Moogfest is an annual music festival dedicated to Bob Moog, American pioneer of electronic music, and inventor of the Moog analog synthesizer in the 1950s. Moog analog synths are still made today at the factory in Asheville, NC, where we spent the weekend.
There were a couple of bands performing Friday and Saturday that (mostly) Kevin wanted to see, so we hopped on the bikes for what is probably our last multi-day trip of the year, and headed down the parkway to Asheville for the weekend.
Kevin playing with a Moog at the factory showroom in Asheville.
Moogfest is more Kevin’s scene than mine (I was only familiar with two of the groups at the entire festival), but I was still curious, and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity for a motorcycle trip through western NC.
Friday morning started out cool and foggy, but it was worth it after about mid-morning when the fog lifted and gave us sunny and brisk fall riding for most of the day.
Saturday afternoon was filled with three different panel discussions. While I knew Kevin would find these interesting, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. The first panel included Mortin Subotnick, who is absolutely brilliant. I’m still not into his “music,” but he’s incredibly interesting to listen to. The second panel included the members of Orbital, which was a pretty neat opportunity to sit in a room and hear them talk about their creative process and tell stories from the road.
The third panel was by far my favorite. On Bob Moog’s 78th birthday, Google posted what has to be one of their most elaborate “doodles” to date, an interactive, playable google logo that looks (and works!) like a Moog Synth. That particular google logo wasted untold numbers of man-hours the day it was posted, and aside from being a nice tribute, it’s technologically impressive. (Its a model analog synthesizer that runs in your browser. I’m mean, ‘come on.) The panel discussion with the members of Google responsible for that doodle was really fun. (And yes, Moogfest is definitely the province of the alpha geeks, your truly excepted of course).
Saturday night was the main draw for Kevin, since Orbital hasn’t performed live on the east coast of the US in about a decade. They’re pretty much the reason we went to Moogfest.
The ride back on Sunday was cold and gray. I love my heated gear, there is no way I could have ridden in that weather without it. The picture below was taken during the only time we saw the sun all day. It was absolutely spectacular to ride up the parkway out of Asheville, up through the fog into the bright sun, and see breathtaking views out over the valley with the mountains rising up through the clouds. I wish I had not waited for an overlook and just stopped on the side of the road like all those annoying people to take pictures.
We mostly traveled back home the way we came. Sometimes I feel like you can’t pick a bad road in western NC (notice the complete lack of interstate or even much highway riding.) While the Blue Ridge Parkway is always nice, some of my favorites continue be close to home: 268 and 89 in particular. Returning home this way makes the end of a nice riding trip less bittersweet, as there are still some really fun roads to look forward to.
8/26/-8/28/2012 – Home to Asheville and back, 475 miles.