more beautiful tots running hither and yon. A far as kid’s tents go, The Kids and Family Area is the mostmilk. Second to none in every way, it’s fenced in area is just to the left of the main stage, so one can color outside the lines, sling the disk or get involved in the murky backwaters of professional face painting, all within earshot of ridiculously tingly music all hours of the day and night. Check out their Kids Area Facebook page to get an idea of the fun kinds of stuff they have on tap. You may just want to make a few kids of your own so you can really enjoy it up close.
- Music: What can only be described as “elite” string music, NWSS is headlined by Yonder Mountain String Band and they bring together a peerless lineup of some of the most talented musicians anywhere in the Orion belt. Their Friday night set included some kind of bluegrass Chinese math to which we are still trying to translate. Saturday night included a cover of the complete Pink Floyd album, Meddle. Eeek. And Sunday devolves into an all-day jammy jam with everyone who has some funk to offer. It just doesn’t ever stop. With at least eight stages set up throughout the site, there’s always something blissfully dopeish happening somewhere. You just gotta poke around. Be sure to look closely at whose performing at the daily classes. Keep a keen eye open for that Danny Barnes guy. This up-and-coming youngster is on a rocket ship to the top of the banjo scene. Take our word for it and don’t be afraid to check out some of his tunes from his duet “Test Apes”. Of all your regrets in life, this surely won’t be one. And don’t call me Shirley.
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a national organization that protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. The Center accomplishes this mission by delivering cutting-edge education and research to millions of people across the country every year. At Telluride, Northwest String Summit, and RockyGrass festivals they host a Leave No Trace contest in an effort to extend the spirit of sustainable Festivation into the campgrounds. Coordinated by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, this contest encourages others to raise the bar for sustainable and creative camping. These kinds of initiatives provide a framework for festival sustainability.
All entrants are eligible for random daily prizes, while campsites that excel in achieving the highest levels of the Leave No Trace philosophy could win camping and 3-day passes for the 2018 Festival. Enjoy your world. Leave No Trace.
So there you have it. Nailtravels assumes no responsibility for missteps not covered here. Don’t worry about it. too much about it. You’ll do fine. Direct any queries to our comment thread and we will answer your questions within the calendar year, without fail. NorthWest String Summit is one of the most gorgeous localities anywhere, with some of the bestest music and friendliest folks you could uncover. Start saving your pennies now and figure out how to make the trip work. The following year, your only question will be who to take with you to this “intimate” gathering of perfect fun. And when in doubt, don’t forget to twirl.