Camping in the Snowies

Camping in the Snowies

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fiddle Association Campout Spring Valley AZ

This Campout pretty much marks the end of the season here in Arizona.  The hot weather coupled with the northern migration of snow birds combine to make the number of attendees dwindle. As I see it, there are few fiddle association members who live full time in Arizona who attend the events like this. Younger folks do come and participate in fiddle contests but those of us coming to these get-togethers are in our sixties or older. Anyway, the spring Campout at Mayer High School in Spring Valley was fun and pretty well attended. 
               Mayer Junior Senior High School. Home of the Wildcats.

The high school is located on a hill above the town. At an elevation of nearly 4000 feet it is above the saguaro and ocotillo belt but there are plenty of beaver tail cacti in this hilly country.

Spring Valley is predominantly a retirement community. Quite a few of the "old guard" fiddlers and pickers live here. Ben Sandoval, Glen Wilborn, Charlie Robinson, Don Poindexter, Howard Matthews and Charlie Frenn live here and have difficulty getting to fiddle and bluegrass events so it is great to have an event near them so the rest of us can learn from their vast repertory of tunes. 

                The irises were blooming here at the school and in town.
Our fiddle friend, Mary Tieszen, offered to walk with me around town. She and husband Bob lived here for a while and own several properties here. We walked up hill and down, passing many groomed places and several neglected ones.  There were many blooming shrubs including lilac and plum and forsythia. Bird calls abounded. I spotted house finches, cardinals, phoebes, flycatchers, and white crowned sparrows. We stopped in at the community church and talked to a friend of Mary who was doing some care-taking work around the pretty church. The pastor who serves this community is in his 80's and drives up from Phoenix twice a week. Wow.

Here is Luci parked between two rigs from Idaho. Dick and Barbara Garret, on the left, live in Weiser ID and winter in Florence. Katie and Tom Bonn are from Salmon ID and winter in their RV camping for the most part on BLM land with other snow birds. 

This bus belongs to John and Roni Kennedy who live on a ranch near Mayer AZ.  It has very faint lettering on the side saying Powder River, a bus company doing business in Wyoming and Montana. John said that the bus transported coal miners to mines in Wyoming before it was returned to the company needing refitting. They sold it to him and he made it into a family bus that has traveled to Alaska and back and to various fiddle events all around. It practically drives itself, he says. 

Inside the school over the three day event there was jamming, workshops, dances, a band scramble, a fiddle contest, a pot luck dinner, a corned beef and cabbage meal put on as a fund raiser by the 4-Hers and a Hall of Fame presentation.  Outside the school there was jamming and more jamming inside and outside of RV's late into the night. 
Sunday morning a gospel sing was held and after that we all said our good-byes. See you in the fall!

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