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Archive for September 10th, 2006

Home, Sweet Indoor Home

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

We are back from Wheatland Music Festival. The music was incredible, the company we kept was divine. The weather? Ugh. But two out of three made it worthwhile. (Prepare for a short whine, I’ll be back and cheerful by the end of this post.)

Friday afternoon it was 81F/27C degrees out, when we got there and for a good while after. This would be weather I could love even with sprinkles and the threat of real rain.

However, it cooled down Friday night, down to 54F/12C. It also rained, though not hard, most of the night. We are sort of used to rain at night when we tent, so that part was OK. It stopped before I got up. Rain even keeps dust down, which is really good for a festival. It was not too cold to sleep Friday night, once we got snuggled into the tent properly.

Saturday was the coldest I’ve been during the day at a Wheatland, and I’ve attended now for 11 years. It was overcast though not rainy. There was not a sense of where the sun even was, it was so cloudy, it was very hard to figure out what time of day it might be! And it only got up to 57F/14C during the day. With a breeze there was little chance to get warm. It even blew through the walls of the tent.

It seemed everyone was wearing every piece of clothing they brought. I wore long johns, leggings, two pair of wool legwarmers, wool socks, a tank, a tee shirt, a turtleneck, a sweater, two shawls, a raincoat, a hat and wristwarmers. I was sort of delighted with how many other folks wearing knitted shawls I saw in the crowd.

At night the weather got worse. We visited our Saturday Night Wheatland Jamming friends, crammed ourselves into a three-sided tent put up just for jam sessions, with friends who had a heater (these are the right sorts of friends on a night like this, we really appreciate them on cold years). Even with the heater, folks were wrapped up in blankets and afghans and sleeping bags, especially if they were not playing an instrument. We stayed up till 2am and headed back to try and sleep.

I do not tolerate cold well, my friends. I crawled into bed with all those clothes on, including my coat. We had an air mattress and a sleeping bag under us, and two sleeping bags over us. The tent is small and usually that means that the body heat we generate warms up the tent. I’ve been in 47F night weather at Wheatland at night before, with the same sleeping setup and same tent (minus the coat and with only one set of legwarmers), and not been this cold. This year it was 43F/6C, and that few degrees was noticeable.

In the tent, my back could not get warm. I finally slept maybe 3-4 hours when I realized that if I turned my back to Brian and my face to the wall of the tent, I’d warm up some.

Fortunately Sunday was a good social-butterfly/music-jamming day. We stayed busy and distracted, and I did get two hot cups of tea to make me happier. The sky looked like it might allow the LynnHsun to come through, it even gave us muted shadows for a short while in the afternoon. Then it gave up and we had full cloud cover again, and we all were cold and wrapped up again in as many layers as we possibly could conjure up.

Looking at the National Weather Service website (they have 3 day weather history hidden in a link down and to the right on any local weather page), I see why Sunday never warmed up. We had an actual wind chill to deal with. Sunday afternoon the wind was steady at between 10-17mph, with gusts up to 25mph. Brrrr!

Thank goodness I had a reallyreallyreally warm sweater I knit just for Wheatland, and another almost as warm one as a spare when it acted a little warmer. I alternated the two with differing numbers of shawls/wraps depending on the moment. Most of the time I wore two sets of legwarmers, one over the other. I wished I’d brought a long skirt to wear over the leggings/longjohns/legwarmers. That would have been like a windbreaker for my legs. Since I usually only wear skirts on hot days, I had left them all at home. I survived.

I realize that in relatively recent history, lots of people lived essentially like this most of the time. I realize that some people work outdoors all year round (even in snowy conditions). I realize I’m a wimp when it comes to cold.

As I’ve said before, I am not lazy when it comes to the number of hours I’m willing to put in on the computer, correspondence, blog writing, pattern writing, publicity, you name it. I work more hours at my business than most people are willing to work. But physical discomfort? I’m not good at that at all. I definitely needed any distraction I could find…

…which was of course the music! The music was worth it all. I took 140 photos, not all turned out but I’ll be spending some time tomorrow editing those so you can see. And I promise to keep the bellyaching about the weather to a minimum in my next post, when I show you the photos.

(Photo here? Wheatland 2003, wearing my made-for-Wheatland, reallyreallyreally warm sweater. For the knitters out there, it’s knit with two strands of Lamb’s Pride Worsted, held together as one and knit at 2.85st/inch. In addition, here I’m wearing five other things I also handknit for myself. It was pretty cold that year but not windy.)