Coverage by Sonia Lopez
Escape to Hazzard County 6 is put on by Gasser Lounge and Psychopath Productions. Last year they received multiple complaints from attendees ranging from not liking the food to dissatisfaction with the beer temperatures and people arguing about the lighting of fireworks in the woods. They decided to scale the event down a lot so that they could be able to enjoy their own event with their friends. I am so glad they did because it did not disappoint one bit!
The event is at Live Oak Campground which is about 12 miles outside of Santa Barbara, California in the Santa Ynez Valley. The closest town is Santa Ynez and is known for being a sophisticated cowboy town. They have multiple wineries that are known for being some of the best in the country. The weather here is beautiful year around and this weekend was mid- seventies during the day and around 50 degrees at night.
My trip started from San Jose, California, the total trip miles to Hazzard County was 279 miles. I rode solo down on a 2009 Sportster Nightster 1200. It took me about four and a half hours total ride time. I did not see any vans, old choppers or any bikes packed with camping gear on my ride down. Many camping events I have been to in the past, you see multiple people along the way and can find someone to ride with. Once I got into Santa Ynez, my first stop was at El Rancho Market to grab some food to barbecue and some beer, this is where I spotted my first sign of other riders who may be going to the event. I saw two guys at the meat counter in riding gear and immediately walked up and said, “Hey, are you guys headed to Escape to Hazzard County?” They looked, at me surprised and said, “YES!” We got our food items and took the beautiful final ride through small twists into the mountains and to the Live Oak Camp Ground.
The entry to the event as we rolled up was a van and a couple of old choppers stopping people as they came in. We were met there and stopped by a guy with a huge smile on his face he walked up and offered up a swig of Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire Whiskey, before asking us for our tickets to the event. We then rolled up a small hill into the campground to an open dirt field with scattered trees and surrounding forrest. It was around noon, people had already been set up and partying, riding mini bikes and meeting up with old friends.
Cricket Outlaw Moonshadow (AKA Cricket the Boston Terrier) and her parents came in from Las Vegas. A quick set up of our camps and a bite to eat before the booze started flowing and we were off in full submersion of Escape to Hazzard County. Hanging at the camp site there were a couple of vans around us with an ice chest. They were so nice and generous to let us keep our beer and food in their cooler. This was just a glimpse of how kind people were and it was like everyone was long time friends and family. From the area we were set up was almost right in the middle of camp. Taking a 360 degree view around the event there were a lot of choppers, a lot of vans and cars, motorhomes, people riding mini bikes, a huge stack of fire wood free for the taking, random placed barrels for burning wood and people just hanging out.
The thing that first caught our eye was a group of people playing flip cup. One of the guys was in a full mohawk, drinking beer out of a glass boot, wearing a shirt that said, “I don’t care about you, fuck you.” You know it is gonna be a party when someone brings flip cup to a camp out! Cricket quickly made friends but then some girl started running around randomly with her on a leash and it was time to make our way the the next spot of people.
The Heathen Kings are a south Bay based social club. They are into Punk, Psycholbilly, bikes and beer. They brought a couple of vans and mini bikes and had, in my opinion the best set up at the entire event. The most fun and welcoming group of guys that you will ever come across. They had two kegs, a bunch of mini bikes, and tons of food that they seemed to be cooking up half the night! The event had a moonshine easter egg hunt and these guys had found 10+ of the containers of hooch! Their vans were some of the sweetest 70’s style vans with the shag thick carpet inside, an elevated bed in the back and a half cut up wine barrel for a seat. This van was by far my favorite. Unfortunately during the parting and debauchery that van took an unfortunate turn during the night as someone took a shit on the rim of the van. It made for an interesting morning when the discovery was made but they basically just said, “hey shit happens.”
We talked to one guy who made a round trip of 7,000 miles to come to this camp out! He flew out of Milan to LA and then rode to Santa Barbara. If this does not tell you something about what kind of a party this is… I am not sure what does. Like I wrote at the beginning of the article, this years Hazzard was scaled down. That is what made this years event so great.
This years event brought back what an old school original down and dirty campout and parties should be. A huge campfire. The largest woodfired grill I have ever scene and music from the Kira Lingman Band. People made their own party and fun. There wasn’t dumptruck screaming into a microphone about the next hillbilly game that was taking place. Zero awful Karaoke singing resulting in me having the song “Love Shack”, which i hate stuck in my head the whole way back the next day. It was people making their own fun! I felt like it was pure freedom! I could see a snap shot of the camp being made into a David Mann motorcycle masterpiece. People made their own slow ride events, hollering for someone to come join them. There was a girl on the back of a bike shooting a bow and arrow at a hay bale for hours. A dude on his dyna shouting to everyone–”Hey I am going to ride my Dyna through the woods like a dirt bike, “ and off he went, over and over again.
The morning after the night of partying was not as much fun. People waking up staggering around looking pretty rough! Stay Chill Bill’s bike ended up on a picnic table with random beers and liquor placed on it. I had a bottle of fireball in my helmet that someone placed in there. One guy told me that every year he books a hotel down the street so he can just ride shower and pass back out in a comfy bed–genius!! Everyone packing their bikes back up and making the rolls not as neat and tight as the ride down. But everyone was still just as friendly as the night before and saying their farewells to all the new friends we all had made!
Events like these really drive home why I love this culture! Motorcycle people are truly like family. Motorcycles have enriched my life in ways I could not have fathomed when I first threw my leg over one. I am grateful for the event that Gasserlounge threw. There was not as many attendees at this event compared to last years, but he still made everyone feel welcome and like a friend. The sense of community that was created here could never be replicated–a truly epic event!