With Memphis in the rear view mirror, we knew we’d have to pick up the pace a bit to visit a few people and get back to VT before the snow flies. Although up to this point neither of us had ever stepped on Mississippi or Alabama soil, we had to resign ourselves to visiting these states as more or less a drive-by, and make plans to visit again in the future.
It was time for a different kind of adventure for us – chill. In the past month alone, we’d been awed and inspired by the beauty of Roosevelt, Badlands and Rocky Mountain National Parks as well as the Black Hills of SD and high peaks area of CO. We’re still giggling about our serendipitous and crazy visits to Carhenge and The City Museum in St Louis. We thoroughly enjoyed visits with old and new friends and family in SD, CO and MO. We were thrilled to join two jam sessions in CO. And we were acutely aware that a major, 3-day jam in Memphis was just 2 weeks away. We needed to take a short break from adventuring and take some practice time.
Drawing a line on the (virtual) map from St Louis to Nashville, where we planned to visit Doug’s cousins, we saw a major splotch of green – the Land Between the Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area. Sounds nice. And the old man (Doug) gets a senior discount! We laid a course.
The Xscapers SoCo Convergence was amazing!
First, a little background… Continue reading “Xscapers SoCo Convergence”
Since we were coming through the Boulder/Denver area, I got in touch with a couple of my Blues Guitar Unleashed friends who live nearby. Sue and I had a great afternoon with Chris and Frank. Chris generously hosted us all, providing both lunch and jam space. We played through a bunch of blues standards, switched around on various instruments, and tried a few things out in preparation for “The Show” (that’s my name for it), the annual BGU Live gathering which we will all be attending in Memphis in early October.
Yes! In fact, Harry Chapin pretty much nailed it right there. Here’s what we’re talking about:
A day or two ago, Rod & Tanya were at their desks at home in Egan, SD reading a new post on Technomadia about their friends Chris & Cherie’s stay in our driveway back home in Vermont. At that very moment outside in Rod and Tanya’s driveway were The Destinators (aka Doug & Sue), enjoying a cup of coffee in their rig, catching up on the news and a few select blogs – and reading the same Technomadia post. See what I mean?
The blues community in Duluth, Minnesota has been putting on a blues festival right there on Lake Superior every August for 28 years. (I never knew!) When we found out about this year’s festival and noticed how it coincided closely with our evolved and updated route and timing, and how they have overnight RV parking in the adjacent Duluth Entertainment Conference Center (DECC) parking lots for festival-goers, well, there was really no decision left to be made. The only dicey part was that RV parking was first come-first served, but we showed up early in the afternoon on Thursday and we got The Destinator a spot for the weekend.
Recall from a previous post, we put friends’ recommendations for places to visit in MI on a map and tried to visit most of them. Jula, a friend from VT, suggested several, including 3 in NW MI – amazingly varied, totally cool places to visit. Thanks Jula, you nailed it!
Doug is a member of the Blues Guitar Unleashed (BGU) forum, an on-line guitar community dedicated to learning blues guitar. Periodically, BGU members host (and we attend) live events in different places around the country, which is where we met our friends Tom and Laurel. For the past few days, they’ve been our hosts and fun finders extraordinaire and Tom our lead guitar for an incredible blues binge.
As with any BGU meet-up, warm greetings were quickly followed by instruments coming out and an impromptu jam session, this one in Tom’s music room on Friday evening. Tom and Doug traded off on rhythm and lead guitar and bass, while I got to accompany them on the RV drum kit ’til way past our bedtimes. There’s no better way to start a blues binge!