He was so friendly, the smiling young man with unbelievably long blond dreadlocks and straw hat. He nodded his head and smiled as he directed us to park our car near the first-aid balloon tethered to the line of Porta Potties. Lisa put the car in park and we all began organizing our belongings for the day.
I shoved a tube of sunscreen into my backpack and unplugged my cell phone. Erin and Adam rifled through the snack box looking for granola bars while Lisa applied lip balm in the rearview mirror. We were set, ready to head off for our adventure of the day. That’s when we looked out the front window of the Explorer and saw something unexpected. All around us, at least 12 rows deep on either side were cars surrounded by tents. A yellow Volkswagen Bug next to a dome tent, a pickup truck next to an A-frame, a Honda next to a partially pitched geodesic and a mesh dining tent against the bumper of a 1973 Vega, it went on and on as far as the eye could see.
“Oh no,” Erin cried from the back seat.
I looked at Lisa, “Uh, what just happened?”
Lisa scanned the parking area. “Do you think they might just be setting them up for the day?” she asked, not really expecting an answer. “If Tom were here, he’d start pulling up tent stakes.”
I sighed and said, “I am so glad he’s not here.”
We were stuck. The car was definitely not getting out of the grassy lot any time soon so we decided to carry on with our day and deal with our unplanned camping trip later. We headed out to explore the grounds of Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival in a pasture in Manchester, Tennessee.