You never leave for Cornerstone early enough. I found that out this year. But sometimes, these things have a way of working out. Before heading down to Bushnell, I had gotten together with a few others going and tried to figure out a good spot. I figured we’d be able to secure it easily, since Nolan and I were leaving on the 1st. Noone goes to the fest that early, I reckoned.
Nolan and I left Lincoln around 11:00am, on a slightly overcast Sunday. As soon as we hit Highway 2, we popped in Johnny Cash and let the sweet strains of Live at Folsom Prison carry us along the way. There’s just something about old, classic country (Cash, Marty Robbins, etc.) that makes for perfect music when driving across this great country of ours.
Anyway, the drive across Iowa was pleasant enough, as far as drives across Iowa go. We stopped at the Parthenon Cafe on the Mississippi (highly recommended, by the way), before crossing over into Illinois. Those last 30 – 45 minutes always seem the longest. But we eventually reached Bushnell. And of course, I should’ve known that God would be showing off His sense of humor when our journey into Bushnell was delayed by a train that seemed to take forever. Evidently, I didn’t learn anything about patience, because God had a doozy of a lesson ready for me.
We reach the campgrounds, and after waiting (again) in line, we jet over to the predestined campsite. Now, as I said before, I thought noone would come to the fest this early, especially since they were charging an early arrival fee. But oh no, the campgrounds seemed especially packed. And wouldn’t you know it, the campsite we wanted was already full of campers. However, Nolan and I stumbled on a fairly pleasant spot not too far away from our “ideal” spot. It had plenty of shade, and it was even fairly secluded from the rest of the festival. Our very own sylvan glade, if you will.
We quickly set up camp and walked around for awhile, letting the whole thing sink in. Nolan was a little surprised that I turned in so early, at 9:30, since I usually never go to bed before midnight or so. But what else was I going to do? I knew we’d have friends arriving on the 2nd, and there wasn’t much to see or do yet, so I hit the hay early.