My friends from Eugene, C and J, arrive early as I told them to, because they did not have advanced tickets. I give them a little run-down on how the event works as they find that the planned information is a little too little (which is not necessarily a bad thing). After setting up their camp, they return to become my first guiding clients for the day.
We head up the creek as I had done yesterday, and we bust the brush, as I had done yesterday, but instead of a cross slope hike, we turn uphill. It is a deeply cut deer trail, almost as incised into the hillside as if it had been done with a shovel, that turns us onto ground that I am not familiar with. We find a nice nurse log that is near 6 feet in diameter at the base. It is a place for a mossy rest.
Higher up we hit more dense brush, a bit of a crawl with a bit of swearing on my part, but one complaint on theirs'. Finally we come out on the diagonal road near the great twin stump.
We take in the squatter's cabin while we are in the area, and then drop down the diagonal road to the river. I point them upriver toward some art installations and then I head back to my desk to wait for more clients.
I find myself sitting alone at my desk for some time. People are more leisurely about arriving at Smoke Farm than I am. My specimen wall has few visitors, so far. I would like to see the other art, but I feel that I have to be here for anyone that wants to go into the forest. Very very few people that come to Smoke Farm for any reason ever go off the beaten track, and I am aware that I am a rare opportunity to see something that almost no one else will see.
|Notes from Smoke Farm - 68 specimens and 4 photographs|
I have also been incorporated into Tess Hull's Questing box project. She has seven chapters of a story hidden in boxes that people must find. Each box tells you how to find the next. Chapter three sits on one of my specimen boxes. It tells you to find me in and that I will take you to chapter four in exchange for a story about being lost. I have hidden the box up the creek on the prettiest of nurse stumps, but no one will ever find it without me.
It isn't until about 5 in the afternoon that someone comes to me to find the box. I take M on the walk. He is having a great time. It is a good two hours after sunset when the next person finds me. They worry that it is too late to bother me, but it is not. I ask and they both have flashlights, so I we head out into the forest and up the creek in the dark. I stop in the creek bed and make them tell me their "lost" story. Then I point to the box. Like M, they are having a great time. This is Lo-Fi...you have to take part, you have to play one of the games to really appreciate the festival.