Surviving Roots, part 2

Spintalk Roots 2

A story about wet shoes, poor dietary choices, sleep deprivation, dehydration, ancient camping equipment, and persevering against all possible odds.

Our story continues: Upon arriving at camp, I met my SpinCo compatriots and proceeded to set up camp. Having left my own camping equipment in Michigan before I moved, I had borrowed some from a friend. Although I was initially optimistic about this arrangement, the prospects were somewhat more disheartening when I found out that it was an old style, fixed pole, canvas tent without a rainfly, and that my only ground cover was a piece of painters’ plastic. This caused me no shortage of ribbing from my campmates (I’m sure there are pictures floating around Facebook) and my anxiety grew further when I found out that the weather man had not, in fact, lied (this time) about the impending rain.


Resigning myself to whatever watery fate awaited me, I decided to go check out the workshops and vendor booths. This was among one of the more positive experiences. I got to take several very good workshops, meet some new people, and enviously look at wares I couldn’t buy.

Fast forward to the Friday night showcase:

If you were there I really don’t have to recap—if you weren’t you missed out. There was a whole mess of amazing performances, fire and non, with some honorable mentions going out to Rachael Lust, Alli Hart and Jj Brown, Flowfox and Lady Isis, and SpinCo’s very own Brie Mealey. Beyond the mind-blowing talent of the showcasees and instructors, my favorite moment of the evening, and arguably the entire festival, came shortly after:


Once the showcase finished, it devolved into a fire circle full of daredevils and hecklers. As I was getting ready to pack up and head back to camp, I quite literally ran into Tara McManus. We got to talking and had a quite a pleasant conversation for the next several minutes, after which she invited me to come visit the 3rd Earth tent the next day. I took her up on this offer, but we’ll return to that later.

Among the biggest challenges of Roots for me personally was eating. It wasn’t that I didn’t pack any food; I had tons, way more than I needed. I even pawned some off on stray flow artists who wandered by our tent. With the weather being as wet and turbulent as it was, it made it difficult to cook and increased my reluctance to do so. As a result, I spent most of my weekend living off of Triscuits, cheese slices, and pouches of pre-packaged salmon. Not exactly the people of the year diet, but I made due. The other big obstacle was hydration: There was never enough water. Ever. With the temperature staggering between the mid eighties to early nineties, coupled with intense humidity, I literally watched the water enter my mouth and ooze right back out of my skin, bypassing my kidneys and urinary tract altogether. As far as sunscreen goes, it was a joke, and had about the same effect as trying to nail Jell-O to a wall. By the end of the day I was like a Slip ‘N Slide greased up with Crisco, oozing some bizarre combination of water and SPF 30.

Spintalk | Part 3 Coming Soon

Michael Krueger | @cheaptrickz | Philadelphia, PA

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