The First 4 Days
Because we haven’t been playing any shows just yet, I decided to combine the first few days of our tour into one blog. Otherwise, each day would be more of the same: driving, eating, sleeping, ing, ing, ing. This way, I can just mention some highlights!
Monday: Off We Go
After a delicious brunch at our very favorite send-off restaurant in Tacoma, Cook’s Tavern, we finally got on the road around 3:30 pm. We had a few errands to run, including getting gas and picking up some merchandise in Federal Way. We anticipated driving until we could find some dinner and a rest stop, putting at least four or five hours of road time in that first night. We decided to grab a coffee in Federal Way to help us stay awake just in case. We had a shocking amount of trouble finding the entrance to the coffee place. We had almost given up after several wrong turns when I finally spotted the entrance to the drive-through. Once we had our coffee, Jared made another wrong turn and we felt like we were going to be stuck in Federal Way for the duration of tour!
We decided against finding a restaurant and wound up eating the leftovers that I had packed from home. We dined al fresco at a rest stop in Kennewick, Oregon. The sun was just setting and it was a perfect time to set up a picnic and really get our heads into the travel game. It is definitely a mind switch when you know you are going to be carrying your whole life with you for six weeks. The three years that we lived in the RV, it didn’t seem strange at all. However, when you live in two worlds…the “domestic, parenting, grocery shopping, trash-day on Sunday, friendly neighborhood bbq” world, and the “no showering, sleeping in the back of a truck, cleaning your armpits with body wipes, meeting new people at every stop, playing music for strangers” world, it takes a minute to adjust to where you are, where you’re going, and how you’re living.
For instance, as I am writing this, I am in the back of a trailer on a property in Manila, Wyoming, in the middle of a huge lightning and thunder storm. The whole trailer is rocking and shaking from the wind and the rain. Two hours ago it was warm enough for shorts and a tank top. You just truly have to be ready for anything.
Snuggled in on our new mattress we hit some crossword and put day one officially to bed.
Tuesday: “Ruh Roh”….
“Hey Jared, remember when we said we were going to test out the new camping mattress before we left for tour to see if it would be comfortable? And, remember how we never did that? Yeah. That was not our best move.”
Oh my goodness. Apparently, 3 inches of foam wrapped in a vinyl cover is not nearly as comfortable to sleep on as one might think. Granted, it was a baby step up from sleeping on the hard surface by itself, but it was shockingly uncomfortable. We knew when we woke up that there was no way we were going to be able to last six weeks on this new mattress. So, we put together a plan and headed to the nearest Walmart we could find.
We first tried taking the vinyl covering off of the foam because we thought that was what was making it so stiff. We then made the bed on top of the foam and tried laying on it.
No dice. We thought about buying just a 1 1/2” memory foam topper but that wasn’t going to work because, at 3 inches high, the foam we already had was almost too tall to fit under the bunk that we had made for when Rudy joins us. Adding any more height to that, and Jared and I would barely fit under it. So, we decided to go with a solo piece of three-inch memory foam, which is much squishier and has more give than regular foam, and removing our original mattress all together.
Upon testing it, we knew right away it was going to be better. Now, what do we do with the mattress we spent so much money on that was custom-made for our truck? We didn’t wanna throw it away, we’re too far from Tacoma to return it, besides, we DO think we will be able to use it in the future. However, how do we hang onto this monstrosity for the next six weeks? A little brain and bungee to the rescue!!
We knew this day needed to get better. And, it DID. I will tell you in a series of photos…
Mac’s Bar and Grill and some Pendleton Whisky in Pendleton, OR.
Wine tasting at Telaya Wine Co. in Boise, ID.
(First choice was Split Rail Winery, but it was closing…I bought a shirt anyway cuz they were cool!)
Our final (thank goodness) destination was Barbarian Brewery in Boise, ID. Bartender, Nicole, was super friendly and walked us through their amazing beer assortment. They specialize in sours, but have all kinds of other options!
Pizza from local pizza parlor called Americana Pizza. Sooo yummy!
I’m certain you can surmise by the photo series of beverages, why the night culminated in an awesome, fresh-ingredient pizza that totally hit the spot!!
(I’d like to note that the storm I’m in right now has tripled in size…along with the rain drops that now look like this…)
Now, though I am not totally promoting the massive consumption of alcohol to wash away a tough start to a day, it sure was fun! And, for all you momma types out there, we did not travel that night and had no hangovers because we properly hydrated. Look at us responsible rockstars. 😂
Today was a “put miles on” kind of day. We were shocked and amazed when our trusty “Amelia” hit 19 mpg, pulling a trailer at that!! Pretty sure the wind was helping, as we’re thinking it was on our back, but when we turned into it a bit, the Pilot still held fast around 18mpg. Good news, as gas is NOT getting cheaper out here.
I need to make a public apology to Wyoming, as last time we were here, apparently we were in the “moon surface” portion of the state. This time, we were fortunate enough to experience a whole new side of Wyoming. And it is absolutely breathtaking. We chased a storm that we eventually partnered with and I was too busy gawking to get any good pictures…and how can one truly capture anything splendid in nature in a photo, on a cell phone, from the less-dirty side of a more dirty car window? But, because images help move the story…
I’m telling you. No justice.
Through the storm we travelled. Through Mountain View, WY (35mph speed limit STRICTLY enforced) we rolled along. Into Manila, WY, final destination.
Greeted warmly with enthusiasm and high energy, we immediately felt at home. Charlie welcomed us and escorted us into the single-wide refurbished trailer from the 70’s. His smile was full of joy when he dropped his soggy duck toy in my lap. Charlie is a dog, and this is clearly HIS house. Randy and Jennie and the old dog, Sophie, just live here to keep up appearances!😂
We know Randy from 2008, back in our Ventura music days, and it’s Randy who helped us get the gigs we’re going to be playing Friday and Saturday night. Oh, man. What a lovely evening we shared talking and laughing and really getting to know each other. His wife, Jennie, made cauliflower crust, pesto sauce, fresh veggie (mostly home grown) pizza, followed by coconut milk peanut butter/chocolate homemade ice cream. Guys…we may never leave.
The amount of kindness shown ALREADY is enough to sustain us the next few weeks, and our adventure is only BEGINNING! Also, the storm has somewhat quieted now, so things feel fresh and calm. Birds are singing and the chickens are clucking. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Thursday: Shower. Storm. Blog. Easy.