The Oregon Eclipse Music Festival

Hello everybody! I’m coming to you from Washington State with my new copilot Desiree. I have a partner in crime from El Paso, TX and she is ready to take on #VanLife with me. We met at Lightning in a Bottle and have stayed really close ever since. We just finished attending the Oregon Eclipse Music Festival near Prineville, OR. There were 65,000 people gathered for this once in a lifetime spectacle and we both feel blessed to be there for the event.

The Beautiful Desiree

In the middle of oregon…

..An assembly of sensational souls from far and wide to celebrate the full solar eclipse by raving for eight straight days and nights. This is longer than most weekend festivals and an eight-day event is pretty tough on a person, especially if they’re new to the scene. Dez and I had arrived two days early for our Volunteering positions we acquired months earlier. We also stayed an extra two days for a total of twelve days off the grid with the van.

Here’s our camp spot for the festival. (notice the dust)

The early entry was a disaster as the computer systems failed while signing people in. This created havoc with the eager festival-goers trying to get into their camping spots. It also made for extremely long lines for both the vehicles coming in and the people standing in line waiting to get their wristbands. We were in the van for two hours waiting to park, from there we stood for another five hours to get our wristbands and enter the grounds. I was okay with this due to the reason we received free wristbands for volunteering. Others however were a little short-tempered from travelling and having to wait in line.

After the check in we were able to score an ideal parking spot for the van in the car camping section. This was helpful when trying to locate our campsite when it was dark and full of other vehicles. The grounds were very busy with all sorts of festival people dressed in their finest. I was really impressed with some of the costumes and group themed outfits.

The festival
The dust in the festival was hard to deal with.

one of the biggest festivals in the usa.

The Oregon Eclipse boasted some fantastic structures and art installations. There were designers from all over the globe putting their own special touch into the event and it showed. There were people who came weeks in advance to make this event possible and I thank each and every one of them.

While volunteering I got to help set up some of the lights with the production team. This was cool because I got to learn something new and meet some great connections. Hats off to all the production staff at the Oregon Eclipse, there was so much hard work put in to make that place come alive, much respect to all who pitched in.

The music was awesome, the stages and lights were insanely good, the vendors and food trucks were top-notch, the lake was refreshing but somewhat questionable and the air quality was not good, in fact it was horrible. Honestly with the smoke from nearby wildfires and the forest dust, I felt bad for people who didn’t have some type of dust mask or bandana to help save their lungs over that eight-day span.

Dusty festival grounds

The weather was challenging to say the least, the air was thick and it was really hot during the day and it cooled off substantially overnight. This was a true test to the patrons of the festival to see how well prepared they were. We had no issues other than having to clean the dust off the solar panels two or three times a day.

Our dusty bike

the eclipse took place..

On Monday, August 21st. It started at 9:30 am and was a total solar eclipse by approximately 10:05 am. Desiree and I decided to watch the eclipse from the middle of the lake on a floaty we bought just for that reason. It was amazing to see the sun disappear behind the moon and reveal a golden ring of fire around it. Here’s a quick video shot with my phone as I did not want to bring my good camera on the lake.

seven days and ready for some rest…

like I said, this was an eight-day festival and we’d been on site seven days by the time the eclipse took place. Tired and ready for some rest, we took a few nights off from partying to recover and rest our bones. This was wise and I am thankful I have such an understanding woman by my side.

Desiree and I in our finest festival gear!

We saved our energy for the last night and had an amazing time dancing in the forest with our friends! The vibe was bittersweet when the festival ended as many wanted to go home but at the same time, stay in character at the festival.

Like I’ve said before, festivals are a great place to come and express yourself without fear of judgement. People can wear pretty much anything, or nothing in some circumstances and feel more liberated than ever. It’s a unique environment compared to everyday normal life where people are constantly being judged for who they are. I am hooked to the sensation I get when I am immersed in the loving culture of these gatherings.

That winds up my festivals for the summer at six (so far) and I am happy to end on such an epic phenomena. From here, Dez and I are heading North to Port Angeles to board a ferry headed for Victoria. We will then tour the island before heading to Vancouver and back to the Okanogan valley. I am excited to introduce Desiree to my family and friends even though she’s super nervous to meet everyone lol.

Sorry for the delayed post, I haven’t had service or wi-fi for almost two weeks. I will keep you up to date on my travels and hope we can cross paths soon! Thanks for reading and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!!

OneLove

Jonny D

Golden sunset at the end of the festival.

Lots of winding roads and huge oaks, here’s some beauties from Oregon State.

The interior of Oregon State is captivating with its mossy oak hollows and intense green forests. I was drawn to this one area on crooked finger road where there is a campground called Camp Dakota. It was home to a unique zip line and adventure park in the rain forest. Unfortunately it rained the whole time so I wasn’t able to enjoy the amenities.

The rain was a burden for me, it was depressing and it limited what I could do outside. That said, I had an opportunity to catch up on rest and do some video editing. Being a van dweller you must also be an opportunist and get stuff done when you get the chance. Even if it means doing stuff that intimidates you, like making movies for the world to see. I feel like I’m a bit out of date when it comes to technology these days. There is so much to know and I’m a huge procrastinator when it comes to learning new skills. Either way I won’t let fear or lack of knowledge slow me down. Da PeaceTrain is going to show the world a better way to live and perhaps how to have fun doing it!

The sun gods are beckoning..

…Me to head to the coast and I am going to listen! I really want to get some use out of my new bike and kayak although the rain isn’t letting me do that. I am going to make a move towards the coast tomorrow and hope to be soaking up the sunshine in a couple days. Stay tuned and don’t forget to sign up for Da Newsletter!

OneLove

JD