On our way back north, we stopped in Chico to visit David and Trudy. Dave is Katy’s brother and also Pete’s. Here in the Central Valley of California, folks grow food. Fruit, nuts, rice, cattle, and more. No surprise then that our sightseeing tour had a focus on food, with even some eating thrown in, and there were other aspects, as well.
Coming into California for me is kind of like coming home, since I was actually born here. I still have many connections to friends and family in this state, so we have some serious traveling ahead of us. Let us begin…
My mother’s sister Gerda lives on a cattle ranch in southern Oregon, and has done so for close to all of her adult life. The ranch has been her family home since my uncle Hawk took it over from his uncle Buck and my aunt has been running the place with her family for decades. She is an honored cattlewoman and has been a strong matriarch of the family and the family business.
There is a certain ethereal plane of friendship where you can pick up a conversation as though you’d just left the room for a few minutes, even after a gap of several years. This is how it feels when I get back together with Dana, my roommate from college, and his wife Muffin, both of whom I’ve known for a few more than forty years.
For that reason, alone, our visit was wonderful. Food and conversation, catching up, exchanging stories, just hanging out and visiting with old friends like these were still the old times. Fantastic! I’m not going to make this post about that, though.
Last October in Memphis at the Blues Guitar Unleashed (BGU) Live gathering, several of us jammers stayed at the Tom Sawyer Mississippi River Campground in West Memphis, Arkansas. Among that crew were Michael (known as Stringbreaker on the BGU forum) and his wife, Kat. Michael and Kat live in Moab and they told us we should stop by if we were ever passing through there. Ding ding ding!
Continue reading “Jamming with Stringbreaker”
Our foray into New Mexico was actually another blues guitar visit. We’ve met my friend Steve twice before in real life, and he and I have been friends online through the BGU forum for several years. Steve told me, in a reply to a forum post I made last year in which I detailed the states we planned to visit, that there was a mistake in my list – I’d left out New Mexico. Well, to me that sounded pretty close to an invitation to visit the legendary Compound within which Steve and his lovely wife Hyacinth reside, and I vowed not to make that mistake again this year.
Regular readers may recall that last year took us through Colorado’s Front Range area, where we met up with my BGU brothers Chris and Frank for a drive-by blues jam. Well, that was so much fun that when the map for our trek to Utah began to take shape and quite naturally aimed itself for Denver, it was an easy decision to try for a repeat. An excellent time was had by all! More pictures below.
This is Walker. Walker lives in Beaufort, NC, which is pronounced “Bo-Fort.” (If it were pronounced “Biew-Fert” you’d be in an entirely different town in South Carolina.) Walker’s humans are named Carlos and Hope and they have a band called the Beaufort Blues Project (1st pronunciation), or BBP.
We’re expecting to be back to Vermont in less than a week. As we close in on the end of our time on the road, our schedule is losing a lot of the elasticity to which we’ve been happily accustomed (and wouldn’t my English teacher have been proud of that phrase?*).