Category Archives: Travel

Preparing for Departure

I’m not much of an outside girl. I love my first world amenities: wardrobe, accessories, flush toilets, soft bedding, running water, and  high-speed internet. I’m aware this sounds a bit ridiculous since I’m about to embark on roadtrip that will take me across Canada and also involves rough camping at the Mariposa and Winnipeg Folk Festival. However, in order to partake in this Folk Festival rite of passage, I am willing to embrace the elements. The hardest part is just preparing for departure.

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After weeks of organizing my departure from my work as a Speech-Language Pathologist, fulfilling all my other choral singing commitments with Pro Coro Canada and the Edmonton Opera Chorus, and completing my projects over at The Choir Girl Blog, I have finally had the last few days to plan for my month long departure from home. Thus, I have been more stressed than excited when people inquire about details regarding my roadtrip. I know that once I am on the road, these preparation insecurities will subside.

I am thankful Twila has been in charge of all outdoorsy camping supplies. All I have are a sleeping bag, a thermarest, and a chair. However, I have organized quite the array of festival wear options and SPF skincare depending on the weather. I also have compiled all the electronics I plan to bring as well as plan for how to maintain the charge for these items. It wouldn’t be very good festival media coverage if I couldn’t post anything. I do get these scenes of horror in my mind where it is absolutely pouring rain outside my tent, I am clutching all my electronics to my chest, and shielding them from water damage. My hope is that in mentally preparing for these crises, they are less likely to occur, or at the very least, surprise me.

One thing people have commonly asked is why Twila and I have chosen to drive for this media project. We could have flown to Toronto and then rented a car to get to Mariposa. However, in doing this, we would have missed out on the journey on these Canadian highways and stories from the open road. As it is with many things, it is as much about the journey as it is the destination. Understanding the process of travel between each of these festivals is just as important as the music that is performed at each of these festivals. These roads are constant source of inspiration for many Folk Music Artists, and in order to understand the context in which they come from, one can gain insight from embarking on a similar journey.

So that is where Twila and I, as Folk on the Road, are different from other traditional media outlets. We will not be driving up in a company sponsored media van, breezing through backstage security to obtain minute interview segments with Mainstage Artists, and driving home at the end of the night. We are arriving in Orillia, Ontario after a 2.5 day cross-Canada commute and over 30 hours of driving, just in time for Mariposa Folk Festival Mainstage on Friday night.

The open road is calling.

Follow us @FolkontheRoad and Folk on the Road Facebook for real-time updates from our travels

Day I: Same but Different at Winnipeg Folk Festival

Photography by Twila and Miss. Sable

After starting our morning with some Winnipeg sights and fueling up on caffeine at Parlour Coffee, it was time to venture out to the Winnipeg Folk Festival, located about a one hour drive from downtown Winnipeg. As we made our way north on Winnipeg’s Main Street, we joined the highway that eventually led us to Birds Hill Provincial Park Northwest from Winnipeg.

We celebrated our arrival with a high-5 and posed for a picture with our vehicle among rows of grass parking. It was a long commute from Edmonton but we had officially arrived at the Winnipeg Folk Festival!

“It’s the same, but different,” Twila remarked as we surveyed the Main Stage crowd.

Indeed, the festival energy that we know and love from the Edmonton Folk Music Festival was present but there was a secluded magic about having the Winnipeg Folk Festival nestled away in a flat clearing of Birds Hill Provincial Park. A temporary city is built in the park to accommodate the festival community. As Oh My Darling, The Avett Brothers, and City and Colour headlined the opening night of the festival, Twila and I began our assimilation process into the Winnipeg Folk Festival culture. There will be more to come in regards to this process in the next few days.

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This post is part of a series detailing the experiences of Edmonton folkies, Sable and Twila, heading to Winnipeg Folk Festival for the first time. See other posts here. Cross-posted on The Choir Girl Blog.

Road trip to Winnipeg Folk Fest II

Photography by Twila and Miss. Sable

Road trip Timeline

5:09 AM Farewell Edmonton!

7:57 AM Roadside continental breakfast at the Lloydminister Husky…

12:21 PM Full-serve gas pump in Lanigan, Sask. Luxury!

1:08 PM Foam Lake – THE best place on the world to live.

1:59 PM Yorkton – Home of the Cardinals.

2:48 PM Langenburg – Home of the Future!  Where we finally found our 3G network again!

3:02 PM We’re in Manitoba! Farewell, Sask.

3:07 PM Roblin. Almost like Goblin.

4:00 PM Internet cafe and ATM access spotted in Stratclair.

5:25 PM Photo stop in Gladstone with the Happy Rock.

6:56 PM Hello, Winnipeg!

Follow @soundnnoise and @misssable for live tweets throughout the week.

Cross-posted on The Choir Girl Blog.

We’ve arrived just in time for the Winnipeg Folk Fest.