Sunday, April 15, 2007

Country Thunder 2007

I just returned home from Country Thunder USA. Held in Florence Arizona, it is a four-day orgy of drunken debauchery and country music in which we willingly participated as pedicab operators. Now in its fourteenth year, the scale of this event is staggering. Planners were expecting one hundred thousand people. Headliners included Big & Rich, Trace Adkins, Gretchen Wilson and Reba McEntire, all hugely popular. The clash of cultures between our crew and the attendees was striking, but not usually threatening. Saturday night was an exception. Nearly all of us came back to camp with tales of abuse by the crowd which had already been drinking for three days. A drunken "cowboy" called me a faggot for not wanting to pile five people on my cab, and flicked a cigarette at me. I then departed with his four obnoxious girlfriends jumping and cursing in the back. As we came through the campground gate, they jumped off my cab and walked. As I rode alongside them, asking to be paid, they pretended not to hear. When I cried theft of services, two of them then ran into a port-a-john . Fair enough, I blocked the door with a metal garbage drum. This was not my only disturbing encounter. Other riders shared similar stories.
The days were hot during the early afternoon, but not overwhelmingly, as a nice breeze was blowing all weekend. At night it was cold and uncomfortable, but nothing a warm tent couldnt cure. On the whole, the weather was mostly cooperative. The ranch where it is held, just West of Florence, is surrounded by a vast landscape of undulating hills and mesas covered in scrub brush and saguaro cactus. To the West, there is a clear view of a massive mountain ridge and cliff face, absolutely beautiful in the clear light of a blue Arizona sky. Some pictures below of the event campgrounds, and our own camp. There were 12 riders, spread out in a private campsite next to the canal. None of us made as much money as we wanted, but any time away from the nasty Phoenix sprawl is highly valued by nearly all of us. I got to know some of the guys better on this trip. The varied cast of characters on our crew is absurdly amusing, and provided hours of entertainment while at camp. A therapeutic weekend in the "savage and holy light" of the Sun.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
Free Web Site Counter