Since my trip to Iceland, I haven’t done much international travel. In fact, I haven’t done much travel at all except for a trip to Georgia early in June. The last couple months, I’ve spent my time working my day job, spending time with family and friends, going through the pain of buying an airplane, biking all over the place during Pedalpalooza, and going to a number of festivals.
Since the end of May, I’ve attended SOAK, What The Festival?! and this last weekend was Oregon Country Fair. All three festivals are quite different, but are each quite amazing – and all located in Oregon!
Festivals So Far
SOAK*2016: SCIENCE! (May 26th-30th): This is Portland’s regional Burning Man event which was based on the theme of Science! this year. This is one of those events that you don’t spend money at and instead is based on a gifting community and of self reliance. The last couple years have taken place in Tygh Valley about 30 minutes from The Dalles, Oregon. My first time attending SOAK was in 2011, and I’ve since been every year except for 2012. Always a great time and one which started it all for me. My first four years I was part of Couch Surfing Camp which has since changed to Time Ninja Syndicate after my first year at Burning Man in 2014. If you have an interest in knowing what Burning Man is all about, but don’t want to commit to a week in the dessert, then go to SOAK instead as it is around four days and usually surrounded by trees.
What The Festival?! (June 17th-20th): A festival created by Burners and enjoyed by thousands. Unlike SOAK which was just over a thousand people, WTF?! was over seven thousand. This event costs quite a bit more than SOAK and tends to involve more structured schedule and budget. There are plenty of vendors providing clothing, art, and food. SOAK is built by the people who attend, where as the majority of WTF?! is built by those who put the event on. The stages, music, art and people are all amazing. It was such an awesome event and one I had the pleasure of camping with my friends Bonnie and Paige. My favorite part of this event is the Illuminated Forrest which is below the main stages in the wooded area and is full of lights, stages, and contained fire. If you got a chance to check out my friend Ryan (Heat Stroke)’s Flame Thrower Chandelier, then you’re one lucky person!
Oregon Country Fair (July 8th-10th): OCF is a three-day festival featuring handmade crafts, educational displays and costumed entertainment. This is one of the festivals that started it all. This started in 1969 right around the same time as Woodstock. If it wasn’t for the Oregon Country Fair, there might not be things like Burning Man or numerous other festivals that occur. This was my second year attending Fair and had a blast going. I camped with my friend Jeffrey and a number of others in one of the oldest camps and most popular, Darling Reunion. Fair only goes from 11am to 7pm to the public, so you either have to be a worker of the Fair, some sort of VIP, or you are staying in a camp nearby. I’ve lived in Oregon for all my life, with fourteen years being in Eugene, so it is funny to me that it wasn’t until last year that I even went to this. Too bad. I missed a lot of good years!
Well, that’s where I’ve been the last couple of months. Coming this next weekend is SHIFT, though I’m not planning to attend. Burning Man is just over a month away, so that is where I’m going to be focusing my extra time and energy as it takes quite the toll.
Until next time!