1:35 p.m.: I'm directed to a camping area behind the Sun Up and Sun Down stages. Hedging my bets between a road-worn, yellow school bus and a modern motor home, my weekend base camp is established in a tree line set back from the cushy Coachman. I immediately make a point of hitting up my new neighbors, Leftover Salmon, for a cup of beer.
2:53 p.m.: Austin guitarist Malcolm Welbourne christens the Sun Down Stage with Southern-fried swamp funk. Welbourne later matches his slide against the bow of violinist Theresa Andersson, sparking a fistfight between two videographers disagreeing about whether she should be noted as "special guest" or "guest violinist."
3:25 p.m.: The two concert-recording outfits (DiscLogic and Real Image Recording) capturing the weekend's sets and immediately offering them for sale are served cease-and-desist letters by Clear Channel representatives claiming that a patent gives the company exclusive rights to the process. The Clear Channel legal team then serves another cease-and-desist to a guy quietly hocking 'shrooms by the swag tent, claiming the company's exclusive rights to making others believe in shit that can't possibly be based in reality.
3:39 p.m.: The tuba belonging to Drums and Tuba is confiscated by the Douglas County Sheriff's Department as "paraphernalia."
5:30 p.m.: I tromp to the outskirts of the Simpsons-inspired campground communities as the soulful blues organ wail of the Greyhounds hangs in the air. As I pass a grizzled vendor displaying glass pipes by the side of the road, I hear him ask a browsing customer, "So, is there some sort of concert going on around here this weekend?"
8:09 p.m.: Sound Tribe Sector 9 discovers halfway through its set that the crowd is considerably more looped than their music.
8:47 p.m.: Festival organizer and Pipeline Productions impresario Brett Mosiman declares the first Wakarusa a smashing success.
9:23 p.m.: Through an unconventional mix of pedals, effects and electronics, guitarist and one-man jam band Keller Williams inadvertently clones himself onstage.
10:17 p.m.: Hard-hitting funk-jam outfit Galactic kicks its set into high gear with the help of vocalist Latrice Barnett's sultry take on Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." Audience members run to the nearest stand of trees for shelter when they mistake Ben Ellman's vicious saxophone and Stanton Moore's thundering drums for another thunderstorm.
12:04 a.m.: Robert Randolph launches into a ferocious rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" but quickly abandons his plans to set his pedal steel on fire after discovering that he doesn't have enough lighter fluid.
12:50 a.m.: Local quartet Brother Bagman takes the stage at the Central Plains Jamband Society Own-Grown Stage outside of Camp Krusty for the post-show come-down. What few drops of life remain are attributed to intravenous caffeine infusions being sold out of the back of the Coffee Girls booth. 12:02 p.m.: The traditional string-band sounds of the Hackensaw Boys filter through the backstage area, serving as a merciful wake-up call at the ass-crack of noon.
12:44 p.m.: A rumor begins to circulate around the Sun Down Stage that acoustic-guitar goddess Kaki King is really the long-lost love child of Ani DiFranco and Keller Williams.
1:15 p.m.: Throwback-tripping rockabillies BR-549 quietly ponder whether Hank Williams ever did it this way. And if he did, why didn't he ever let Waylon Jennings know?
2:43 p.m.: After the ferocious one-two punch of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" and Tower of Power's "What Is Hip," Four Fried Chickens and a Coke lead singer Steve Cox declares the band to be on a mission from God and proceeds to kick into a soulfully funkified arrangement of "Kumbaya."
3:18 p.m.: The eternal optimism of Austin guitarist and songwriter Bob Schneider shines through as he declares that "the end of the world is on its way."
4:20 p.m.: Tea time.
4:40 p.m.: Backwater Florida rockers MOFRO bring a bit of old-school Allman Brothers soul to the Sun Up Stage. Vocalist J.J. Grey launches into a cover of the Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." A group of riled-up locals opt to forego a preplanned border skirmish and instead head off to the food area for a corn dog.
6:13 p.m.: Brett Mosiman declares next year's Wakarusa Festival a smashing success.
8:08 p.m.: On my way to check out Pomeroy, I overhear a guy loudly proclaim to his companion his gratitude for the festival's having offered an alternative to "all that corporate shit that the Man thinks it can force down our throats this summer." He then takes two more quick gulps of his Fat Tire, stops to ponder his choices in front of the Sheridan's Frozen Custard booth and continues on toward the Buddy Lee-mobile.
9:27 p.m.: Electronica jam wizards Particle kick into "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" from the Kill Bill, Volume 1 soundtrack. Word begins to circulate through the crowd that a militant band of chiggers has taken a young hippie chick hostage near Camp Milhouse.
12:49 a.m.: Leftover Salmon decimates the Revival Tent crowd, opening with a cover of "Tangled Up in Blue" and closing with an apocalyptic version of "Get Behind the Mule." Salmonheads quietly weep about the band's impending hiatus. 10:12 a.m.: I'm awakened by my own stench. This leads to the quandary of whether I should put my last $3 toward defunkification at the Rubber Duckies shower facilities or invest in a "super diggity-dank veggie breakfast burrito" on Shakedown Street.
1:04 p.m.: Serial popsters the Samples offer a cure for morning breath with "Lollipop," an ode to cunning linguistics.
2:30 p.m.: Big Wu closes its set with a languid cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." Circling the campground in a rented crop duster, Brett Mosiman declares the 25th anniversary of Wakarusa a smashing success.
Many phenomenal bands -- Indigenous, Los Lonely Boys, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and the North Mississippi Allstars among them -- remained. But the combination of sleep depravation, malicious chiggers, the ever-changing elements and my own hideous body funk were finally too overwhelming for this festival novice, and I decided to abandon my appointed duties. But what the hell. There's always next year. One man's journey into a weekend of short sets and really long solos.