November 7th-12th (Bear Creek)

The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park is one of the most magical places we’ve ever been to. Our three days at the Bear Creek festival were not only some of the best days of our trip so far, but also the funkiest days of our lives.
We arrived at the park early Friday morning in hopes of gaining a good campsite, with no idea how the camping was laid out in the park. We quickly discovered that the majority of people do attend the Thursday night music in order to gain the best campsites (some are even reserved), those of which are nestled in among the live oaks and next to the lake or pond. After winding through a maze of trails in the wooded areas which seemed never ending, we came upon a clearing which was for the most part vacant. Deciding we wouldn’t have any luck in the woods we parked the truck and trailer in an arbitrary location within the field in hopes that the field would become populated around us as the day went on. Sure enough it did.
Meeting people at the Bear Creek Festival was more enjoyable than we could have imagined, and thanks to our bright yellow caravan and our Nova Scotia plates many folks stopped to ask about our travels and welcome us to the festival. Before we knew it we had new friends all around us, some of which we plan to meet up with again during our travels. People seemed very intrigued with our travels and many Florida locals offered good advice to travelling in their state.
The festival was quite similar to festivals we’ve attended in the past in many ways, and very different in others. There were bright colors, hula-hoops, glow sticks, costumes, home-made signs and props, etc. which were familiar to us of course. Contrary to what we are used to, many people had decorated golf-carts which they could use to cruise around the venue. They were decorated with lights, flashers, aluminum foil, capes, flags, etc. and there was little to no law enforcement for them. You could pack ten people on a four person cart and weave through pedestrians like pylons with a beer in your hand, and no one would bat an eye. Miraculously, as far as we know no one was in injured in golf cart related incidents all weekend. We were also shocked to find out that at Bear Creek there are no designated fire pits and you can make a fire anywhere. While walking along one night we stumbled upon a fire in the middle of the road. Cars and golf carts just drove around it. The abundance of fire pits was understood to be necessary after the sun went down on the first night.
Over the weekend we saw many amazing performances, notably: Flannel Church, Kaleigh Baker, Zach Deputy, Lettuce, and Bobby Rush (Bobby Rush being the most entertaining with his outrageous dance moves and stage presence). We spent most of our time at the Amphitheatre stage, which is arguably the best music stage ever. The Amphitheatre provided space to dance, but also to relax and enjoy the music. There were rows of trees with hammocks tied to them, which were available to everyone. We loved spending our afternoons relaxing in a hammock with a cold beer, just listening to whoever was performing at that time.
The music at the festival started at noon every day, and went until 6:00 the next morning, so there was always a performance to watch, or music in the background of campfires back at the campsites. Sleep was not a priority. We really enjoyed hanging out at the campfires with our neighbours, and we often brought out guitars and the mandolins for a jam. We shared lots of drinks and stories, and were teased about our accents in good fun (it’s all good eh?).
The only obstacle we faced was when we accidentally misplaced the whole set of keys to the truck 20 minutes into our weekend. We walked around and backtracked trying to find them with no luck. Unfortunately we didn’t have a spare to the ignition, but we had a set of spare keys in the truck… the only problem was how to get in. But no worries… we’re in a Land Rover! We were able to pull the back door off so we could climb in and retrieve them, and with a quick ten-minute fix, Drew was able to install a new ignition. Gotta love those Land Rovers. We had to hotwire the truck so we could get in town to get the new ignition. We were quite a sight when we had to drive into town with Danielle holding the ignition wires together while Drew skipped first and third gear so he wouldn’t squish her hand in the dashboard.
So all in all we had an incredible weekend. We can’t get over the kindness of the people we’ve been meeting (for example, we were surprised on Sunday morning with treats and goodies covering the hood of the Land Rover from our lovely neighbours Lexi and Anne. Thanks girls!). We wish we could rewind and go back to Friday again so we can enjoy the festival one more time. Maybe next year?

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2 responses

  1. Yup! It’s decided. I’m coming with ya next year!!!
    oh and I think I’de be loving that $2.25 Turning Leaf wine!!!
    Cheers My Sweeties
    Love Momma

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