Pennsic War, Part 2 (continued)

Cooper's Lake, PA


Finally, better weather!

Friday, August 10, 2001 (A.S. XXXVI)

Heat index:  A mere 93 degrees F.

The main activity today:  Shopping.

Some of you may be wondering why shopping is such a big deal.  After all, I've been shopping, or thinking about it, for a couple of days, right?

Well, the SCA is a historical re-creation group.  That means that many of the clothes, furnishings, and accessories we use to add atmosphere to our events can't be purchased at a modern department store.  We either have to make them ourselves, or buy them from someone else in the SCA who makes them.  And in some cases, the raw materials aren't necessarily easy to find -- for example, vellum and pigments for calligraphy and illumination projects, spices for cooking, etc.  Even when the raw materials are relatively common, such as sheet metal for making armor, the equipment needed to make a suit of armor, or even just a helmet, would cost a great deal of money, not to mention the time needed to develop the necessary skills.

So a lot of people come to the War to shop.  There are over 130 merchants at the war this year, selling anything from spices to armor to clothing to tents.  Most of the merchants honor "Master Card" and "Lady Visa", in keeping with the modern world, but a number have posted signs that read:  "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!"  The merchant booths range from canopies to tents to small portable houses (some assembled on site, some towed here behind cars and trucks).
A Tudor "Shop"
One example of a small shop building.
Merchant's Row (Revisited)
Remember the shot of the merchant area we posted on Monday?  Here's how it looks now.

Since it was cooler, we also took a little stroll around part of the site to see what we could see:
The Runestone
This runestone was placed on the hill above the battlefield at Pennsic X. (That battlefield, now much too small, is currently used for camping.)
Lots of people have very nice tents and encampments.
Fortress Gate
Some groups actually build structures such as this on site.
Here's a shot of Lady Marged's tent, which we call home during the day.

The final bit of news is that the dance floor has been assembled; however, by the time we got over there today, it was too dark to get a good picture.  We'll go back tomorrow.  It seems to be very solid, yet very springy.  I think it will work very well.

Saturday, August 11, 2001 (A.S. XXXVI)

Forgot to check the heat index today.  But much nicer!

We had to get up way too early today, after staying up way too late last night chatting with new friends.  But we got up anyway, because we needed to go and fetch our friend, Countess Berengaria, from the airport (she was flying in from Sacramento).

Since Guillaume still wanted to go do some painting on the dance floor, I decided to drop him off and head to the airport by myself.  Of course, that left me trying to find the airport on my own.  Now, I've been there before, but it's been six years, so I made a wrong turn and ended up getting to the airport about half an hour late.  Turned out that was okay, because the flight was about an hour late getting in.  So I had time to grab a bite to eat while I was waiting.

At this point, I suppose I should mention that I went to the airport dressed in SCA clothes, since all of my modern clothes were in the laundry.  Airport security didn't blink an eye, though many of the other folks in the airport looked at me a little curiously.  Once the flight arrived, though, I learned one of the drawbacks of simply being at the Pittsburgh airport dressed as I was at this time of year:  In addition to my friend, there were several other SCA people on the flight, and many of them wanted to know if I had room for an extra rider or extra gear, should their prearranged ride not work out.  At one point, it looked like I was going to have three riders and a substantial amount of luggage in the van for the trip back to Cooper's lake, but in the end, it was just me and Bera, and a couple of extra pieces of luggage belonging to a nice young man from Caid.

After making a couple of stops for shopping and a fast-food lunch, we finally returned to the site.  The line of people waiting to check in was quite substantial, and it took over an hour for Bera to get checked in.  After that, we delivered the Caidan's luggage, and I dropped Bera off at her campsite (which turned out to be back-to-back with the Outlands encampment!).

Guillaume was not idle this whole time.  Here's what he did while I was gone:
The Castle
New this year, this fortress will be used for some melee fighting.  Note the "XXX" (for Pennsic 30, not the rating for the event!) on the hill behind the fort.
The Dance Floor
Here's a picture of most of the completed dance floor.

There are more pictures of both of these things -- I'll post them later!

Sunday, August 12, 2001 (A.S. XXXVI)

Laundry Day.

As we were both running out of clean underwear, not to mention shirts and chemises, we declared this to be a day for doing our laundry and taking care of some offsite shopping and other errands.  So there is not much to report, other than that there are now close to 11,000 people at the war (there were about 4,000 when we arrived).

More later ...