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Still going strong

THE LOVE SHACK CHRONICLES

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The Record Company on Stage at North Point Festival, Burlington, VT
Emmy Lou anxiously waiting for us to get into the Shack

The Love Shack has been barn-bound for the past few weeks as things like work, previous commitments and real life got in the way of getting out on the road — even for just a few days.  If I had my way, we would be spending months at a time in the Shack exploring anywhere and everywhere.  But we are not quite there….yet. The good news is that we have at least four more short jaunts coming up in the next few weeks. When we’re home, we don’t sit around and do nothing, there’s a lot of beach-going, hiking, entertaining, local music and fun to be had. Still, I am more than ready to take off for a few days.

Our first short excursion will be back to Wampatuck State Park in Hingham, Massachusetts.  We are heading to that area to see a show at The South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset. The venue has been around for over 60 years, bringing various types of entertainment to southeastern Massachusetts. Over the years, the structure has been updated and optimized for the theater in-the-round type of performance that is offered to an audience of about 2,300.  We are going to see TajMo, a duo consisting of longtime blues men Taj Mahal and Keb Mo. We’ve seen both on their own but not together, at least not live, and we are excited to see this combo.  And we are looking forward to being back at Wampatuck for a couple of days and exploring a little more of the park.

View of Lake Champlain from North Point Festival

The following weekend, we are headed down to Hampton Beach to the Casino Ballroom to see Gary Clark Jr., with an opening show by Michael Kiwanuka. We are going to park and sleep in the Love Shack in an overnight parking lot nearby —  this is one of the best parts about traveling in the van — no one can tell if we are in it or not. We’ll wake up to miles of sandy beach and everything that thousands of tourists flock to see without paying for a pricy hotel room.  Next, you’ll find us in the Shack for Labor Day weekend at Camden Hills State Park in midcoast Maine.  Though I’ve hiked in the park before, I haven’t camped there. I am sure it is going to be beautiful, fun and, of course, relaxing. Everyone probably has a different idea about “vacationing” or time off — but most people I know agree that they want to

The RD rides nicely on the back of the Shack

relax, unwind, chill out — whatever that means to them.  For us, being outside in a quiet place with minimal “chores” is what we like.  Camden is a great place to do this.  Labor Day is also the weekend that the Owls Head Transportation Museum hosts the annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival.  Brian will take his own antique, cafe racer to the event — a 1976 Yamaha RD 400, two stroke.  He has just finished rebuilding it for the second time.

September sunset over Lake Champlain

We will wrap up the Love Shack season in mid-September (probably) with a trip over to Burlington, Vermont, for the Grand Point North two-day music festival.  Whether you like the eclectic line-up or not (both nights feature Grace Potter and her band the Nocturnals) with various other acts throughout the festival, you certainly can’t beat the location. The festival takes place at Waterfront Park on Lake Champlain.  We love to camp at the nearby North Beach Campground, also right on the lake, so we can walk to and from the festival via 1.5 mile recreational path.  Burlington is a great city and in addition to the festival, there will be dozens of other things to do that weekend.  Last year we met a couple of guys who had traveled over from upstate New York and camped a few sites down from us and we’re eager to see if we run into them again.   

I don’t like to think about our Love Shack season ending. We have stayed in it as late as Dec. 9 in the past, so you never know. That was a cold night in a Boston parking lot for a Tedeschi & Trucks show at the House of Blues. Perhaps not as cold as the early spring night in the same parking lot for a Ben Harper show, but, still, really cold.  We did it though, and it cost us just $23 for an overnight stay vs. $200 or more in one of the downtown hotels. I guess I can bundle up and wear layers for that! Who knows, we may have one or two more excursions left in 2017 – after the Burlington trip.  We won’t put the mothballs in just yet!

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