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July 4-9 - 2007 Big Sky Folk Harp Festival

Two years ago, before retirement, we were in Big Sky for Harpcon, the most recent gathering of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen. This year, Bonnie Pulliam, who organized that Harpcon, staged her own Big Sky Folk Harp Festival, also at the Big Sky Resort. A very good time was had by all, and we hope there'll be a repeat in a couple of years. Anyhow, the morning of July 4, we drove the motorhome about 61 miles from West Yellowstone to Big Sky, where we spent five days "off the grid", living in the middle of an almost level parking lot at 7500 feet altitude. The motorhome is supposed to be self-contained, and it was, but we didn't expect to have to run the generator four hours each day to recharge the batteries so the refrigerator would keep running. We'll have to have the electrics checked out. Probably needs new "house" batteries.

Anyhow, we both had plenty to do. Judy, being the harpist, spent her time attending workshops and doing harp festival things, plus took all the pictures in our slide show. Al, being the harp schlepper, spent the week helping out around the exhibit hall and where else needed. Long days, marvelous entertainment, and spectacularly wonderful people. Also much gasping and wheezing, altitude being what it is. It was, as they say, a "mountaintop" experience, and, fortunately for our lungs, it's been all downhill from there. Bad puns. Sort of sorry about that.

There are only a couple folk harp festivals of this caliber in North America, the other being the Somerset Folk Harp Festival, and we enjoy very much the world-class harp performers and instructors (not to mention harp builders and harp players and harp schleppers) assembled in one place for a very intense five days. Sure, it's tiring, but relaxation is always possible once the adrenaline wears off days later. :-)

Judy's culled from over 500 images the 230 or so in our slide show. It's all harp stuff and harp people. If you enjoy harp stuff and harp people as much as we do, the slide show is here.