Because we rolled into Wyoming at almost 1:00 am on the morning of Friday the 30th, our plans to visit with our friends that evening were scrapped, and we opted for much-needed sleep instead. Randy was kind enough to greet us (and of course the DWC, or Dog Welcoming Committee, as well: Charlie, Sophie, and Ernie), and check that we had whatever we needed. Then, as quickly as we had hugged our “hellos” out, we bade our host “goodnight” and hunkered down in a travel trailer set up for us just as nice as could be, and crashed until late the next morning. We all had business to attend to the next day, so when Randy popped into the trailer around 5:00 that evening with fresh-squeezed margaritas, we immediately shut our laptops and jumped at the opportunity to help with dinner (which there was nothing to do but sit and eat, thank you, Jennie!) and we were treated to an amazing, fresh, vegan dinner on the deck in the warm evening under the wide open Wyoming sky.  

The margaritas were just too good to only have one, so the boys made a store run to restock the supplies!

With the sky pulling up all the moisture through the warm day, it decided to open up and weep a little on us during our evening walk. Jared and I seized the opportunity to snap a photo before it got too wet out. I couldn’t believe our luck to have this fully bloomed rainbow behind us!

It just got more and more beautiful as we walked back to our host home.

Something so special about these small towns tucked in the pockets of rural America is the ever-watchful eye of the residents. It may feel like they are being weird or snoopy, but I think it’s merely a sense of keeping a lookout for the uncommon or the new. As we passed through the streets with the rainbow in my hair mirroring the one in the sky, we could feel the front porch viewers taking note of the out-of-towners. I didn’t mind a bit. As a matter of fact, after being with a small town man for the past eighteen years, these behaviors that may have disturbed me at one time due to growing up in fairly big cities where most people mind their own business and ignore the unfamiliar for fear of being assaulted or some other such nonsense, the idea of the watchful neighbor or the curious porch spy-er, more than anything now, just brings me comfort and encourages me to raise a hand, smile, and give a warm “Hello!” or “Beautiful evening, isn’t it?” instead of keeping my head down and shying away from the encounters with strangers. It’s just another way to feel connected, and when we are guests in someone else’s town, it’s a nice way to show that outsiders are friendly and we respect the protective nature that the townsfolk display. So, we made a lot of “walkie friends” as we strolled through Randy and Jennie’s quaint, Wyoming / Utah neighborhood with our margarita glasses slowly getting dangerously low…

The evening ended with a heaping bowl of Jennie’s famous “nice cream” (just frozen bananas, cacao powder, blended together, with walnuts, frozen blueberries, and organic peanut butter, all swirled in…holy cow it is decadent!) and some warm conversation and laughs to send us off to bed to get rest before our first gig of the Summer Tour tomorrow night. What a lovely day…

Saturday was our gig at The Snag!

Well, I gotta say, this place NEVER disappoints. We had barely set up our merchandise when someone came, bought almost $200 worth of stuff, then apologized for not being able to stay for the show, then left! Yeah, merch for the win! But seriously, we had an absolutely wonderful show, sold a ton more merch, got fed some delicious fish tacos, and managed to not pass out from the heat. It was hugely successful, which is really great because last year it was ALSO hugely successful…and that can be a lot of pressure the next go-around. Like, “What if we aren’t as exciting?”, or, “Maybe they won’t be as impressed…”. It’s definitely something I worry about, but it’s also something that keeps us on our toes. Plus, we have new music and new merch, so we try to keep it fresh each time. It will be a challenge once we get into South Dakota where we JUST were in April. We have four shows while we’re there…I’m going to have to get creative! 

On our drive back to Manila, UT, where we were staying, we had to traverse through the Utah mountains for about forty-five minutes. The night air was so thick and heady with the smell of the forest around us, I had to have my window down to take it all in. The sun was setting and the sky looked to lovely. I shot this picture and only then realized that the tinted front windshield gave the night sky a different color than what I saw through my rolled down window. I thought the outcome was really cool. Same sky, different lens. Like the truth, or a story. If I never rolled the window down, I would have seen the blue sky and swore by it. But the unfiltered sky looked more purple. Just something that gave me pause as we drove home in a kind and soft silence of words, with only the fragrant wind pulling in from the trees as our soundtrack. It really is ok to admit or at least acknowledge that we can be seeing the same thing completely opposingly, but that doesn’t make either viewpoint better or wrong, it just means they are different.

Sunday Funday brought with it beautiful, clear skies and the opportunity for the “first boat ride of the season”. We packed up a fresh-made pasta salad and some fruit, plenty of White Claws, and enough sunscreen to cover the boat itself. Last year, we did this same boat ride and I think there were some nice photos from that ride, so I didn’t retake. Plus, it really was a lot windier than we anticipated, so there was a lot of splashing! By the time we got home that night, we were all pretty sun-worn, wind beaten, and just overall exhausted. Veggie kabobs had been lovingly made by Bill and Sue (a couple of friends  also staying with Randy and Jennie) and then went on the grill, margaritas were poured, and we enjoyed our last dinner with our dear friends. Because we wanted to get going before 10:00 the next morning with a seven-hour drive to the Denver area ahead of us, we all retired by 9:00 that night. Jared said he was still rocking from the boat ride…I think it’s just cuz he rocks in general. 

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