Dateline: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Day 0 of the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
Our plan was to leave home between 8AM and 9AM, make the 4-hour drive to Oak Hill, NY, and “claim” a campsite and a place for our lawn chairs for the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. Campsites, as such, and places for your lawn chairs at the performance meadow are “first-come-first-served.” This leads to a bit of a wild-west behavior pattern among attendees. The best places are taken early. The performances begin on Thursday, but the gates were scheduled to open this morning at 7AM. We figured if we could be there by noon or shortly thereafter, we would be still be able to find a good campsite and a good place for our chairs. (Camping is in a large meadow, and there really are not designated “sites.” People are supposed to stake out no more than 20’ x 25’ sections, but this is not actually what happens. The main performance area is a large meadow, and once you put your lawn chairs in a location, that location belongs to you for the whole festival.)
As I say, that was the plan.
Due to circumstances beyond our control we were unable to follow the plan. We actually hit the road – starting in Buffalo – at about 1PM. That got us home at 2:30, and then we were able to start the drive to Oak Hill about 3PM. We arrived at 7PM, tired and hungry. As expected, the camping meadow was mostly filled by this point in the day. We did, however, find a suitable place to park our camper, we got set up, we made dinner (eating at about 8:30), and then went to find a place for our lawn chairs.
How is it that we were able to find this spot to camp so late in the day? I asked our neighbors if they knew the reason. Well, it turns out that the day before there had been torrential, flooding rains in the area. The camping field was too wet at 7AM for the management to allow people in to claim their campsites. Everyone who got here early had to wait. They made these people wait in “staging areas.” At 11AM they started letting people in. Later arrivals actually got into the camping field earlier than early arrivals. We learned from our neighbors that the site we found was earlier occupied by other campers. Then, friends of theirs came and told them they were setting up a group camp in another area. They left, leaving the site vacant for us when we arrived at 7:00.
I was reminded that sometimes our plans are mere fantasies, and that following God’s path, even when it leads away from our goals, is more effective than fighting.