Topic: Traveling Minstrel

Jen and I just returned from a 10-day camping trip with our new travel trailer.  I've probably spent over a thousand nights tent camping on remote ridges and river banks over the years but I've only stayed in a campground about  a dozen times  so it took a little getting used to the daily routine and nearness to other campers.  We spent a couple days in a Tennessee state park, a week at Fort Pickens National Park campground at Pensacola beach and a couple more nights at a state park in northeast Alabama before returning home.

I took along a guitar and played around a fire most evenings.  I was joined by a picker one night at Fort Pickens and we played for a couple hours but he was the only other guitar player I ran into during the trip.  One evening I was playing alone at my fire when a golf cart pulled up near our site and stopped.  I finished playing a song and looked up to see a park ranger sitting in  the cart.  I thought maybe it was past "quiet" time and she stopped to tell me to quit playing.  Instead she complimented me and with a big smile said "THAT'S what camping is all about"  before driving off.  It made my day.


I want to read my own water, choose my own path, write my own songs

Re: Traveling Minstrel

Glad to hear the two of you are making good use of the new "camper"!  It's a funny thing, all the camping we used to do when I was a kid and the only time I can remember a guitar around was when my Dad was strumming.  We were always in a tent - usually in a State campground.  The more into playing I get, the more surprised I am.  So many people "play guitar" but so many are afraid to do so in front of others.  I don't get it, but then, I was raised with the guitar around the fire! wink 

I'm glad the ranger stopped, and made your day. That is what it's about!

Art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.
What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.

Re: Traveling Minstrel

I had a similar experience last summer.

I went to meet Zurf and topdown at a campground along the Potomac River in Md. I had to go to the campground office to find out where they were parked because t hey were off sampling some adult beverages when I got there. I set up my tent which only took about 10 minutes. Figured I might as well get the guitar out and play a bit while I waited. A couple walked by while I was strumming Melissa and complimented on how nice it sounded. About an hour later a camp employee rode up on a golf cart and I thought; Oh no, I'm not really registered here. Wonder if I'm in trouble? She walked over and asked if she could take my picture.

I occasionally wonder what she did with it. Am I in one of there brochures now?

[b]Today Is Only Yesterdays Tomorrow[/b]

Re: Traveling Minstrel

You might be Uncle Joe.  I'll take a look. 

I had a nice experience at one campground in Southern Virginia.  This young gal who had been riding her bike around all week, and had played some games of tag and hide & seek with my youngest came around to see if she were available to play some more.  Well about then I was picking by the fire.  She said, "My Daddy and brother play too," so I told her to let them know they were welcome at our campfire, but they'd have to bring their own chairs.  About ten minutes later, there's Momma, Daddy, and brother Tate.  Tate was on the spectrum, blind, and carrying a mandolin.  Daddy was carrying a beat up old guitar. 

Well we played and played, and we had a wonderful time.  Tate tore it up on the guitar.  He tore it up on the mandolin.  He could sing.  He'd do fills on any song I strummed, whether or not he had ever heard it before.  That was one talented kid.  I left them with Alvin's "Remember the Nail," which they thought was beautiful, and the next day as they were packing up, I heard Tate singing "Don't remember the picture. Remember the nail," busting out of their camper.  Heard it one time, but his Momma liked it so he remembered it. 

Other times a fellow said he had his fiddle but wasn't sure he could play in front of others.  I told him to get his fiddle and play with his back to us.  Down in Arkansas, there was a good picker who practiced scales and licks all day long, but wouldn't come to the campfire.

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude