The 39th tour of the American Travelling Morrice is now in the books. Everything went pretty well, the worst problems being rain, including heavy thunderstorms Sunday night, and a nest of yellowjackets in the camp near our big tent which (via means approved by our organic farmer host) we eradicated early in the week, but not before several people got stung. Other than that… a good tour.
Our first stand Sunday in Geneva was one of our best, with a good appreciative audience. We circumnavigated Seneca Lake that day, going down to Watkins Glen and back up via Lodi and a nice swim at Samson State Park.
Practice on Monday was largely given over to two dances new to most of the group, “I-91” (Litchfield) and “Johnson the Butcher” (Bampton/stick). The two outdoor stands that afternoon were scrubbed and we danced inside the new Sequestered Tavern in Seneca Falls.
Tuesday was the western arm of the tour, with scenic stands in Fairport and Pittsford before going on to the Strong Museum and the Old Toad pub in Rochester, with much jig work at the latter.
Wednesday was our day off, and partly because I thought I was fighting a cold (later I decided it was more likely allergies) I went off on my own on a foray to Letchworth State Park. The Catlin Bass Clarion is still off exhibit at the museum there, alas (I’ll check again in four or five years, maybe) but I got to see more of the scenery in the “Grand Canyon of the Northeast”. Last February I saw the “Grand Canyon of Hawaii”. Someday I should go see the “Grand Canyon of the Grand Canyon”.
Thursday was to the east, starting at Baltimore Woods in Marcellus, then on to a block party at the Moses House in the same town. After that, Syracuse. Rain flirted with us all day, including a downpour right at the end of our lunch at the Moses House which cleared up before our next stand at Hanover Square. It never rained on our dancing, but the weather may have contributed to small audiences. Armory Square was next, with a stand next to the shot clock bracketed by visits to Kitty Hoyne’s and Mully’s.
Friday we went via Taughannock Falls to Ithaca, and a visit to the late Bob De Luca, before a nursing home, a pub, and dancing and dinner at Rogue’s Harbor Inn. That was another lake circled, Cayuga this time.
The last day of dancing was closer to camp: Skaneateles, Auburn, and Seneca Falls — the Sequestered again, followed by a feast at the Gould Hotel. This morning we struck camp and returned home.
Allergy symptoms aside (no stings, thankfully) I had a great time. We had 35 or so dancers on the tour which meant less dancing for me than back in the days when 20 or so was more the norm. I remember years when my shins were in high revolt by Tuesday, mollified by the day off before returning to action Thursday. This week was largely pain free as far as I was concerned. Still, a tour that size poses challenges for planning and execution, and there are benefits to a more intimate size I missed this week. But I can’t say I was dissatisfied with the amount of dancing I did, mostly Bampton, Campden, and Ducklington, but one Bledington too, and a sloppy but still enjoyable Upton Stick at Mully’s. Some good songs and tunes, some remarkable food in camp, and of course a week with a bunch of friends some of whom I see far too infrequently. +1, would buy again.