We left Skeggi’s house around noon, after fussing with the car and trailer to get it ready. We drove all over town looking for a new cooler. Our old one wasn’t in good shape so we’d thrown it away. We found one finally at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Now that we had a cooler, we stocked up on food.
Then we headed north on Highway 240, around 2:15 pm.
This bank sigh in Wenatchee said it’s 100 degrees out!
At 4:10, we stopped on I-90 at George for gas. Later, we stopped again in Wenachtee at Safeway.
Wild Horses Memorial
Up Route 97
We camped in Oroville, right on the Canadian Border. We found a nice little RV park, called River Oaks RV park. Partly, it was a mobile home park, but they had a number of spots for RV and also a large grassy place for tents. They only charged $10 for tents. The place had internet but it was kinda spotty. Nice park though, right on the river. The river was running very high.
River Oaks RV Park
River Oaks RV Park
We got out around 11:10 am and crossed the border about 20 minutes later, without much hassle.
We took Highway 97 north towards Kelowna, along the lake. It was a pleasant area. And a bit touristy. There were lots of small towns along the way and a number of campgrounds and hotels.
Also there were a lot of vineyards and orchards which gave the place a theme. If we’d had more money and time, it would have been a good place to do wine-tasting.
Near Summerland is a large lake. There is quite a resort area and is very mountainous.
Mooses at Peachland
We stopped and ate lunch on the shore of Lake Okanagan near Peachland. A few people were swimming but we didn’t attempt it. I did test the water though. It was quite cool but not icy. Not bad for May. We continued along 97 past Kelowna and through beautiful countryside to Kamloops.
We continued on to Kamloops, British Columbia. By chance, Khevron had found an SCA event happening right about the time we’d be coming through–a Heraldry Symposium. He’d put out some feelers and we found some local SCA people who were willing to host us for a few nights: Boni and Jason (Rose and James in the SCA).
Crashed Laptop Video
Unfortunately, Khevron’s laptop bit the dust in Kamloops! The video card has gone bad. It may live again, but it’ll be a few weeks.
Boni and Jason were great. Jason bbq’d some hamburgers for us on Friday night when we arrived. Then we walked downtown and they gave us the tour of Kamloops. We stopped at bought some beer.
NEXT: THE TIR RIGH HERALDIC SYMPOSIUM
Back at the house, Boni showed us some of their karaoke recordings. She will be DJ’ing once a week, soon, on an karoake internet radio station: www.kmz-radio.com. Her father also sings quite well and does karaoke down in Vancover.
Another friend, Travis, came over that night. He also sings karaoke. We heard one of his songs. He’s quite good.
Travis and Jason also both have a love of RC (radio-controlled) cars, and they played with those.
We said goodbye to Becky on a very windy morning, just after 10 am. We stopped at an autoparts store on the way out to buy a little sunscreen for the window.
Western Montana View
We took Highway 200 West through Lewis and Clark National Forest. For lunch, we made sandwiches at a rest stop.
Alberton Used Bookstore
As usual, we can’t pass up a used bookstore. We stopped at “100,000 Used Books” in Alberton, a store someone had recommended to us, and bought 3 books. The place was packed with books and had a basement also, so there was a big selection. But it was a bit of a jumble. Not as many science fiction and fantasy as I’d like.
at a St. Regis Antique Store
In St. Regis, we stopped at two antique stores…to make up for missing them on our first time through. We also bought an ice cream cone.
Happily, we gained an hour as we crossed into the Pacific time zone. I’d always rather gain an hour than lose one. We gassed up in Coeur D’Alene and searched for postcards for our friend’s elementary school post card challenge.
We read the first four chapters from my novel “Magic Spawn,” a novel I did for Nanowrimo several years ago. It’s one I want to publish this year, though there’s still a chapter missing towards the end. It’s an urban fantasy horror novel about a necromancer from another world who comes through to the modern world to terrorize a small Nebraskan town on Halloween night. His object is a ten year old boy named Kyran, living with a human family. None of them suspect that Kyran is not of this world.
Five Guys Spokane
Sunset through window screen
Finally, we arrived at Skeggi’s house in Pasco. And at last, we were reunited with our trailer, making our rig complete again.
We spent the day resting, working on the internet and reorganizing all that extra stuff we’d left in Pasco back into the car.
Don’t forget what Spring Brings!
In the evening, Skeggi and Tassia took us to Magill’s Place–a nice local restaurant with a great beer selection. I had cod fish and chips and tried their “Iron Horse Irish Death ” beer. Not bad. It was dark, like a Guinness. Khevron had a patty melt with sweet tots. Khevron said the patty was a little dry but the mushrooms made up for it. Overall, we liked the place.
After visiting the Scandinavian Heritage Center in Minot, we continued our journey to Montana.
We drove for a few hours then stopped in Williston at Subway’s for lunch. The whole area was flat and dry. Everywhere, oil drills spun, endlessly pumping oil from the ground.
While driving, we read the second book in the “Doodle” series by Sue Kroupa called “Out Sniffed.” The series centers around a labradoodle, named Doodle, who is trained to find bed-bugs. The story is narrated from the dog’s point of view, and reminds us very much of Sue’s own labradoodle. They are mystery stories which Doodle helps solve. Doodle is very endearing with his dry wit and commentary on human behaviors. We every much enjoyed the book.
We gassed up in Glasgow and decided to drive all the way to Great Falls in one night, as there were very few places to stay. But we miscalculated how far it was and didn’t arrive until 11:00 PM. Fortunately for us, Becky is a bit of a night owl. She met us at Denny’s and took us to her place.
She’d just moved to a new apartment the tonight before. So, there were boxes everywhere. But she had a mattress for us in the living room. She has a cat named Gizmo.
Becky’s a good friend from Fairbanks that Khevron met nearly 20 years ago when he moved to Alaska. She is also in the SCA, and all about arts and crafts. She. Moved to Montana about a year ago.
She has a son, Forrest, who lives in town with his girlfriend and her son.
Artsy Buffalo of Great Falls
We went out and did some errands and shopping. Later, in the afternoon, we went with Becky to see Iron Man 3. I missed Iron Man 2, but the plot still made sense. It’s one of the movies in the Avenger series. The movie was pretty fun; I’ve generally enjoyed the Avenger series, though I wasn’t sure if I’d seen “The Hulk.” Also, a new Thor movie is coming out soon.
For dinner, we stopped at Cafe Rio for Cinquo de Mayo! It was inexpensive and quite good. We shared a nacho plate and three tacos.
Afterwards we went over to her son’s place to meet his family and use the Internet. We watched the first “Thor” movie on DVD, which I enjoyed.
We spent an extra day in Great Falls. I spent 4 or 5 hours at home alone, working on some writing projects. Meanwhile, Becky and Khevron went out to do some shopping and to help Forrest move a table.
Chili’s in Great Falls
Becky & Khevron and artsy Buffalo
That night, we went with Becky out to eat at Chili’s. That’s one of our favorite restaurants. Could be our last for a while since the Alaska Chili’s were all closed a year or so ago.
Then we went back to her place and watched “The Hulk.” As it turns out, I had seen it, but just didn’t remember it. I did remember seeing a different Hulk movie years before in which there were a lot of split screens. Now I’m caught up on Avenger movies.
From Winnipeg we headed West on the Trans-Canada, then dropped down and just caught the corner of Saskatchewan before going through the Check-point into North Dakota again.
Stretcher Service! Mobile Chiropractor?
Polar Bear at Tim’s
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are… FLAT! Lots of Farm Equipment on the roads! Had lunch at Tim Horton’s.
Anyone see the contradiction?
We stopped in Redvers to get sodas and search for postcards.
We crossed the border into the U.S. north of Mohill, North Dakota, at a very remote crossing. The border guard there seemed rather suspicious of us for crossing right there–because it’s *so* out of the way. We explained our trip and that we really wanted to get into Saskatchewan. He lightened up after awhile. Notice the only way through for cars is into the inspection garage.
We drove down to Minot, North Dakota, a long sprawling town–one of the biggest in the area. It’s a big “oil” town. Right now there is a big oil boom in Northwestern North Dakota and the surrounding area. We even saw billboards advertising oil drilling equipment for lease.
Sad Colonel Sanders
After driving all over town, realizing a time limit, we finally decided to eat at KFC / A & W. Bad choice. The tables were dirty, they were out of A & W rootbeer, the chicken sandwich was so dry and overdone that Khevron took it back. They did replace it with a slightly better one. Also, there was a guy sleeping sprawled out in a booth in the corner. It was the worst KFC I’d ever been to, and I like KFC.
We and Lisa
From there we drove over to meet our host, Lisa. She lived in a beautiful old house down near the river. A little too close, because a few years ago, it had flooded the house. She was renting and had a roommate who worked as a plumber in construction, a business that seemed to be booming in Minot.
Lisa was in the process of writing a book and she had a website blog about writing memoirs. It’s called “Modern Memoir”. The website gives this description: “A resource for writers interested in the art of memoir, current trends in publishing, pitching to agents, and connecting with others with information to share.”
Squirrel after the Nuts
The other fascinating thing about the house was ….the squirrels. The old lady that rented the house to Lisa made her promise to keep feeding the squirrels on the property, as the old lady had done.
Squirrel in the Window!
So she puts a handful, of nuts on the open kitchen window and the squirrel come and grab them and hurry away. It was great fun to watch. We spent awhile feeding them nuts. They liked the Hazelnuts best.
SCANDINAVIAN HERITAGE CENTER
The following day, after chatting and feeding the squirrels, we said goodbye and left. We headed over to the Scandinavian Heritage Center in Minot, before we headed out of town. The park is run by the Scandinavian Heritage Association, which was founded in 1989, honor the heritage of those who immigrated from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.
Several old buildings had been reconstructed in the park. The first was a replica Stave Church, from Gol, Norway. The architecture made it seem as though the top of the church were a boat.
Church replica at the Plaza Scandanavia
At the Plaza Scandanavia
Another impressive item was a 25 foot tall Swedish Dala Horse.
The Motel we stayed in – had some cats in the office – but this one was unique in the world:
Chimera Tortoise Cat
Left the hotel at 11:00 am. We stopped at a Subway and split a footlong for brunch.
Voyageurs Visitor Center
Afterwards, we drove 10 miles out to the Voyageurs National Park visitor center. This is a bizarre park because most of it is on an island and inaccessible by car. There are 30 lakes. This park was created in 1975 and is one of the “newer” National Parks.
The park has boat tours over to the island. Also, in the winter it is accessible by snow-mobile and snowshoe, because the inlets ice over. The park marks “ice roads” for people to use.
The park was named “Voyageurs” after the French Canadian canoemen of the same name during the late 1700′s and early 1800′s. They would paddle canoes up to 16 hours a day, carrying supplies out to far-flung fur trappers. They would bring back valuable beaver pelts and other furs to Montreal.
Real Live Deer
Many boaters travel on the lakes: Kabetogama Lake, Namakan Lake and Rainy Lake. There are many individual campsites for boaters and also for those with houseboats.
The park includes a 56 miles stretch of the Voyageur’s highway.
Woody’s Fairly Reliable Guide Service
We took Highway 11 towards North Dakota–wanting to get into the corner of it in case we didn’t get back to it. At 1:40 pm, we stopped at Nelson’s Store in Birchdale for a soda. A very small, country-style store.
Going through Karlstad we found where they make Mattracks. Not to advertise, but they looked cool:
At 3:15 pm in Warroad, we stopped for gas.
49th State Achieved!
In North Dakota at last–our 49th state on this trip–we went north on Highway 29. Khevron is 49, the latitude is 49… seems a trend! We crossed into Canada near Pambina around 6:45 pm after about a half and hour wait in line.
We passed St. Jean Baptiste, which claimed to be the pea soup capitol of the world. We didn’t actually stop to check out their claim.
Wind Farm in Manitoba
Welcome to Winnipeg!
In Winnipeg, we stopped at Boston’s Pizza for dinner and split a chicken salad. Boston’s is one of the few chain restaurants we have in Fairbanks, Alaska.
We were fortunate to find a couchsurf in Winnipeg for two nights, with a guy we’ll call Evan. He’s a cop, so he and Khevron had a lot to talk about.
Our host beat us at Settler’s of Catan!
We got out our Settlers of Catan game and taught Evan to play. He trounced us soundly and won the game.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church
We had a day in Winnipeg to see the sights, so we decided to drive out to Lake Winnipeg to see the Nordic city of Gimli. Spring hadn’t quite hit there yet and the day was gray and the scenery sparse.
Mooses at Lake Winnipeg
Khevron by Lake Winnipeg
Lareena by Lake Winnipeg
The lake was mostly frozen but was beginning to thaw. There was a lot of runoff from snow and ice that filled the ditches and threatened to flood. Also, it turned the city park in Gimli into a bog.
Where Crown Royal is made.
Lk Winnipeg totem
We saw a factory that we believed to be the Crown Royal factory–but could find no conclusive proof of it–like a sign. But we saw stacks of barrels. We gave up on getting a tour and drove back to Winnipeg.
Old Fashioned Safeway
The Canada Museum for Human Rights
We stopped at “The Forks,” a section of downtown which had a number of quaint collections of shops, very much like a farmer’s market. We stopped for two hours. We bought a samosa bun and a coke as well as some books.
At the Forks
We had made couch-surfing requests for Minot, North Dakota and Regina, Saskatchewan and had no responses, just a maybe from Regina. Then at the last minute (late that night, we got a yes from a host in Minot–the *one* host in Minot. So we accepted it.
We’re in Pasco in Southeast Washington now, poised to go North again. We may stop in Haines and ferry to Sitka to visit Lareena’s Dad and Step-Mom and family, and friends in Juneau. Then it’s back via Tok to Fairbanks, AK!
Since we’re about to head North through B.C. and Yukon back to Alaska, here are our maps so far. Gray dashed is ‘the plan’. I change the color for each day’s drive in the past.
Once in Canada, internet access may be limited, as will Cell Phone use. We’ll surface and check in as often as possible.
Canada Travel Map
USA Travel Map
See you in Alaska! Come Visit!
Once there, we’ll finish the accounting of the trip, work on some videos to post, and look for gainful employment!
Got out at 10:10 am and went to a nearby laundromat to wash clothes. Then we drove to downtown Duluth, near the Waterfront and found a free parking space (the meter was broken).
We walked around and saw the Waterfront. They had built a park in the center of town over the freeway. The freeway went through a tunnel. On the other side of the freeway, steps led down to a boardwalk that ran along the Lake Superior for bikers and joggers.
Lareena by Lake Superior
Khevron by Lake Superior
Fitgers Brewhouse stack
After seeing the sights, we drove back to the laundromat and put the clothes in the dryer. Then we drove back downtown and went to Fitsger’s–a little shopping mall.
Fitgers Shopping Center
We ended going to the Fitger’s Brewhouse for lunch, because I wanted to try one of their beers.
Lareena and the Mooses at Fitger’s
The brewhouse keeps its own herd of cows and feeds them on spent grain from the brewery.
Happy Wisconsin Cows!
Fitger’s Day Care
First, I tried the “Red Rooster” but it was quite bitter. I gave Khevron a taste and he made faces for a whole minute, and kept repeating “Euww” and “Yick”. Instead, I chose to order the Apricot Ale. We split a burger and fries.
Viking Drakkar Bike Rack?
Lake Superior Sky
Then we returned to the laundromat and got our clothes. We got on the road, heading north on Highway 53 most of the way to International Falls.
Mooses at Voyageurs
We drove through Sturgeon River State Park and past Pelican Lake and Kabetogama State Forest up to Voyageurs National Park. We drove to the Lake Kabetogama Visitor Center which we knew was closed. But we were hoping to get a glimpse of the park. The water was mostly frozen and looked bleak this time of year.
We continued to International Falls and got a room at the Northern Lights Motel, which was a little different. It had a small bedroom w/a queen bed and a living room with another queen bed and a fridge and TV.
Chocolate Moose Restaurant
We wandered around town and finally decided to eat at the Chocolate Moose–a cute moose-themed place. We had to bring the moose’s in for this one.
When we were leaving, we mentioned our travel blog. Mooseadventures.net, to the young man who was cashiering. He said that his mother (a collector of all things “moose”) had heard of us. That’s a surprise. Not sure if we’re the same blog she has read, but if so…”hi!”
We got out of the motel around 10:50 am and met “CC” (Cynthia Cooper) at Perkins for brunch. She lives in Milwaukee and saw on Facebook that we were in Marshfield so she drove 3 hours to go to brunch with us. She knew Khevron a decade ago or so in Fairbanks where she went to UAF. We had a good visit.
Got a car wash before leaving Marshfield–our little car needed it! Got on the road by 2:15 pm. We drove all the way to Minneapolis, Minnesota and stayed at the Days Inn.
We went across the street and had dinner at Jake’s. We had a big plate of nachos.
I had just finished the last page of my blue travel diary (a hand-written journal previous to this one). Unbeknownst to me, I left this journal in the hotel in Minneapolis. I can now see in my mind the spot where I left it. Two days later, I searched and couldn’t find it. This sent me into a fit of despair, as I’d spent weeks or months writing it by hand.
Fortunately, we called the hotel the next day and they confirmed that they had it in the lost and found. They agreed to mail it to me. So, I was relieved.
We left the hotel at 11:00 am and went to the first attraction on our list: S.R. Harris Fabric Outlet (at 8865 Zealand Ave N). All their fabric is 50% off. You cut anything under 5 yards yourself, on the honor system. They had 2 aisles of wool, which we can never find in Alaska (or almost anywhere else!).
S.R. Harris Fabric Outlet
S.R. Harris Fabric Outlet
S.R. Harris Fabric Outlet
You see, Joann’s opened up in Fairbanks years ago and all the other fabric shops went out of business. And they don’t usually carry wool. So we have a hard time shopping for it.
But S.R. Harris has a whole aisle for wool. Khevron was looking for something in his favorite green color, but couldn’t find it. We ended up getting me 4 yards of beautiful purple wool.
Mall of America
After that, we headed for the Mall of America, which, as it turns out–is just one big mall.
Mooses at the Mall of America
Mall of America
The center has an amusement park. And if we had more time and more money, we might have done it. But it looked like a little more fun for kids.
We walked around and around. We took pictures of things we might want to buy–later–since we must save money right now.
The Last Airbender
Lareena holding up Ang
We shared a meal at Villa, a calzone and spaghetti.
The Mississippi near Stillwater
Khevron at the Mississippi River
Finally, we left and drove up along the river, which had some cute towns and shops along it. We didn’t take time to stop but it looked like an interesting area.
Mooses at Moose Lake
We drove all the way to Duluth and got a room in Superior, Wisconsin–the Bay Motel.
Woven Flag at Julies
The Bay Motel
Then we went to Julie’s Diner, on a recommendation from the motel manager. We got there at nine, which we didn’t realize was closing time. But we didn’t realize that until an hour later, because the waitress never told us or rushed us.
From Sioux Falls we headed across Southern Minnesota past wind farms and into Wisonsin.
Rt 10 Dover
Into the Mississippi Valley
So we had to stop for a photo at Onalaska. This is the history from Wiki:
The name for the city comes from the poem, “The Pleasures of Hope”, by the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell. The original spelling of the name in Campbell’s poem was “Oonalaska” (an Aleutian island and fishing village).
Other places named Onalaska are in Arkansas (now defunct), Texas and Washington; they are historically linked to one another through the lumber industry. In Alaska, the modern day city of Unalaska and Unalaska Island are linked to the Onalaskas through Thomas Campbell’s poem. Unalaska is the original Oonalaska or Onalaska or “Ounalashka” (Russian spelling) immortalized by Campbell.
On the way to Marshfield for Bardic Madness, we reached our Easternmost point on this extended part of the trip.
Typical Wisconsin Farm
MARSHFIELD AND BARDIC MADNESS
Sue and Ann
Random Bar in Marshfield, Wisconsin
We arrived at the site around 10:45 am–an old church in the center of Marshfield, Wisconsin–now a Center for the Arts.
Troll – Gate
This SCA event was sponsored by the Kingdom of Northshield, which covers Wisconsin, the UP (Upper Peninsula Michigan), Minnesota and North and South Dakota.
These people are hardcore bards. From the time we got there, til we left at 11:30 pm there was hardly a time when someone wasn’t signing, telling a story or reciting a poem. They did this in performances they called “Fyts” (pronounced “fits”).
Go to Shavasue’s Youtube page for videos from Bardic Madness and other bardic events:
Each Fyt has various themed topics, maybe 5 or 6. Each of those had from 5 to 12 performances. Almost everyone participated and some seemed determined to enter every category. They had a break for lunch, and two breaks later for classes.
This is the list of Challenges posted on the web-page – I don’t know if the page will remain long, so I’m reposting it here:
Challenges for Bardic Madness XXIII
Special Bonus Challenge: Beyond the Reach of Your Voice – A Broadsheet Challenge Sending the bardic arts out in all directions was not always an oral endeavor. For this challenge, print up your entry to ANY of the challenges below as a medieval-style broadsheet. Take a look at period examples for inspiration about layout, font, illustration, and more. All the entries will be collected in the morning and displayed together. You are also encouraged, but not required, to bring enough copies to share with the audience when you present the piece over the course of the day.
Patron: Dame Merouda
Morgan, The King of Northshield
The Road Stretches Out – an Ensemble Tale
With events across the Knowne World every weekend, it is no wonder we spend much of our weekends on the road. Tell a tale of travel, either in the context of the SCA or through the medieval world. From among the participants, lined up together, the patron will “conduct” the story by pointing to the person whose turn it is to continue the tale at various times! You might get pointed at multiple times, so be ready!
Read the Directions
Directions can not only tell us which way we are oriented, but they can give information and instruct us how we should proceed in an endeavor. Present a piece that gives us instructions on how to make or perform something. Bonus if you demonstrate as the piece is presented or provide a show-and-tell of the thing the instructional piece directs you to complete.
Patron: Elashava bas Riva
Play a song on an instrument, either by itself or as accompaniment to yourself or someone else, where the instrumental music is a critical component of the piece. Alternatively, sing a song where the singer(s) voice(s) emulate a musical instrument.
Patron: Ingus Moen
West to the Wild Lands
For much of the SCA period, the regions west of Europe were uncharted ocean and maps simply displayed the warning that “here be dragons.” Present a piece about the New World, some other exotic-far-off locale, or of adventure in new lands.
Patron: Kudrun the Pilgrim
Sail Off to War
We go East to Pennsic, South to Gulf Wars, West to Estrella… present a piece of a warlike nature – either of the war itself, fighting in general, or of the people met at war.
Patron: Briliana If You Would Please Direct Your Attention…
A good field boast is a work of art and the line between herald and bard is a thin one! Create an intro-boast for someone coming unto the field (as for an entrant in Crown Tourney).
Originator: Baroness Bridget
Patron: Baroness Bridget
Sometimes directions that are given are more interested in behavior than a specific journey or product. Morality plays are a prime example, but even popular ballads and stories often had a moral to the story that reinforced ideals of “good behavior.” Perform a piece that provides advice about how one should behave or that illustrates the consequences of actions, either positive or negative.
Patron: Master Maol Mhichil mac Giolla Pheadair (aka Mikey)
Finding Our Way into the Past – Authenticity’s Delight
From saints to explorers, tales of travel and discovery (both internal and external) are major themes in period literature. Present a piece – either from a medieval source or in an authentic style – about travel undertaken, whether that be a pilgrimage or a journey of self-discovery.
Originator: Ysolt Pais du Cuer
Patron: Master Aleksandr Vasilevych Lev
Poetry Challenge – Kviðuháttr
Kviðuháttr (pronounced kvith-you-hot) is a Norse verse form. Please see the class page for details or attend the class in person! Teacher/Patron: Katerinka Lvovicha of the Two Kingdoms
Your Place in the World
Wherever you go there you are. Home is where you choose to make it. Many people have started in one place and either by accident or design found themselves somewhere else. Share the story of someone who found their home where they least expected it.
Originator: Owen Alun
Royal Challenges HRM Morgan’s Challenge: Work With Me Here
Bring back the period tradition of including the audience as part of your performance piece. We all know how to sing along, but let’s see what happens when the person “just sitting there” becomes a part of the story.
HRM Lusche’s Callenge: Tell Me Something Good
Word-fame and renown are best spread when another tells the tale. Lusche would like to hear about great and small deeds that add to the game we play. Pick up the story and boast that person into Our hearts. (With a knowing smile, We add, “Or friend Caradoc may have to be limited in his participation.”)
Originators and Patrons: Their Royal Majesties Morgan and Luche
Cartography – Bard, Scribe, Illuminator
New places needed to be explored and maps made to show those discoveries. Create a piece (poem, tale, or song) about travels through a place, real or imagined, and provide a map to illustrate the journey.
Patron: Mistress Eliane Halevy
Maol Mhichil mac Phaedair
Follow Where I Lead – Blow Someone Else’s Horn
In the SCA we build upon the work of others and follow their inspiration to create new works of art. Perform the work of some other SCA person, either as tribute to someone who could not be with us at the event, or to show off the work of a friend who is there. Extra applause for memorizing or for performing something that is not well-known. We’ll have a special chair up front for the author of your piece, if they are in attendance, to be recognized for their work!
Patron: Baroness Deirdre
Up North in Northshield
Whether our wanderings lead us to travel east, west, or south, it is the Northland that is our home. Perform a piece that speaks of coming home to Northshield.
Patron: Countess Elizabeth von Kalmbach
What the heck is a Patron?
The Patron is the official sponsor of the challenge – you sit at the front of the Hall during your challenge, introduce each participant, and usually present each person with a small token. (This can be a pretty period-appropriate bead, a cookie, something related to the challenge, whatever small token of appreciation you would like ot offer.) This is meant to give a designated appreciator and a face to each challenge and is a neat way for less-performance-inclined bardic supporters to participate.
I attended a class on a certain form of Norse poetry called Kviduhattr, taught by Kat. This poetry has eight lines in a stanza. The 1st has three syllables, and the 2nd has 4 syllables. Then they each alternate from 3 to 4. Each line has two beats or accented syllables. Also one beat of the 3 syllable line must alliterate (have the same consonant sound or consonant cluster) as the first beat of the 4 syllable line. So it’s tricky. This doesn’t have to rhyme, though, so that makes it a little easier.
Katerinka Lvovicha of the Two Kingdoms
No one likes a boring skald. Learn kviðuháttr to terrify your friends, and impress your enemies around the mead hall. Please see the details on this form at the bottom of the page or, better yet, come attend the class!”
And then there are “kennings” which are poetic ways to say more ordinary things. Like “poem” can be “beer of Odin”; “battle” can be “Strife of Shields”; “ale” can be “The surf of malt.”
So, I wrote one 8 line stanza of a Norse poem.
Feeling brave, I signed up to participate in the Kviduhattr “Fyt”. I worried unnecessarily for an hour, not realizing that we would not be up until after the next break for a class.
Khevron and I attended a class on medieval map-making. Mostly this discussed map-making historically and hot it progressed from small representational maps to larger more detailed maps once sailing became more important (and after the compass was invented).
“Draw me a Map: Cartography in the Middle Ages
Kudrun the Pilgrim
Every map tells a story in pictures rather than words. This is especially true of period maps, which come in many shapes and sizes, and tell many stories.”
Then we went back to the main room (once a chapel) for the next round of “Fyts”.
Finally, we got to the Kviduhattr “Fyt”. I felt good that really all those performing had written them that day–as they were all in the class. There were 6 or 8 people performing.
Mine was all about a fiery, bloody battle, and went thus:
Flinger of Flame
The performance, my first in the SCA (and my first in a very long time) seemed to be well received. Several people said they liked it. And for it (as we all received something for performing) I got a ring with a Celtic knot pattern.
Foole of Winter’s Gate
Merewyn at Bardic Madness
After that, the performances continued until dinner, for which an elaborate and delicious four course feast had been prepared.
Feast of Fours
In Medieval medicine, balancing the four humors is paramount. The ideal foods for a given locale are those that counteract the effects of the climate. To a limited extent those patterns still exist.
North: Sanguine foods sustain the Vikings in the cold and dry Northern climate
Spelt bread, Pork with sage and onions, Stew of carrots, apples and onions
West: Choleric foods warm the Celts in the cool damp climate of Ireland
Dark bread with well-aged cheese, Roast beef with mustard, Easter cabbage
East: Phlegmatic foods provide cool moist relief for desert dwellers in the Middle East
Cacik (Cucumber and yogurt sauce ) with pita, Isfanakh Mutajjan (spiced spinach), Mishmishiyya (Chicken with apricots and plums)
South: Melancholy foods cool the heat of Italy
Red cherry and rose torte, Quince candy
During dinner, the King and Queen of Northshield, Morgan II and Lusche II, began their court, interspersed between courses and also more performances for the “Fyt”. They gave out several Awards of Arms. Since it was unusual to have Court at Bardic Madness, They chose to wander around the feast-hall calling court on the fly as they went.
Once dinner finished, they cleaned off the tables and put them away, rearranging the room in a bardic-style circle. The King went to a Laurel meeting, which lasted maybe 45 minutes. Before He left though, Khevron gave him an Alaskan Ulu and a Page from his Colouring Boke in memory of the King’s friend Nicholaus Barchatov who had passed away 3 years earlier. He’d given a fine speech during dinner and a toast to absent friends:
Page from the Colouring Boke and an Ulu for the King
Meanwhile, those of us who remained sat in the circle and people spontaneously performed songs or stories (as is the custom at a Bardic Circle). But there was still one “Fyt” which had not had a chance to perform. Finally the King returned and the Fyt got underway.
There were 10 or 11 performers and it was nearly 11:00 pm when they all got done. Then the actual free-style Bardic Circle continued. We left at 11:30 pm but were told that the Bardic would probably go to 2 am.
We got out at 8:00 AM–early for us! We stopped on the way our of Rapid City to buy a little breakfast at a gas station.
Dinosaur skeleton being walked by a Human skeleton
Wall Drug Sign
Once on the highway, we began seeing billboards for Wall Drug, every few miles on the next 60 mile stretch to Wall, South Dakota. I’d been there years before. The signs seem to get more and more ludicrous the closer you get. One old fashion sign advertised “5 cent coffee, Wall Drug.” I know some of these signs were old. But I determined that I would check that out.
Wall Drug is not just a store–it’s a mall. It has a Western theme, with many statues and photo ops. In the rear building there is a large mechanical dinosaur that occasionally activates and roars. Many shops and t-shirts and souvenirs.
Wall Drug Jackalope
And there’s also a cafe that–sure enough– does have coffee for 5 cents. It’s self-serve and on the honor system. The cups are small and refills are also a nickel. So I had two cups for .10 cents. Not bad.
5 cent Coffee
I had a bit of a fall and scrapped my knee climbing off a saddle.
(Khevron: I didn’t copy off all the Wall Drug and beginning Badlands photos from my card and erased them. This is the 2nd time this whole trip – thought I had a system… sigh) So a few fun photos of us an Dinosaurs and Mooses with a jackalope are gone…
From there, we turned and drove to Badlands National Park. This region looks like a dryer version of Bryce National Park, not as stark or colorful. But still an impressive vista of eroded peaks.
About 75 million years ago, the Badlands were under water. A sea covered the Great Plains from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and from Western Iowa to Western Wyoming. What we see now in the Badlands used to be a sea bottom. The grey layers, called Pierre (peer) shale has many fossils.
Later, the water receded as the land rose. A subtropical rainforest existed for millions of years. Eventually, the forest turned into a savannah and then to grasslands.
The fossils of many extinct animals have been found in the region: a small, deer-like creature called the Leptoneryx; a rabbit-like creature called the Peleolagus; and an ancestor of the modern horse existed back then, called the Mesohippus. Archeotherium are related to the modern pig. A small rhinocerous-like animal called Subhyracodon was a vegetarian.
Recently, the Black-footed ferret, once thought to be extinct have been rediscovered in Wyoming. The US Fish and Wildlife caught them and bred them, then reintroduced them into the Badlands area.
Black Footed Ferret
We continued on to Sioux Falls, making for a long day of driving. We got a hotel room at Red Rock Inn.
Earlier, we’d bought movie tickets to a special one-day showing of Star Trek Next Generation “Best of Both Worlds.” This was a special 2 part episode–the final episode of the 3rd season and the 1st episode of the 4th season, in which Jean Luc Picard is assimilated by the Borg.
Best of Both Worlds
We’d heard about it a month earlier, and were interested in seeing it. It was cool to see it on the big screen. There were lots of extras which will be featured on the Blu-Ray coming out… today April 30.