Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nerds and Trains and Trees

Historical reenactors are strange people. Especially aficionados of the American Civil War.

Roaring Camp Shenanigans
These guys think they are awesome as they hang out in their Civil War gear.

I mean, I get it, somewhat: I am a dork, afterall. There's something fun and escapist about dressing up for a different time period. Especially one that's become so distant in living memory that the messiness of the reality has been glossed over by a patina of glory and nostalgia. Renaissance Fairs are cool, with their bawdy men and giant turkey legs, and no one dying in the street from the Black Plague. I have fond childhood memories of visits to a medieval "living museum" town (which for the life of me I cannot find on the internet, probably am misremembering the name), with done-by-hand craftwork and people jousting without actually intending to kill each other. And I've seen Colonial Williamsburg, and Indian "settlements" with people pretending to live in teepees or longhouses and making headbands out of leather. All in the name of bringing history to the eyes and minds of a next generation.

(On a side note, I wonder: will people one day reenact concentration camps in the name of History? Or is that taking it too far, even 100 years from now?)

However, watching grown men and pubescent boys run around in costume, shooting blanks at each other, acting out old battles and random skirmishes, really had a feeling of, as my friend Josh commented, coming across a bunch of 11-year-old boys playing in the woods. Exactly that kind of awkward seriousness.

At any rate. Idle talk last weekend while at the Maker Faire coalesced this weekend into a road trip down to Felton, where the Roaring Camp Railroad is. For Memorial Day Weekend, they also happened to be having Civil War reenactments (hence the above pondering) going on at the same time. Chuck was thrilled, since he loves trains. Josh rented a car, and did the driving this time, since I wasn't sure my Baby could swing it.

As a child, I'd been to Roaring Camp once or twice. I think it's where my sister got attacked by a goose (or was that somewhere else?), and I remember riding the train through the redwoods and thinking it was pretty cool. Coming back something like two decades later, I wasn't disappointed.

Roaring Camp Shenanigans
Chuck is excited

Roaring Camp Train Ride
Boy love

Roaring Camp Train Ride
Sarah on a train!

For the trip home, we drove up the coast on Highway 1. The weather was gloomy most of the way, but cleared up as we had dinner in Half Moon Bay, and was gorgeous by the time we got back into San Francisco's City Limits.

Oaxacan Dinner
I attack my food with a vengeance. It was pretty good, but next time I'm definitely getting the awesome mole.

Memorial Day weekend is kind of awesome. I still have two more days off to blow off some steam.

Roaring Camp Train Ride
The train blows off some steam. Ha!

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