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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: TORn Moots & Other Events:
...by paths that are seldom trodden: Middle Earth Festival!

labingi_maura
Rivendell


May 21 2008, 4:21pm

Post #1 of 11 (655 views)
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...by paths that are seldom trodden: Middle Earth Festival! Can't Post

Here I am a middle-aged, comfort-loving hobbit type of individual, and I'm going on my very first costume camp-out experience at the end of this month!
I am filled with both excitement and dread. The group that invited us has been having an annual Middle Earth themed camp-out event for years, so, at least there will be experienced campers around us. The location: a high mountain meadow surrounded by trees, and bordered on one side by a small river. I am terrified of wild critters, particularly snakes, and not relishing the idea of sleeping in a tent, but at the same time it just sounds delightful to re-enact a Middle-earth expedition for a couple of days in this lovely location. At least the campground has fresh, clean drinking water and bathrooms on-site, cooking pits and a few picnic tables, but everything else must be brought in. My friend Kristi decided that our campsite will be "Orthanc", so, having no Wormtongue or Orc costume I suppose I will have to be an unfortunate captive hobbit for the weekend. Kristi and I are having fun looking for Orthanc-esque dinnerware, decorations and evil-but-delicious food to serve visitors to our encampment. I hope to have pics to share afterwards, if we don't get dragged off by bears or eaten alive by midges.
-ML
aka
-Debbie/primmy

"I am in fact a hobbit in all but size." - J.R.R.Tolkien


Zmulady
Rohan

May 21 2008, 7:56pm

Post #2 of 11 (385 views)
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sounds like a blast to me [In reply to] Can't Post

make sure to post your pictures. Have fun!!


Peredhil lover
Valinor

May 22 2008, 5:19am

Post #3 of 11 (371 views)
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Sounds great! [In reply to] Can't Post

Are the midges that bad there? I can't believe any Tolkien fan would make this sort of camp in the middle of the Midgewater Marshes without the necessity to escape the Nazgul Wink

Have lots of fun and enjoy the camp! I look forward to your report and pictures!

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


labingi_maura
Rivendell


May 23 2008, 3:55pm

Post #4 of 11 (476 views)
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Hopefully not eaten alive... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, both of you, for the well-wishes!
Well, we'll probably get mosquitos instead of midges! They're everywhere you want to be, and this campground is near water (a lake and a small river) so I'm prepared with mosquito-repellent.
I'll just count myself lucky if we don't encounter any rattle-snakes.
Definitely will post pics afterwards!
Turns out the Ringwraiths (who have a little Rugwraith) are serving a spaghetti dinner to us newcomers at their encampment on Friday night, so I need to look for some evil red wine to bring with.
I think we'll have a great time once we're all settled in; I just keep telling myself, "its a mission/quest/thing."

-ML

"I am in fact a hobbit in all but size." - J.R.R.Tolkien


Patty
Immortal


Jun 2 2008, 4:48am

Post #5 of 11 (304 views)
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Are ya back yet? [In reply to] Can't Post

This really sounded like fun. It reminds me of that party (an evening at Rivendell) that some costuming group did in the San Francisco Bay area a few years ago, that I wished I could have gone to. I'm with you about the fear of critters, and the allergies play up when I'm outdoors for long, but man, I'm sure you had fun. Can't wait to see the pics.

Hanging out with the Lonely Isle elves.


labingi_maura
Rivendell


Jun 4 2008, 8:00pm

Post #6 of 11 (269 views)
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Fun at the Middle Earth Festival [In reply to] Can't Post

The scenery was gorgeous, the weather was nearly perfect and the MEF
folks were just lovely. We met lots of new people and so many were kind and friendly to us newcomers. (I met my "cousin Lotho", and Lanthir, another fine hobbit gentleman and his wife Deanna who created "Shelob's Lair" and a "Bowling for Hobbits" game at their encampment!)

MEF and TF member Jim's themed encampment, "The Prancing Pony" was a very popular and scenic spot to hang out in, especially since they served tasty home brews to those lounging about in the shady nook.

Our encampment "Orthanc" was rather spectacular (if I do say so myself) and mostly due to Kristi's hard work finding, buying or borrowing the elements to put it together and giving it that Saruman-esque look, we won for "Best Decorated Encampment"! Roh and Bruce totally rocked with helping set up and decorate the double pavillion as well, and new member Carissa brought great-looking Orc helms she made herself to set out in front! Among other fine pieces of decor, Kristi made a lovely black velvet banner with the White Hand displayed prominently. She also spent hours making a glowing Palantir which turned out great, and she perched a Gandalf the Grey doll above the entrance. Thanks to all the TF members who let us borrow items to set up our encampment, especially Dr. Carol and Marcie. "Orthanc" looked especially cool at night when the various light-up features showed to best advantage!

The food was wonderful! Several of the meals were prepared for us on-site by cooks like MEF's Dave and Rosemary, who spent hours and hours at the cooking tables to feed us all. Some of the meals were pot-luck and all were delicious! I got invited to be one of the judges in Saturday's mushroom-recipe contest. This was a difficult task that involved much tasting and re-tasting of the entries. It was a hard decision, but I liked #4 the best
and indeed it won!

In my opinion our Rohtireth and her husband Bruce were the hit of the event, and earned much manna and kudos for themselves and for TF! Go Rohirrim! Roh won the official ladies devision knife-throwing competition, and I think a prize for a game called huskerdoo, and best costume for her amazing Ranger of Ithilien ensemble!

Carissa and her service dog Rocky were big hits also; Carissa wore several
lovely costumes she designed and good-natured Rocky was costumed too: he was a minion of Orthanc (he served the White Paw), a Blue Dragon, and a Hobbit. I hope lots of pics are posted of Rocky. I consider Rocky my hero; he kept the ground squirrels and therefore the rattlesnakes away from our area, thank goodness! Several of the deadly things were spotted throughout the weekend; I saw two of them myself... they were huge!
brrrrr!!

(Note: we were told that if we saw a rattlesnake to simply alert the camp and not try to either kill it or scare it away. Fortunately no people or pets were bitten, and the rattlers were left to sun themselves in peace.)

All that said, I believe I would like to do this again next year but I now realize I will be a much happier hobbit if I "camp" in a Winnebago on-site or in a nearby hotel room! I decided I really do need an actual bed to sleep in, hot water to shower in, a bathroom with a sink and mirror, and heat, and no snakes.

Its good for me to try new things and step "out of the box" once in a while, and I'm glad I went; the camaraderie was truly a Fellowship-like experience.

-ML
aka
-Debbie/primmy

"I am in fact a hobbit in all but size." - J.R.R.Tolkien


Patty
Immortal


Jun 5 2008, 2:57am

Post #7 of 11 (250 views)
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"I hate snakes, doc!" [In reply to] Can't Post

yeah, I think the Winnebago sounds like the way to go.

And yet it all went well--great. It sounds like it was fun indeed. Any pictures?

Hanging out with the Lonely Isle elves.


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 5 2008, 5:31am

Post #8 of 11 (352 views)
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Great! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the report! I am glad you had so much fun and enjoyed yourself, even if you seem to have missed a real bed - but I think you will enjoy your own the more after this experience Wink It is always great to hang out with fellow enthusiasts, isn't it?
Glad the snakes weren't any problem!

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea


Jun 7 2008, 4:58am

Post #9 of 11 (224 views)
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Sounds like you had a blast! [In reply to] Can't Post

Very cool. You know you have to post pictures now, don't you? Sly

We're discussing the BBC Lotrd of the Rings Radio Play on the Movie Discussion - LOTR board.

With caffeine, all things are possible.

The pity of Bilbo will screw up the fate of many.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Rosie-with-the-ribbons
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 7 2008, 4:01pm

Post #10 of 11 (322 views)
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Sounds like a lot of fun [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm envious of you, would have liked to join. Where was the camp?

I would be terrified, just with the thought of rattle-snakes nearby. Luckily they kept their distance.

Cherish the memories from it. And who knows maybe you will become a camper after all.


labingi_maura
Rivendell


Jun 8 2008, 6:33pm

Post #11 of 11 (543 views)
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It was certainly memorable, and mostly quite fun! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm envious of you, would have liked to join. Where was the camp?

I would be terrified, just with the thought of rattle-snakes nearby. Luckily they kept their distance.

Cherish the memories from it. And who knows maybe you will become a camper after all.


The area is up near Lake Cachuma, just above Santa Barbara.
(I am not at liberty to divulge the exact campground, however.)

The parts that I liked very much: meeting new Tolkien-fan friends, the outdoor ambiance, sitting in the shade sipping home brew with fellow Hobbits, Wizards, Rangers and Elves and Ringwraiths, the comraderie at the shared meals, the games, the themed encampments, etc.... I would like to experience again next year. The parts I did not like: the very real physical discomforts of sleeping outdoors and the fear of wildlife will be ameliorated by "camping" in a nice big Winnebago next time. I *do* need "a proper night's sleep in a real bed" to be a happy hobbit!
Right now, the only pics available for viewing are at the "Tolkien_Forever" Yahoo Group site, which is a public Group you are welcome to join.
Here's the link to TF:
http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/Tolkien_Forever/
I've asked the photographer, Traelyn, if she also might have the pics in a public account at someplace like PhotoBucket or SnapFish so that I can share the link with other people (without them having to join TF) but I've not heard back yet. Another folder of pics has been posted at the private MEF Group site. I've asked if I can copy pics from Traelyn and the MEF photographer to post and share, myself (and credit the photographers) so it will be simpler to share the images.
That's the best I can do for now, I'm afraid! But hopefully I'll hear back soon and will be able to post a link directly to some pics from here before too long. (That's what I get for not bringing my own camera!)
-ML
aka
-Debbie/primmy

"I am in fact a hobbit in all but size." - J.R.R.Tolkien

 
 

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