It's an understandable assumption that when you're camping you just have to accept that you're going to be kind of a dirt dog. However, if you stay over at Pickathon, this does not have to be true. I went for the first time last summer, and although I was aware that there were supposedly showers around somewhere, I didn't bother; it was only one night. This year I camped out both Friday and Saturday nights, and fully planned to take advantage of every comfort offered, but all I was expecting was a crude spicket, cold water, a lack of privacy, and mud. To my surprise, Pickathon not only had hot (clean, private-ish) showers, it had a sauna, massage, and acupuncture. The entity responsible for all this is the aptly named The Oasis, a portable bathhouse service that sets up its gypsy caravan of red tents and oriental rugs at festivals around the region.
A hot shower cost $6 with provided Dr. Bronner's (lavender) and if you didn't have one you could rent a towel for $3. Using a combination of solar, wood-fired, and propane heating techniques, the water never ran cold, and was a little slice of heaven even at five minutes or less, standing on a clean wood platform with the gauzy pseudo-privacy of curtain dividers and the big sky above. Outside was a big, real sink with a gilded mirror.
The sauna is in a converted Airstream "Land Yacht" circa '68. Co-ed and clothing optional, it's dim and cedar-lined with an often attended-to wood burning stove, and has an anteroom for breaks and drinking water and if you followed a trail of mats a ways behind the trailer you'd find a shower head for cold ablutions. Sauna use (no time limit as far as I could tell) was also $6, but each morning I did what any sensible person would, and went for the shower/sauna $10 combo.
The real treat was the massage I had on Saturday. Rates for massage and acupuncture were perfectly reasonable at $30/half hour and $55/hour, so I made an appointment with Susanna Low-Beer, who did a fabulous job. By the time any of the bands I was interested in started playing I was clean and relaxed. This is the fourth year that The Oasis has been part of Pickathon, and I hope they continue. I certainly will not skip them at the festival again.
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