As I recall, Bethe, the outing your speaking of (with Art liam, etc. at the Quabbin) was just before my brain surgery. I had brought partial kits of three different formats, unable at that time to get my act together at all. I was lucky to have even found my way there! If you thought that looked like something you wanted to try, you were already well on your way to perdition and I had little to do with it. Papagene, on the other hand was cool, collected and efficient (god, I hate that guy!) He was, and is, a good example of a photographer who knows what he's doing and gets it done. He has saved my bacon, and my camera, more than once on a shoot (did I tell you how I hate that guy?). I suspect it was his example that made large format seem like a reasonable choice.
Still, years, and many cameras later, I too am very glad I went this route. Large-format photography is an experimenter's dream, filled with discovery, adventure and surprise. Using the brain cells, problem solving, creating in the moment... all of the above. It's worth the small amount of money you can spend to get started. Many items are free or almost free if you let people know you are looking for them.
After you get started, of course, you have to watch out you don't spend all of your money.