This weekend was hot. Very hot. I hear that Portland got up to 103ºF, so fortunately I managed to stay someplace much cooler. 98ºF, to be exact. Did I say “much cooler?” I meant to say “equally oven-like.”
Kim and I vended her wares to pirates and gypsies at Seadog Nights, which is sort of a lax version of the SCA. In fact, this weekend was so hot that people pretty much gave up on the costume and pretense and just ran around in shorts and bikinis. The middle of a dusty field under a basic pavilion/gazebo thing is really not the place to be in hundred-degree weather. What made it worse was that it sprinkled a little on Friday night and Saturday morning, causing the humidity to be less than optimal.
Of course, the heat and humidity (and hence the running around in non-costume) caused people to not really think much about buying costumes. Kim did alright with jewelry and accouterments, but I think we were expecting the balance to fall more toward clothing sales.
The super-duper high point of the weekend was the river! There was a little creek running close to the campground. It was deep enough in places for people to cannonball and shallow enough in places for people to sit on rocks just a few centimeters below the surface of the water. Also: it was ice cold. The ambient air temperature dropped a noticeable 5-10 degrees just being near it. People were running around topless (which may or may not have been historically accurate). The rules that the organizers posted near the stream asked that it be kept family-safe this year, which was interpreted by all to mean “all-nude isn’t okay this year, but topless is fine.” You’ll have no argument from me.
Later in the evening, there were various performances. In the headhunters’ encampment, people were drumming, but a little too MonotonousMr.DrumMachine for it to be danceable bellydance music. Further down the trail, the gypsies were making music and dancing. Across from there were the fire dancers. For the most part, it was the generic stuff you (well maybe not you, but I, at least) always see–poi and fire breathing and the like. Still, as generic as it is, I will always stop to watch. There was also a guy with flaming swords, which was novel, as well as a guy using a flaming… rope?… whip?… I don’t know, but it was jaw-dropping pretty to watch. The concluded with all ten performers breathing fire at the same time, causing a lot of heat.
During the day were a lot more events for kids. I bet if I were 10 years old, the whole weekend would have been like Disneyland. There was a kraken attacking the town (a purple tent filled with hay, with paper-mache eyes). Everyone had homemade Nerf-style swords, clubs, axes, and polearms and could boff each other over the head with them without much damage. There was a scavenger hunt. There was a treasure hunt that involved finding and solving riddles. In fact, our booth hosted one of the riddles. I have now heard millions of creative answers to “what remains the same size when it weighs 1 pound as it does 20 pounds?” A correct answer reveals a clue and enough clues lead to (literally) buried treasure.
We ended up coming home early on Sunday. The choice was to either break down the booth early in the day or sit through the heat and break down the booth in the late afternoon when things start cooling. Considering the difference was getting home at noon version getting home super-sweaty at 9pm, we opted for noon.
So, yes, I missed ARGFest, but I had fun with pirates. I got to hear the word “arrrrrg!” more times than I can count. I can count pretty high. The trip to San Francisco for the Perplex City SF Connection is official — tickets have been purchased and reservations have been made.