Saturday 4/21

The SI crew left Thursday night so I had to go to Seans when I got home Friday in order to catch a ride with him to Topanga.  First thing in the morning Sean arranged a moving project for a friend and then we were on our way to Topanga.  When we arrived the roadsides were full of cars for a mile in each direction so I had SP drop me off at the gate so I could get our entry passes taken care of.   After we got in, I browsed the vendors and enjoyed the entertainment before reporting to run the recycling crews.


As I got things going, there was a second coordinator who was not much of a collaborator trying to bark orders so I had to avoid him all day with my crew.  The festival was great. The Topanga canyon park is a beautiful area surrounded by lush green mountains with very few signs of established homes.

Seven of our SI friends were able to join Will and I. Our usuals, hippy hemp weaver Scott and Mr. David with his guitar and donation bucket where working the crowds. Then we had a elderly nomad named Dale working the sales booth. Dale played the Johnny Cash style folk music typical of someone with his long silver hair flowing out of his cowboy hat. Then there was Ria from England via San Fran that Will had worked with upon his first arrival to California in 2010. She would spend the weekend assisting me as well as Hempwick Mike and Venice nomad Mike.


The highlight of the first day was hanging with Ziggy Marley, grandson of Bob. His Reggae was great but I was not feeling his hip hop songs. There were not very many vendors out of the normal but our host, Lisa, had a permaculture display that was unique.  I was busy running around making sure my recycling team was keeping the bins empty so there was little time in between to enjoy the festival.  At the end of the day, we made sure all the bins were locked in the roll off container and then carpooled up the mountain to the ranch for after hours fun.


We all spent the night telling stories around the fire and grilling dinner. Our three musicians played some great tunes and eventually one by one, people retired to their quarters. Ria and I had our choice of porch hammock, Van or camp fire area. The temp dropped to a brisk 40 so we both cuddled up around the coals under the stars.

Sunday 4/22

I started my day by doing some yoga in the prairie while Dave and Daryle played some tunes. Once Will was ready we piled in the van and headed back to our stations at the festival.

Everything went as planned for this amazing festival but I was bummed none of my 40+ friends came to my going away party. I invited everyone I had gotten to know in LA over the winter and made it very clear for months that this would be my last social gathering before moving to Texas.

As the closing ceramonies completed we started the dirty job of sorting detailed levels of the recycling like petro coated paper from bio compostable paper and food scraps. We completed the brunt of the work just before dark and then helped the other teams finish packing up the stage.

Will wanted to finish what he was doing so Ria and I walked to the Ranch with a big pan of Mac N Cheese provided by the kitchen for the volunteer staff.  When we arrived at the Ranch, Lisa’s partner, Ben, asked us to help him move a hot tub about 15 feet to a spot in the garden so it could be used as a rice pond. We organized an Egyption system and eventually rolled it into place after a lot of effort from Dayle, Ria, Ben and I. The blanket loaned to me was damped by an evening drizzle so I stoked the fire pit and laid it out to dry.  We then went in to reward ourselves with some great Mac N Cheese, wine and conversation led by the visiting Northeastern US Tribal leader, Tom Doston. He and I discussed options for many garden projects I had in mind for reservations in the midwest and Tom offered to get involved with fund raising when I was ready.   It was approaching 2am by the time everyone started winding down. It was misting again so the fire went out and my blanket was half way soaked but it was all I had to keep me warm in the porch hammock. Will went to his hammock, Ria headed for the van and the others took comfort inside the house.

Monday 4/23

We woke up to the sounds of Dave and Dayle singing and loaded up the van. It took us until sunset to get the festival grounds back to normal and collect our contributions and then we went back to the ranch for one last dinner and some wine.

Will was getting a bit loopy so I drove us back. We dropped Dayle off at his sleeping corner in Venice and then I got out at the airport train depot so I could take it the rest of the way home.

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