We weren't sure what to expect as we raced over miles of bayou and swampland to get down to the T-Bois Blues Fest/ Burn on the Bayou before the sun went down.
We knew we'd be pitching a tent on the La Rose farm which transitioned from crawfish to alligators some time back, or that's what I read.
We knew there'd be music and food and beer. We knew there'd be fire.
We didn't know who would be down there. We didn't know where we'd camp or who would be our neighbors. The NOLA Burners Village was designated as adult-only so we opted to camp in the Blues Fest area.
After parking and getting our wristbands, I hailed an ATV hauling a good-sized trailer, driven by a local guy with his two young daughters.
He had a pretty fantastic Cajun accent and was tremendously helpful in finding an area to set-up camp that wasn't too wet. They'd been draining the area for the last three days and it was still pretty spongy all over, and good and muddy in other areas, which became challenging in the dark.
He also pointed out the area where all the naked people were. The burner camp of course. I didn't ever see any nakedness, by the way, which was one of the least surprising things about the weekend.
We got our camp set-up in record time thanks to Skye's tent expertise. In the meantime Cindy went to get some food and drink for us. The $80 ticket-price included food and beer.
The food was amazing and the beer was easy to get, no long lines and beyond unlimited, which proved to be a double-edged sword as one can imagine.
I think I probably gained 8 lbs by the end of it.
I went to my first burn in Georgia and was so taken with the scene that I made it out to Burning Man the next year.
The arrival to a burn is an event itself. But this was a Blues Festival with a Burner Village.
Big Al the 20' tall gator head effigy was dropped down right in the middle of the place, but the village was set way back on its own.
I wish I had made it over earlier, in retrospect, but the pull of free beer and food and incredible music in the other direction was more tempting, and to throw out one of my favorite quotes, from a gent that penned many of my favorite quotations; "I can resist anything but temptation"- Oscar Wilde.
Not to mention, a stone's throw from our tent was a family of hoopers, who were down from New Orleans for the music festival and had no idea about burners. As it turned out they we had a lot in common and Skye and their kids became fast friends and were off on their own a good deal of the time.
I ended up dancing and having one heck of a time. The guy in orange in the above video was a kick and we ended up dancing together and then pulling people in from the crowd, cause the music was just too good to not get up and move.
I ended up getting people standing up on my shoulders with bonfires in the background each evening. I wish I'd gotten photos of that. Oh well.
Saturday night they burned Big Al, with a nod to the NOLA Burners. Cindy and Skye both got to hit the control button on this amazing flame-throwing device sending up a good twenty-foot fireball.
We finally ventured over to the village and met some wonderful people.
It was an incredible and amazing event. I had a Cajun accent by the time we were driving off Sunday morning.
Cindy was driving. I was sleeping.
It's been almost a week and I'm just beginning to feel normal and take in the awesome experience.
We stopped to gas up the car and have a little breakfast. There were other event goers there as well. They looked over and said "T-Bois" with a good thick Cajun accent.
"T-Bois" I returned with a good thick Cajun accent.