Photosynthesis, Sol Duc, & being sick

Hard to believe two weeks have gone by since I’ve written… I left off arriving at Photosynthesis. Wow! What an incredible festival. Of all the festivals I’ve been to, its been my favorite thus far. Its located on land owned by the Makah Tribe. Perhaps its the mists, perhaps its the ocean, perhaps its the land itself… I don’t know, but I loved it there. I felt a deep connection with that magical place. And then to put an amazing festival on top of it?! 🙂 I was in heaven.

At so many festivals there is so much music that I don’t really love. Sometimes I find myself wandering around just waiting for sunrise when my favorite style of music most often is played. Not here… There were two “main” stages and a chill dome. I have to say that even the two main stages had pretty great music throughout the whole festival. And then there was the H’art Center. What a beautiful place it was; a smaller dome where you had to take your shoes off. It had carpeting throughout and art on the walls. Attached to it was an elegant teahouse where Kevin served tea throughout the night.

Kevin serving tea

I asked him a lot of questions & learned about tea service from him. It was so fascinating… and then I realized that Salt Lake doesn’t have a tea house at its festivals. And so, my thought is that I should create a teahouse to bring to our festivals… I think it would be a wonderful addition!

The music at the H’art Center was fantastic all night long, each night of the festival! Sometimes it was pretty upbeat & people were dancing. Other times it was super mellow & people were simply sitting & meditating. It was such a lovely space… and the people I met there were all so amazing! I went to the festival knowing just a few people (Dirk who had told me about the festival when I met him last year at Esthetic Evolution, Morgan & Lacey – longtime friends from Spokane, & Amanda from Salt Lake). By the end of the festival, I knew so many people & I felt completely at home with the Northwest crew!

Another highlight from the festival was the sunset on Sunday night… I ran into my friend, Dirk, as he was heading out to a rock perch to watch the sunset. We rounded up quite a few friends along the way as we passed by the beach party where people were still happily dancing to techno right on the beach. The weather had been quite misty & overcast most of the festival… Friday night particularly it misted quite heavily. But, true to the PNW, it didn’t really seem to rain, it just misted a lot. Sunday afternoon however, the clouds broke & the sun came out. There were still just enough clouds to make a spectacular sunset. The perfect ending to an idyllic weekend…

Picture perfect

Monday morning came, I watched out my window as I worked as the festival being dismantled. It truly amazed me how quickly things came down! The domes were down, vendors & campers packed, & pretty much everyone was out of there by Monday evening. My plan had been to leave Monday after work & drive to a state park a few hours away. However, after running into my friend Dirk at the festival, he said he & a bunch of the crew that helped put on the festival were interested in going camping with me & they thought we should find some hot springs to camp at. I thought, camping with a bunch of new friends at a hot springs… yes, please! They weren’t quite ready to leave Monday evening, so we planned to camp out on Tuesday.

I decided to move my RV closer to where everyone else was staying in some cabins. So, I got in & started backing out exactly in the same pattern as I got into my spot. Wouldn’t you know, the ground now was softer! All of a sudden, I was seriously stuck in the sand!!

Definitely stuck!

It was mostly a grassy field, but in this section, there were some grass/sand spots. I don’t know how I managed to pass over it to begin with, but I certainly couldn’t pass over it on the way out. So I went & found Dirk who found a guy with a backhoe who tried unsuccessfully to pull me out. I really do have a very big & heavy rig! After that failed, I decided to call roadside assistance. That’s what I have that service for, right?! Well, Neah Bay is awfully far away from anywhere… it took my insurance a good 45 minutes to locate a tow truck driver willing to come rescue me. He drove 4.5 hours each way – all the way from Olympia! While we were waiting for the tow truck, a local guy & his friend were bound & determined to get me out. I tried to tell them they didn’t have to, but I think they were just up for the challenge. They dug out the tires & tried with a Nissan Pathfinder (really?!) to pull me out. With that little rig, of course, they didn’t get me out! Anyway, the tow truck driver finally arrived around 11:30pm & just like that, pulled me out! The best thing about roadside assistance is that it didn’t even cost me anything! Of course, I gave him a big hug & thanked him for driving all that way to rescue me.

There were two sweet girls who had gotten abandoned there who were trying to make their way back home to the Portland area. Since Dirk was head of security there, they ended up talking to him. He said he might be able to help them out & came & asked me if I would give them a ride back to Portland since he knew I was heading there after our camping trip. Not a problem, I replied. It’ll be nice to have some company on the drive. And so, Mandy & Jess joined our crew. I worked on Tuesday at the festival site while everyone finished up with breakdown. Once we were ready to go, we all went to the beach for a photo-op. What a fun group of people!

Photosynthesis friends!

We decided to go to Sol Duc Hot Springs in the Olympic National Park. I absolutely love the lushness & grandeur of the trees in the forests there. Soaking in the hot springs after a long festival weekend was a perfect next step! Nice way to just relax & enjoy the evening. After our soak we went back to camp & had a big barbeque – corn & steaks – pretty hard to go wrong with that!

Wednesday morning I woke up & did NOT feel good. I was so confused! Had the hot springs brought out toxins but I hadn’t drunk enough water the day before to flush them out? Was I hung over? I only had two glasses of wine the night before; I didn’t feel hung over. But I was definitely sick! Every time I tried lifting my head I had a splitting headache. I was chilled, but my friends kept telling me I was burning up. I emailed into work that I was sick. I felt terrible! How can I be on this adventure where I was supposed to be responsible by working & then write in sick? But I was really sick… I took some Ibuprofen & went back to sleep for several hours. Finally it was past time to leave our camp site. Everyone wanted to go back to the hot springs for another soak.

I knew I needed to drive to Portland that evening, but was kind of procrastinating on the drive & thought maybe another soak might help me feel better. But, it really didn’t. After about 45 minutes, I knew I had had enough. I got out & my skin was uber sensitive. So, I rounded up Mandy, Jess, & Tommy (who decided to tag along for the ride) & we headed south. None of them had ever driven an RV before, so I ended up driving from 5:30 – 11:30pm. What a horribly long drive when I was feeling down right sick! I was very grateful for Mandy staying awake & keeping me company along that long drive home. We finally got to Jess’s house & I just crashed in bed. Totally exhausted!

Waking up on Thursday, I felt way sicker than I had the day before! I couldn’t believe it. I had to email in again to work that I was out sick again & was planning to go to urgent care. My VP, thankfully, was completely understanding & told me just to take care of myself & not worry about work. I was so sick, though, I couldn’t quite rally to make it to urgent care yet. As I lay there in agony, I thought back to see if I had ever felt this bad before. All of a sudden I remembered having a kidney infection about 10 years ago. I remembered thinking at that time that I never wanted one again. All of a sudden I knew that’s what I had & I really did need to go to urgent care. So I managed to get myself out of bed & drove myself to urgent care. It was quite bad I realized when I couldn’t really see too well. At least urgent care was only ½ mile away!

A fever of 102.9 & a kidney infection. Nope, that was not on my trip plan! Oh well, what does one do? Deal with it, I guess. I got some antibiotics from Walgreens & took Tylenol & Advil on the advice of the urgent care doctor in Newburg, OR. I knew I just needed to sleep so my body could start to heal itself. I tried going to a local state park, but they were full. So then I decided to drive closer to the airport because I had to pick-up my friend, Alisa, from the airport the next day. I made it to one RV park by Janzen Beach only to find out it was full, too! Really?! Of all the days to be driving aimlessly around, this was not a good one. My RV Park Finder app on my phone saved the day & I found a park about 5 miles away. As I backed into my spot (like a pro!), I was so happy to just be done doing stuff for the day so I could go back to bed. I slept most of the afternoon & evening.

Finally around 8pm I felt a little better. I knew that I needed to do laundry as I was headed to What the Festival the next day & all of my stuff was completely sandy from Neah Bay & spruce needly from the Olympics. I had never really been in an RV park before. They’re quite the places! This one had swimming pools, hot tubs, a pond & gazebo, laundry facility, & an activities director with activities going on all the time, goodness, I had no idea RV parks were like that! The problem with all of that is that I was on one end of the park & the laundry was clear on the other. I knew I didn’t have enough energy to walk & carry my 3 laundry bags (they’re small, but somewhat heavy nonetheless). So I decided to strap them with my bike tie-downs to my bike rack & ride my bike down. Seemed like a great idea. Although, they did NOT want to stay on the bike rack! I went over a speed bump causing my headache to split and my laundry to fall all over the road. 😦 I struggled to get it all back together & took off again for the laundry room. Only to get there to realize that I had forgotten my laundry detergent and the facility did not have a quarter machine!

So I left my laundry, mustered up some energy & rode my bike all the way back across the park to the office. Bought some quarters & then went to get my detergent. The detergent & dryer sheets wouldn’t fit in my purse, so I moved all my stuff (water, phone, detergent, sheets) to my shoulder bag & took off on my bike again back to the laundry room. Only to get there to realize that I had forgotten my roll of quarters in my purse! Oh my gosh, that about did me in. (Did I mention I was still really sick & obviously not thinking clearly at all?) I was already exhausted again & I hadn’t even gotten started with my laundry! So as I got on my bike to head back to Sofia for the 3rd time, I realized that there was a laundry RV parking spot. Score! I rode up & drove Sofia down to the laundry, did my laundry & drove back up to my spot. It was dark by that time, obviously, but I backed right into my spot feeling very proud of myself not only for getting my laundry done, but for backing in the dark just about perfectly! 🙂

Friday I woke up still horribly sick! Still with the same splitting headache each time I attempted to lift my head from the pillow. I was so sad. I thought the antibiotics would magically work super quick & heal me in time to go to the festival later that day! LOL! I tried getting up & working, but it was really making me nauseous & my head hurt even worse, so I emailed in sick again. I had emailed my VP after I was at Urgent Care the day before to let her know that I wasn’t imagining I was sick; I really was. She then & also Friday morning still was so supportive, telling me to just take my time & get well. I’m so grateful for her understanding. During what should have been my lunch break, I managed to rally & drove to the airport to pick up Alisa. I was still so sick; she immediately was an angel & offered to drive. Thank goodness! I went back to bed & slept for the next 2 ½ hours as she drove to the festival. And so, arriving at What the Festival, I knew that it would no doubt be a very low-key festival for me. For me, it was still about healing time.

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Learning Sofia…

Wow! I just got back from a lovely night stroll on the beach! I arrived this evening at Neah Bay & decided to come out to the festival location just to ensure I got cell & internet service. My plan was to then return to Neah Bay & come back out tomorrow on my lunch break & then work the remainder of the day. The nice people at the gate simply welcomed me in! So, I set up camp & took a little walk. Just beyond the stage where they were doing sound checks I heard what I thought could be the ocean! So I kept walking & within about 50 yards, there it was! So beautiful, even by the light of just my flashlight. The sound was higher pitched than I remember. I guess maybe because the waves right now are so small? It almost sounded like wind rustling through the trees. Obviously its been a while since I’ve been at the beach!

So I’ve had fun learning about Sofia over the last few days. Most of you know that Sofia is the name I have given to my recently purchased RV. I think its like any relationship. It starts off with bliss and goes downhill from there. LOL! No, it really hasn’t been so bad. Just I realize she’s not quite as perfect as I thought she was. Isn’t that how it always goes?

One cute thing I’ve learned is that Geb is not only a lap cat co-pilot, but he’s also a dashboard co-pilot. So adorable! And, he even knows he can’t come over to the dash on my side. He’s such a good kitty!

Dashboard co-pilot

Over E11 last weekend, we noticed that the A/C wasn’t working as well as it should be. On my drive from Mountain Home to Yakima as I worked throughout the day at various rest stops, I noticed it really wasn’t working. So I called & made an appointment for early Wednesday morning. When I took her in bright & early on my birthday, I learned that she needs a new A/C unit. Ah well… Trouble is no one in Yakima or Seattle seemed to have one. And so, I have an appointment scheduled at the end of the month when I’m in the Portland area. The good news is that I’m now over on the coast where its cool & I definitely don’t need the A/C! I actually even turned on my heater this morning. It works great!

Some of our encounters have been positive however. For example, I’m getting really good at driving her! Even though my heel won’t touch the ground (even with the seat scooted all the way forward!). I never really realized that my legs were quite that short. Oh well. I asked about it when I was at the RV shop to see if there was some way to fix either my seat, the peddles, or maybe get some blocks or something. They said to try an auto parts store. So this evening as I wandered briefly through the cute little town of Sequim, I went into the auto parts store & inquired. Nope, no such thing is made because of the liability factor. He told me to “keep on driving like a ballerina on her toes”.

I’m even getting pretty good at backing her up! The last two nights at the state park campgrounds I had to back her into her spot. AND I DID IT!! Without even hitting anything. LOL! And I had to turn around in a parking lot today after pulling in to take a picture. Managed that as well.

Looking pretty good backed into that spot!

So Tuesday night, I had just backed her into her spot at the nice state park in Yakima & gotten settled in. I remembered that during E11 I couldn’t get the oven to light. So I googled it (I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have google!) & read that you can’t use the striker knob (that’s only for the burners), you have to light it with a match or long lighter. So I got my long lighter out & proceeded to try to light it. It just wasn’t working again & again. I was beginning to get a little worried that I might just eventually set off the whole place with a fire bomb if it ever did light. So I started looking around the oven a bit more just trying to figure out if I saw anything loose, etc. That’s when I realized… I had been attempting to light the temperature gauge rather than the actual pilot light. LOL! Once I figured that out, she lit up right away! Ah well… now I know!

I’ve been to Neah Bay one time before… it was right before Michael (my 2nd husband) & I moved to Utah from Bellevue, WA. People always think Seattle is close to the coast, but in reality, its really a long way from the coast! Growing up on the Oregon coast, I had always wanted to go to the furthest most northwest corner of the continental United States. So before we moved out of the general vicinity, we did. I was pretty happy to have accomplished that goal. I remembered the road (Hwy 112) from Port Angles to Neah Bay as being a relatively long, narrow, winding road, but not terrible. Of course, that was in my mini! Driving that same road in Sofia, oh my! I really don’t remember the road to be THAT bad! Its super windy, super narrow, and has so many sink holes from slides that we were rocking, jiggling, & banging our way slowly down the road. There were lots of pullouts along the way, but the majority of the pullouts weren’t even big enough for Sofia! So slowly we carried on… And, in a way, it was like a pilgrimage coming back to this magical place.

Straight of Juan de Fuca Sunset

One good thing we’ve learned together is that traveling in the evenings as we do the traffic is much less than if we would travel during the day. It makes the traveling kind of nice to have pretty much open roads. Especially on roads like Hwy 112; I only had to pull over 2x in 60 miles to let anyone go around me. That’s pretty good! And, its good that no one was on the road with me tonight. I totally did the tourist thing! Yup, I stopped Sofia in the middle of the highway (there was no turnout spot around) and took this picture of the elk. LOL!

Roosevelt Elk!

Anyway, I’m happy to have finally arrived, to be in one spot for multiple days, and to enjoy the festival that starts tomorrow. I’m planning to get up early to take a walk on the beach before work.