Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ready For Reggae Rising

The first time I visited Humboldt County I drove past thousands of hippies camped out on the banks of the Eel river south of Garberville Ca. The view from highway 101 showed one serious party going on. I thought, that would be cool to go to.

The third time I came here was to move from the O.C. I was here for over 7 years before I finally decided to check out this colorful event. By the time I did, the name had changed from Reggae on the River, to Reggae Rising. Not knowing any difference, I got a camping pass at Cooks Valley and had a great 3 days of music camping and debauchery.

This year makes year 4 for me. I have already off loaded my camping gear with my friend Raquel, in Arcata. She has a truck and will be going down to get us a good camp site first thing this morning. I won't be able to leave until Friday afternoon. When I get there, my tent will already be set up and other friends, Starr and Andrew will be waiting for me.
After a couple of years camping with the radio crew in a back stage area, I decided to go back to Cooks Valley. The back stage press camping is limited to very few square feet of space and they enforce the limit. Too cramped to have my own tent and nobody at the radio station wants' to sleep with me.
Cooks Valley is a nice forested shady area south of the main event but within short walking distance of everything. There are cold showers, a temporary store that is well stocked, and a restaurant of sorts that has pretty good food.
A pond is at one end and the Eel River rolls by on two sides of the camp. People float down the river through the many camp sites in all manor of PFD's (personal floatation devices) including small rafts, sometimes like a parade. This year the water looks pretty low. The wine growers to the south take most of the water from the Eel before it ever gets to the Dimmick Ranch where the event is held. With that low of flow, I don't think I will be going into the water this year.

Reggae Rising is as much about the music as it is about the scene. People being excellent to each other and having a good time. The warm sunny weather usually brings out the scantly clad bodies that make people watching a lot of fun.
Jim Bernard, local meteorologist for our NBC affiliate says temps should be in the upper 80's to the lower 90's over the weekend. That should be about perfect for the ladies and the rest of us will have our sun glasses on to avoid getting caught looking.

I have a day and a half left at work and then it's off to the smell of patchouli, tanning butter and pot smoke. The sound of sweet rhythms in the air and camping with ear plugs. Have you ever tried to get to sleep in a tent surrounded by thousands of your friends? Ear plugs and beer can help.
Click for music, pictures and official info on Reggae Rising 2009.

1 comment:

  1. There were many good looking people this year.
    The campers, not the bands. The music was reggae and mostly good. There was one band, I think it was Saturday night, that would start into a great groove and just as the crowd was really into it, play a tape rewind sound and an air horn sound followed by talking into another great groove only to be followed by more tape and horn sounds. It was like putting periods into that last sentence instead of commas. It was too chopped up. Too bad, because when they did jam for a while, they were quite good.

    The Original Wailers were fantastic. They were followed by Marcia Griffiths. She seemed to have a hard time getting on pitch at the start of her show but things got better. Maybe she wasn't getting enough monitor on stage. Toward the end of her set, three or four Wailers that were her band, kicked out a groove that sounded like where Michael Jackson got the idea for Billie Jean. They kicked ass!
    ASWAD and Gentleman rounded out Sunday night and both were enjoyable.


Nuclear Waste Water Fukusima From A Drone

G.W. Bush On Explosives At WTC

US Senator Joe Liberman, WTC 7 Did Not Occur