Well, the whole event started off with some light panic, my campmate called and let me know the weekend before that “hey by the way the truck wasn’t working therefore we didn’t have a way to tow the trailer.”
So with that, we started looking at all our options and finally settled with let us see if the van will hold the ridge poles and if it will then we can take that.
After snuggling some kittens out at her folk’s place for courage we slid the first upright in and with less than a hand span between that and the back of the van we gave a cheer as this plan was going to work!
Not wanting to try and set up our camp in the dark after work we settled on leaving Wed. Giving us both time to finish packing and get one last shower in.
We met up at my place and loaded up my things with the help of my husband (of whom we would miss when it came time to unload)
We set out after getting to-go coffee. As the navigator, I had decided that it was in our best interest to swing south through Dragonspine before climbing up to the site due to the fire closing 285.
It was pretty smooth sailing and the van did wonderful climbing up. We unwisely decided that we could hold off on our shopping stop and thus passed up the last Walmart. We both decided we could live with the City Market in town and kept climbing vs turning back to stop.
On the descent into Hartsel, we got the first glimpse of the Weston Pass Fire that had closed 285. It quickly reaffirmed that the route via I-24 had been the better option as the large plumes of smoke hovered close to the road.
From there we made our way into Buena Vista and then into the Battlemoor.
First off, I now see why this site was chosen. It sits right in the middle of town leaving good options for those who don’t wish to camp. With a cold mountain stream and towering mountains, it is just about perfect for escaping mundane life.
We rolled in and I was glad I was able to pull up my email as my registration couldn’t be located. From there we set off to find the Caerthe camp. The location was rather perfect, in a set of trees right along the main road, we were told the water gates had been left open the weekend prior so it made for a carpet of nice long grass. We had planned to camp with some other folks but by the time we arrived another tent had been set up so we had to do some finagling to get us and the other camp mate settled in. But it worked out in the long run as we had a beautiful view of the mountains and it ended up a small grove of trees protected our poor sunshade from a wind storm.
Being earlyish we had the opportunity to drive right up and offload our gear before starting our tent set up. I still never seem to grasp just how big my camp mates tent is until it is up. It leaves ample room for 2 cots, a table, my boxes, and plenty of space to stretch out. It is also VERY solid so we never have to worry about the wind taking it.
After we got our things up and in it was time for a store run. We also agreed that we needed a floor for our sunshade as that nice long grass was getting a touch annoying.
The City Market was a quick trip hindered mostly by hunger as we had skipped lunch. We ended up with sandwiches from the store that we devoured before making a stop at Family Dollar were we didn’t find a tarp but I did find the rope I needed for my Roman garb. So we agreed we would head back out the next day to try and get what we needed then.
Back at camp, we unloaded but never got around to returning the car to the lot. I also took the opportunity to finish adding on the last button to my Roman before getting it on. I, however, ended up making a fatal mistake of settling in my camp chair with a glass of mead and well, didn’t end up making the mixer that was being held. I did learn that I want ALL silk undergarments. It is super warm and just feels amazing.
After chatting for a good bit, I did end up climbing in my sleeping bag and drifting off to chatter and songs only waking as people came and went.
The next morning was chilly and I was glad I had left my Chiton out as I pulled it on over my night clothing to make a bathroom run before getting dressed and enjoying my coffee. I also discovered that the kitchen for Aarquelle was across the way and now had a fairly good way to judge when to get up as they were called to breakfast (and then told breakfast was over…)
After the issues with coffee at Condo, I splurged and got pre-made coffee for the safety of my campmates.
I also got the first look at the horse-drawn wagons that had been brought into the site to help transport people and I can honestly say they were an amazing idea. I, however, never got myself together in time to ride as by the time they pulled up I was forever trying to grab one more thing. At this point, our other campmate was up and asked if we would bring him some chapstick and I agreed as I was finding I needed some too. Our other camp mates also asked if we would make an ice run for them and we agreed as it was on our way
We ended up making a run into the true value and much to the amusement of the sales people got our tarp and some tissues for me as I realized I had forgotten to bring any with me. Before heading back to camp, I stopped at the local gas station for ice but couldn’t find any chapstick so I was forced to head to the City Market.
Errands over we came back and laid out our tarp, delivered our ice and then after some grumbling took the car out to the parking lot. From there we ambled back to the town center admiring each camp before strolling down one side of merchants row.
Once back to Apple Tree Keep, I found the gold key and made myself at home there as my fellow Chateline had other things they wanted to see. I was just happy for a place to sit and eat my clever box lunch. I spent the rest of the afternoon helping as needed, and then sneaking away for a quick tour of merchants row and then finally getting talked into playing Helga ball that evening. In between all this, it decided to rain taking the edge off the heat of the day. It was VERY welcome as the southern side of the state was parched, and any bit of moisture was going to help lower the fire danger.
So once we closed down Apple Tree Keep, it was time for Helga ball.
For those who have never seen Helga Ball, teams of five women attempt to get a cabbage from one end of a field to the other without using their hands. The goal posts are made of two guys with interlocking hands leaving space for a plucky gal with a cabbage to dive through. I really need to get the footage someone took as there is no better way to explain this bizarre game than by watching.
An apron or long skirt is advised to help toss the cabbage and I recommend nothing you are attached to as it is bound to get damaged.
After that, pretty much anything goes. ( I am sure there are more rules but as first-timers, we just needed the basics)
That is right if you need to grab, pull, yank or tackle, It is fair game. Just keep your mitts off the cabbage.
Lucky for me it was just light practice matches to learn the rules of the game…however my body didn’t find it very funny and chose to protest the altitude leaving me gasping at one point after finding myself at the bottom of the dog pile.
Lucky someone brought me my water bottle and I was able to find my breath again after flopping on my back.
I subbed back in and quickly learned that squiers are pretty solid, and I really really really need to work out. I was also pretty sure I was going to get some nice bruises and would be feeling them tomorrow.
By the end despite feeling like I had been drug about a dirt field we all were laughing pretty hard and had huge grins on our faces. There was to be a more formal match the next day and I was on the fence if I was going to play.
At this point, I hobbled my way back to camp and was surprised to see her Excellency of Lonely Tower had dropped by for a chat. We also got to meet the knight who had set up camp behind us and spent some time singing.
After recovering enough to change from my cabbage stained clothing into a wool tunic before fumbling with my camp stove to try and make dinner.
Word to the wise make sure you know how to use your camp equipment.
Lucky our other campmate had come back and was able to sort it out for me as I hadn’t got the fuel cell in correctly. However once together I was on my way to hot water and thus dinner. I had made a mix of couscous and added a pack of tuna. Simple and filling.
After dinner, the temp continued to drop as the sun slipped down below the hills. After pouring a glass of mead I set out for the town center to see if the revel was worth attending. I met up with a fellow canton member and she introduced me to a Knight from Trimares and the three of us made the rounds before the day’s exhaustion caught up with me and I headed off to bed.
I will say this was probably the coldest night of Battlemoor and rightfully so after the morning came with the tragic news of the passing of His Royal Highness of Æthelmearc.
The morning was slow it took time for me to get fully up and out of bed, in part as we processed the news but also waiting for the sun to provide warmth.
I was a touch late for returning to Apple Tree Keep, as I had promised the night before to be there by 10ish. But things were well under control by a nice young woman named Emerald who had been shang -highed into helping out. I also found that the class I had misread at 10:30 was at 11 giving me time to settle in for a bit before heading off to Silk Banners.
The Silk banners class was wonderful, as someone who feels that we need more pageantry and pretty I now want to make all the banners!
I then spent the rest of the day at Apple Tree keep helping outfit people with Gold Key. It was lovely to see the number of new folks who had come out and more so that we could help them fit in.
Sigric and I also met an amazing gentleman from south of us and we both instantly decided he needed an award recommendation, as we both had to yell at him to stop working and have fun. We once again closed down Apple Tree Keep and the hurried back for our Baronial Court.
Once back in camp I decided that no, another round of Helga ball was probably a bad idea as the number of sore spots protested. So I dragged over a chair for court before heading back over for dinner after making plans to meet up for shopping.
Let’s say shopping while drinking was probably a bad idea. But I did have an agenda from my early perusal so the only place I got in trouble was the trim…but I could do that sober so yeah.
Soap was number one, I have a full-on love for The Vagabond Tabby‘s soaps. Crap free, and there are cats it is a no-brainer. Try her divine luna face soap, it is amazing I honestly have less breakouts then the other junky soap.
From there we tried some chocolate and poked at some pretty fabric before landing in Calontir Trim. All you need to know is if you need trim in the SCA this is your place. He was kind enough to put up with us browsing and asking questions. Trim is one of those things I know very little about and tend to just stare at it. I picked up some for my upcoming Turkish/Persian, 2 pieces for my Anglo Saxon and then some to add to the kids garb.
After that we made our way down the other row, stopping to chat with a merchant who had hidden their bus behind their booth and met another pair of cats.
My final stop was Raymond’s Quiet Press. Another go-to for all things metal. I got my first set of Viking broaches from them. After looking everything over I ended up with a lovely pair of Round Saxon Brooch with Spiral Design. As much as I wanted the Damascus knife my pocketbook said otherwise.
From there we started wandering back to camp making a quick side stop at a chair vendor before making it back into camp.
As much as I wanted to stay up, the day started to catch up with me and an empty quiet camp won out.
I will say at this point I did the smart thing and added a few more layers to my bedding as I was not up for another cold night. For the record, my sleeping bag was rated for 50 degrees…that means it was getting down below that.
I will say that Saturday was a double-edged sword I was settling into camp life and could have gone on another week, but at the same time, I knew things were coming to an end and after another somewhat chilly night I REALLY missed my nice warm husband.
I started my morning out at Apple Tree Keep after getting some help pinning up my hair under a vail. And spent most of the morning there enjoying meeting folks and helping with more garb.
At about noon I was able to slip over to the fiber tent to get some help with my tablet weaving and to wait for Lady Anne and Her Grace to come up as they had planned to day trip. The advice was much needed as I had been twisting the pattern one way and had got it so tight that I had to stop and go the other way in order to save it. I also learned how to make a loop cord from another lady who had learned it that morning. It was VERY simple once I got my hands and mind together and I resolved that I would use it to make some award cord ASAP.
I also ended up attending the Fiber group meeting by virtue of being at the fiber tent, something I should join as I do like fiber.
Her grace was super kind and brought me a length of light blue linen unknowing that I ruined my one tunic playing Helga ball.
Deciding that I needed to go to court I joined Lady Ann and her Grace. Court was lovely, Matt, now Lord Matt got his AoA, many deserving folks also received awards, and a light spell of rain cut the heat of the day.
After court, we said our goodbyes after a time to Ann and Her Grace as they needed dinner and to make the drive home.
At that point, I realized I needed dinner and after realizing I was getting hangry I ended up over at the Aarquelle kitchen as Lady Jane had offered for me to come over if I needed anything. Not wanting to have a fight with my stove again, I asked for some hot water to make another thing of couscous. By then I was feeling better and not wanting to stay up in my camp by my self, headed out for the torchlight tourney. I only got to see the last bit, but it was all the melodrama and pageantry and I will say more of that is needed in the SCA.
After that ended the revel for the night kicked off and after getting a stick of meat and a drink from the bar I met back up with the gentleman from before and we had a good time talking, and meeting some of the folks he knows.
As things winded down I realized I should probably get to bed as we had to pack up the next day.
Sunday was bittersweet in part I was missing my baby and ready to go home, but I was also ready to keep camping as I was pretty well settled in.
I was slow getting up spending some time packing and drinking coffee. I decided to take the keys and head over to Apple Tree Keep before wandering on to the pancake breakfast. My plan had been to meet my campmate halfway and go get the car but after pancakes and bacon, and no campmate I headed back to help pack gold key that I was taking back with me. From there I headed back to camp where we finally met up. We did decide that letting the tent dry was a good plan before packing it so we focused on getting our things out and under the sunshade in between helping others break their camps.
We decided to head over to another camp that was halfway between us and the car and see what help they needed (and take a short sit down as the heat was starting to pick back up.) But a bank of threatening black clouds spurred us the final distance to the car and then back to our camp where we dodged the first few raindrops getting all but the chairs and the sunshade in. At that point, my campmate called a break and I knowing if I sat down I was done, I headed over to help break the Aarquelle kitchen. At that point, the clouds opened and a nice downpour started. We finished the final few things (A trash run, pulling down some tarps, walking the site for trash) before finally calling it as the pickles we had been snacking on ran out. Wrapping the sunshade up in a garbage bag we made our final goodbyes, before heading over to say goodbye to the other camp. We had the good luck of running into her friend before he left and followed him out, only to have the water trailer he was hauling hop the hitch. Some swapping of a hitch and we got it back on and underway.
At this point, we decided we needed gas and just wanted to get home, so a drink and snack later we hit the road.
285 was open the rain and hard work of the fire crews made it possible to head back that way vs needing to swing down 24 and Dragonspine. It was amazing to see how close the fire had come to the road and then to see the still active fire camp.
Once we made it home we both looked at the van decided we could pull out the basics and we would meet on Monday night to finish unpacking.
At that point, we parted ways and I made a beeline for the shower. After 4 days of camping, it felt AMAZING.
Overall I had a wonderful trip. Met plenty of new people, enjoyed camping, learned some new skills and am already planning for my next war!
**This was written up well after the fact so I have misplaced names, the order of events and not included every little thing. But overall, I would say it really represented my time at Battlemoor. I really tried to focus on the positives as the negatives are all things that I can either fix or avoid next time.**
Coming up Next my guide for Battlemoor! Tips and Tricks for going to WAR!