Life in Idaho – The Mountain Home Country Music Fest

An Idaho bucket list of sorts

We cut our way across the empty field, packed into a Suburban that was bursting at the seams.  The road was practically indistinguishable from the pasture that surrounded it, marked only by the never-ending trail of trucks stretching from the road to some indistinct finish line.  My legs were pressed up against my chest, with tables and coolers and duffels packed underneath them, gear shoved into each open space, no matter how small.  We thought we were prepared for inaugural Mountain Home Country Music Festival; we were wrong. 

I’ve always thought I’ve lived in a kind of fake Idaho, occupied by the people you only should see only on a silver screen, an anomaly buried in our empty state.  My suspicions were confirmed.  My sister and I, our friends—we were swimming out of our depth, packed between Boise State shade tents on the edge of rows and rows of trucks.  It felt like a field trip of sorts, one without the heavy weight of chaperones.  We were visitors, peaking in, and having raucous fun all the while.

The entire weekend the heat sat heavy on our skin, pushing the dirt further into our pores.  The sun took on an unnatural orange sheen, stained by the clouds and clouds of dust kicked up by festivalgoers. That’s what I’ll remember from the weekend: laughing and coughing and the dirt and the sun.

The music was loud, incongruent with the surroundings, which lent it a satisfying amount of novelty.  There were soccer-mom chairs set up as far as we could see, forcing us into the aisles to dance, causing more than a few glares to be sent our way.  The VIP area prevented us from getting close enough to even get a glimpse of the stage, so we eschewed trying to get a view at all, instead choosing to run around, buying corndogs and beer, belting every word to “Boys Round Here,” dancing in line to Shelton’s cover of “Footloose.”

The people made the weekend (which I guess could probably be said about almost everything).  Looking back on the festival (which really should be labeled the Hill City Country Music Fest, if we’re striving for accuracy), I probably wont remember Brad Paisley or Sara Evans, perhaps because I’m not their target audience. I knew one song from each, and I didn’t really come to see them perform.  I came for the morning at the lake nearby, relaxing in the sun and watching the drunken revelry in boats packed to the gunnels with people way beyond the point of sea-worthiness.  I came for the mornings of making bacon in tiny pans, getting matching spray tattoos of pugs and unicorns, complete with blue and purple glitter, and for the nights spent playing beer pong and boring our neighbors with our games of Contact.  And I’ll be back—guaranteed.




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