We’ve hit the road again, sans our camper. After the mildest winter on record, at least since last year, we set off for points south in mid-March in snow.
Our ultimate destination is, well, how do you define an ultimate destination? Thinking about worms and bacteria growing from my body and helping nature rid the world of this plague, let’s just say we’re headed to Key West.
First stop along the way was Fernandina Beach, where we spent a few relaxed days of beachwalking and biking. Interesting event bike-wise: Rebecca set out before I got my helmet on, but just rode around the block. I got ready before she completed the circuit, so I thought I headed the other way. I short-cutted but still did not catch up to her, when I remembered something I’d forgotten (I’ve forgotten again what it was), so, after lollygagging along the street, I cut right to turn back into the driveway.
Surprise. A voice cried out in alarm, and I discovered I was being passed on the right by an unexpected biker. I was able to swerve and avoid the collision (lucky for him and me), but I did manage to wind up on the pavement with a scrape on my elbow.
Thence to St. Augustine, for the Anastasia Music Festival at the St. Augustine Amphitheater. We had planned to attend Suwannee Springfest again this year until it was cancelled, but I learned from Lyndsay Pruett’s mother via Facebook that there was an alternative festival, featuring the Jon Stickley Trio, to be held in St. Augustine.
So there we were, at a really fantastic three-day festival featuring, besides the Stickley band, Sierra Hull, Del McCoury, David Grisman, the Honeycutters (what is a honeycutter?), Fruition, Mandolin Orange, and Sam Bush, among others.
The Jon Stickley Trio is, for me, the highlight of any festival, especially in Florida. This time I had the good fortune of speaking with Lyndsay Pruett for a few minutes before she joined a set with Taylor Martin. The festival was something of a homecoming for Lyndsay, who hales from Jacksonville. I learned from that conversation that one of her heroes is Jason Carter, the impeccable fiddle player for the Del McCourty Band. Ironically, both sets of the Jon Stickley Trio were scheduled opposite Del.
The concluding act was a very large ensemble, for bluegrass at least, of the Traveling McCouries and Jeff Austin. Ten musicians in all, none of them drummers, and the sound was remarkably listenable. The band on stage did not outnumber the crowd, but the audience was fairly thin. Given the quality of both the festival and the venue, one hopes the organizers will try again next year. We will be there.