Before saying goodbye to Wilmington, I decided that I absolutely HAD to at least see the beach. The quick trek out was worth it and after a quick dunk of the toes into the chilly Atlantic Ocean, I was ready to head inland and towards Charlotte for a Meet n Greet with our Regional Contact, Billy “Captain Sauce” Funderburk.
The day is warm, hot even, the sun beats into the car as I cruise along Hwy 74 across the middle of North Carolina. Trees and small towns dot the road. It’s rural and quiet. A beautiful day for a drive.
Nearing Charlotte, Billy calls frequently to check in and make sure I’m on the right track. He instructs me to hop off the Hwy immedietly if I get lost and to call him. Wise words. Approaching the looming buildings of downtown Charlotte, I’m distracted, loose my place in the directions and quickly hop off and give him a call.
Too bad too, I’d just gotten a call from Phyrebolt that he was about the same distance out and we were gonna see who made it to Billy’s house first.
Finally arriving, windblown and sunburned, I’m greeted with a huge hug by a grinning Billy and given the tour and introduced to the kitties who oversee the house and yard. Hugs around from Laura (Miss Fancy – who I’d met in SF during the first ever Regional Summit held at BMHQ ) and Phyrebolt.
Laura, our laughing hostess.
Hamish and Luigi, two out of three kitties. Gato the third was camera shy and wouldn’t stop for a photo.
Shortly after the first guest, Sally, arrives and we retire to the beautiful backyard, full of blooming azaleas to sit under the massive oak tree. Sally pulls out throwing knives and we decide to practice our hand for a bit. Celebratory cries erupt every time we are able to actually get one to stick (less often that we’d like). Phyrebolt supervises and gives advice.
Sally and Phyrebolt take a stab at knife throwing.
We got ’em to stick!
As dusk rolls in guests arrive for the Meet n Greet. DI and Hans are the first to arrive. Never having been to Burning Man before, they are curious and saw the post on the northcarolina-announce here: northcarolina-announce (at) burningman.com" href="http://regionals.burningman.com/us_nc.html">northcarolina-announce here: northcarolina-announce (at) burningman.com list and decided to check it out.
A fire is lit in the backyard, Phyrebolt hid a few surprises in there for us.
Not only color but a nice sparkling display!
Billy fires up the grill in the tradition of the North Carolina Meet n Greet, started by the former RC, Diesel. Soon kabobs are passed around and fire toys are lit up. About a dozen people gather around and enjoy the fire and tasty treats, laughing and sharing stories. There is much talk of Transformus and the upcoming work weekend. Excitement is in the air about the South East Regional Burn.
Holding down the steps on the deck.
Billy brings me up to speed on the history of the Charlotte Meet n Greets while prepping the kabobs – part of the tradition.
Phyrebolt lives up to his name.
Jason claimed that he hasn’t spun poi in over two months… sure was hard to tell.
Sally busted out her fire fans.
It’s a mellow evening. Everyone has to work on Friday and there’s another round of driving towards Ashville for the Transformus work weekend. I’ve heard so many accounts of the location of Transformus, Deerfields. People tend to cock their heads to the side, sigh and get a dreamy look in their eyes as they talk of the apple orchard, stream, lakes, green, mountains. I’m excited to be heading out for the work weekend so I can see it with my own eyes.
Next stop: Deerfields, home of Transformus.