Or “Road Trip (part 3)”

Another mostly leisurely morning. I wasn’t seeing the K’s today. My only solid plan is I needed to end up in East Stroudsburg, PA by mid-afternoon. Van was working at a small outdoor festival in nearby Parksville, for which he’d made the t-shirts. A randomly chicken-themed fair in a field out back of a local restaurant, with craft booths and food and drink and a soundstage with various bands playing all day long – starting out with kid’s music and ending up with cover bands like “Bon Twat” (heh heh. heh heh.)

Van was running a booth with a small t-shirt printing setup, to make more B’Kawk shirts if needed, and to plug his own business. I was going to help him set up and whatever was needed, until I had to leave for PA. I’d forgotten that Van was the sort of musician who would enthusiastically throw together performers to play, unrehearsed, at this sort of thing, and had been drafted to play trumpet for the Chicken Dance for one of the kids events. Sure, why not?

So I made us peanut butter toast for breakfast and packed up my stuff in my car and tried to help Van pack his car, although I’d already learned it was mostly best to just get out of his way. He had to stop at the hardware store on the way there, so I just waited a bit until after he was gone, and set out straight for the festival. Found my way to “B’Kawk Parking”, then on to the blocked-off main street – they were having an old car show, as well as other stuff – and to the ginormous cock at the end of the street.

Heh heh. Heh heh.

Van was able to drive his car right up to the booth space to unload, and the festival organizers zoomed into help, getting the tent set up while he was parking the car again. And he set up as best he could.

I wandered around. The booths sold things like locally-made mead, jam, various artwork, toys and all sorts of stuff, although nothing I wanted to get. I did end up having a chicken sandwich (quite good) and could have had booze, although I thought that would be a bad idea. The kid’s band, “Rolie Polie Guacamole”, was really fun, had the audience kids jump up and down and dance and stuff, it was fun. Lots of families, lots of dogs, lots of hippie-esque people. And volunteers in chicken suits. It was very Hallmark Movie/Gilmore Girls and I was totally there for it.

One of the festival organizers, to be playing drums for the Chicken Dance, came by and said ‘oh, we’ll play at 2:30 or 3:00’ and I muttered to Van, well, shit, I probably have to leave before then. And I really did stay right up to the time I had to skedaddle, but missed playing the Chicken Dance by 20 minutes or so. So I felt bad about that, but I knew if I waited around, it would just get more pushed back and later and it would screw up my rest-of-day. So I apologized, hugged Van and thanked him again, said goodbye to my new friends and set out on the road again.

I was headed to Rainbow Mountain. A gay resort in the Poconos, equally accessible from Philly and NYC, it was kinda-sort halfway between where I was in the Catskills and home, and I’d always wanted to check it out. Now certainly it’s the sort of place you go for all sorts of delights, not just the swimming pool, but of course I’m not anywhere near being ready for that sort of thing. But I did want to see what it was like, sort of a reconnaissance mission. It was a pleasant two-hour drive, including a stop for an iced mocha at a bookstore cafe – manned by the Australian owner of the store, who, true to small town stereotype, took his time serving up and chatting with each customer. Wouldn’t have been a problem, but I wanted to ask him about the facilities as well as get a mocha, and I was starting to Do the Dance while waiting in line. Anyway, it all worked out and the coffee was really good.

Check-in for RM was 4:00 and I got there around 4:15. Check-in no problem. One of the cute little queens also staying was in the lobby and recommended the on-site bistro and the gnocchi – OK, that’s good. I was staying in one of the king rooms, and drove down the hill a bit to park outside my room. The room itself was perfectly nice, but dim, low lighting and not enough of it. Did some unpacking, made plans. First out just to check out the grounds – the pool was very busy. Found the separate building with the dance club. It was all very hilly – on the side of a mountain – not surprising, I guess, but when you look at a map, it doesn’t occur to you that the whole thing is actually on the side of a hill.

Changed into my bathing suit, went to the pool, and spent a lovely 45 minutes or so just soaking. There were various couples and friend-groups in and out of the pool, house music on the sound system, and an active poolside bar. I was trying to remember the last time I was in a pool, thought it had been years, and then remembered that C and I had pool time when we were in Cape May last September. (What a weird trip that was, following the ashes-scattering for my mom in Atlantic City, and dealing with C’s mobility issues. I love Cape May, but my gut feeling is that it’s going to feel like a Charles-and-Eric place for a long time and I’d best not go back for a while.)

Back to the room for chill-out and clean-up, then to dinner at 700, then over to the club. Did at least part of this. The bistro was largely empty (although they had a live musician, who wasn’t bad) – this surprised me, on a Saturday night in August, I thought it would be packed. I had a caesar salad and the gnocchi, which were acceptable, but nothing to write home about – and a cosmo. The waitress was nice enough, but it took several tries for her to even just get me a glass of water. Again, somewhat baffled that there was no one there.

After dinner, I walked down to the bar/club, but there was no one there at all but the bartender. So back to the room, thinking I’d wait an hour or so, then come back, which is what I did. When I came back, it was still empty, but not completely. There was a square bar (a nice setup, because if you’re at the bar, you can see the people on the other 3 sides very clearly) and a dance floor and a pool table and stuff. The club started filling up at 10:00. I had another cosmo, then switched to cran-and-soda. I was just people-watching, but having a good time. I vaguely checked a guy out across the bar, who vaguely checked me out, and we nodded at each other, so thrilling, just like a glimpse of ankle in Victorian times. The only other person of note was a large bear, not particularly old, who came in with his shirt unbuttoned to his belt. That was a look, I must say, and quite enjoyable, although nothing subtle about it. (unfortunately, large bear parked himself on my side of the bar, so I couldn’t stare admire, and he certainly never glanced in my direction) People were dancing, moving around, going out on the porch (although I went out there too and there was really nothing there, although if there was a crowd of people and you were trying to meet a particular one, it would have been a nice place to have a conversation). Did a ‘hey’ with the first guy as we passed each other. The whole evening reminded me that the bar scene is a series of situations and encounters (desired or not) that you have to have a skillset for and know how to navigate, and baby, those skills are rusty, although still in there somewhere. I was never a big bar person, not my kind of thing. But I did enjoy myself, very much.

A nice nighttime walk back (I was very much enjoying the nature and the ambience of being on a mountain in rural PA, which was very beautiful.) And off to bed (alone, thenkyou).

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