Out of the Saddle – Parkfield Bluegrass Festival

Any erstwhile, or actual geologists, most likely have heard of Parkfield, California. The town bills itself as the “earthquake capitol of the world,” although wikipedia cites it as the “most closely observed earthquake zone in the world.”

Parkfield sits astraddle the San Andreas fault, that infamous crack in the crust that runs through California from the Mexican border to north of San Francisco. The town claims to have 18 residents, but during this past weekend the population jumped by possibly two orders of magnitude. The reason being the 17th annual Parkfield Bluegrass festival, which drew people from all over the west, many of them staying multiple days in their RVs or tents.

Parkfield Bluegrass Festival

Parkfield Bluegrass Festival

Me, well, I live about 35 miles away from Parkfield, so I just made it a day trip for the final day of the festival, a lovely cruise through the countryside with the top down on my gig ride. And since this is a bicycle-oriented blog, I also scouted the road from San Miguel to Parkfield for ride suitability. Looks promising, so I promise a post for a ride to Parkfield sometime later this year.

At the festival I encountered my pal Diane Harrison, who I met during the course of a hospice training class series last year, and who I continued to pester about coming over with her fiddle to play some songs with me. I also got to talk with Amber Cross, a performer at Parkfield who I have seen performing at a winery near Paso Robles, as well as Stuart Mason, who I saw performing at Castoro Cellars with Tony Furtado. Also got to listen again to Joe Craven, who I heard play at a local house concert with one of his bands by the name of “Mamajowali.” Today he was performing with his 14-year-old daughter Hattie, who has a grown-up voice.

me & Amber Cross

me & Amber Cross

A couple days from now Parkfield will be back to normal, slow paced with an occasional rattle from the long fault.

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