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For country fans, all off-roads lead to Big Valley

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 8.53.10 PMPublished in the Edmonton Journal August 1, 2013.


When you’re out in the wild, living in a jungle of tents harbouring strange shirtless beasts, life’s priorities change.

Shelter comes to mind as an immediate survival necessity, but Nick Mytopher says things are different out here. On this dusty patch of land, overrun with calf-high grass, prickly weeds and giant spiders, you must be in the right frame of mind to tackle your tarps and portable barbecue.

“We cracked two bottles of champagne before we did anything,” Mytopher said, pointing to the half-empty bubbly perched on a cooler on the ground. The rest of his gear remained untouched, perfectly stacked like a game of Tetris in the back of his truck.

“It makes for a fun campsite.”

Mytopher, 21, and his two friends consider themselves Big Valley Jamboree veterans, having attended the country music festival in Camrose for three years. Like many campers, music lovers and beverage enthusiasts trickling into the grounds for the four-day festival, the young Fort McMurray residents arrived Thursday afternoon, knowing exactly what to do first when setting up their temporary home.

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