It was 11pm when I pulled into Norman and Heather Meisterís cottage-on-the-bluff in Moss Beach, just up the road from Half Moon Bay (great place name, no?). Norman and I go way back to the 9th grade at Sir Francis Drake High School (on you Pirates!) and is my favorite singer. Weíve harmonized together for years and never tire of it. While living in Sebastopol, I would often drive down to spend a weekend with him and Heather. Norman and I perform now and then as a duo, The Waverly Brothers, specializing in tunes from the 50s and 60s. Norm also plays drums and sings in The Bar X Bunkhouse Boys, my western swing band.
The next day I met Karen, who had flown down from Portland to spend Thanksgiving week with me in the Bay Area. We stayed a few days at the Meisterís, enjoyed a fine Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Heather, then drove up to spend a few days at Perry Gulch Ranch, which is where I am as I write these words. The Ranch is a special place for us.
With Karen back on the plane to Portland, I drove over to Art Petersonís new digs in Emeryville. It was good to see him and Billy Wilson, both members of The Bar X Bunkhouse Boys. I sure do miss the band. But we still pick up a few gigs from time to time, so watch for us!
From there I headed up to Sonoma County, my previous digs before going to Colorado. I stayed with good friends Mark and Jain, who are getting ready for their own Oregon adventure. After a visit to Analy High School to see all my friends and co-workers there, I packed up The Red Ranger one last time and lit out on the final leg of my journey. Eleven hours later in the driving rain (Welcome to Oregon), I pulled into Lake Oswego. My trip was now officially over. Finis.
I figure that the Ranger and I covered well over 6000 miles in about six weeks. Thatís a bunch of miles over a lot back roads. The truck ran great. What a treat it was to see so many friends and so much new country, from the Nebraska plains to the hills of North Carolina, from the Louisiana delta to the mountains of New Mexico. How fortunate I was to have the chance to make such a trip. I say to you all: If at all possible, get out and hit the road! Avoid the interstates and fast food. Take sudden detours. Trod new turf. Be an explorer. Find out more about yourself as you handle new situations. Make it an adventure. But donít wait too long. Yes, the country will always be here, but you wonít. Go!
Click one of the following formats
to bring it all to a musical finale:
(I hope one works. I'm still a bit baffled [no pun intended] by sound files.)