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.
Ha! You were thinking we might have one!
We really enjoyed our approach to adventure planning (others might call it non-planning), well honed on last year’s adventure. We set an intention to explore one or two areas of the country, then connect them up. As we go along.
Neither one of us has ever been to the Southern UT/Northern AZ canyons, so we’ve set aside the month of May – after the snows, before the heat and crowds – to hike, bike and generally check out this gorgeous and unique terrain that is so unlike New England. We’ll know when we’re done, and at that point, we’ll likely head north as the temps turn into summer. We’d like to see Glacier National Park. Then, we’ll likely head to the left coast, visiting friends and family, looking for music jams and enjoying fun places until it’s time to come back to New England.
Unlike last year, this adventure will require some ‘re-positioning.’ We most enjoy poking around slowly, following the wind and sound of blues. For the first few weeks this year, we’ll travel slightly longer days in a more or less direct line to Moab, threatening to visit any friends and family that may be along that line.
Of course, we’ll adapt as we go along…
No excuses are needed to reminisce about our 2016 adventure. We’ll talk travel with anyone who’ll listen not just to be polite. And fond memories pop up every now and again.
As we start planning the next adventure, and consider how to make epic even more epic, we look back to 2016 for lessons learned – what we loved and plan to continue and what we’d like to do differently.
So here’s our 2016 trip summary, keepers and things we’ll do differently…
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?*).
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.