S. A. T. W. P. Episode 42

June 4th 2017. Day 4.

Jerome, ID.

We just finished our unfinished game of Scrabble.

Our scrabble game. I'm not sure who won.
Our scrabble game. I’m not sure who won.

We woke up in White Bird, ID and Dave hopped out and took a picture of Martin Kessels because he had neglected to take one yesterday. After breakfast and a shower we hit the road by 10 a.m.

Our camping spot in White Bird, ID.
Our camping spot in White Bird, ID.

White Bird, ID was beautiful. The Swiftwater RV park was great, the best one so far. We asked Anna (the owner) if we should pay the difference between tent and RV camping but she said no.

The beautiful Salmon River.
The beautiful Salmon River.

There were glowing green lights everywhere in the trees at night and we had to ask why that was. She responded they installed special “bliss” lights. We noticed that she had a “Sisters On The Fly” sticker in her window.

We give the Swiftwater RV Park a 7/7 tiles, our first use of the 7 tile rating system. We elaborate on why the high rating.

Idaho is such a beautiful state, Dave gives it 7/7 tiles.

Murphy, ID, from about a half-mile away.
Murphy, ID, from about a half-mile away.

We crossed a timeline, crossed a little part of Oregon and made it to Murphy, Idaho, Dave’s favorite small town in Idaho. Dave had a mixed performance but got to see Jim Nimmo and hear his family again. Dave missed the horned toad races.

People watching the horned toad races in Murphy, ID.
People watching the horned toad races in Murphy, ID.

Stephanie had a piece of pumpkin pie! It was 90 degrees and sunny and then the big wind hit. We saw a huge dust cloud coming toward us and we hopped in the van and started driving through it. We decided not to stay at a local archaeological site that had camping facilities and ended up crawling along through a “0” visibility dust storm mixed with tumbleweeds.

Dave with Jim Nimmo.
Dave with Jim Nimmo.

Melba was our first choice for camping but the wind was too high. Three Island Crossing had trees down everywhere and there was heavy lightning so we drove on to Jerome, ID, another one of our favorite cities, to a big box store parking lot.

On the freeway there were many trucks that had pulled over and many others that were all over the road. There was another point where a road worker had to pull barrels off the road.

We are very tired so hopefully we will be able to relax.

We talk more about Murphy, ID, and Leslie Hinton, who sold us a pie. Dave asked her some questions and she answered that she had lived in Portland, Boise, and Murphy. She gave Murphy a glowing revue and said that at least people are still friendly in Murphy. Leslie says to not to tell people about Murphy so it will stay the same. Stephanie sees a kitten and Dave puts the kibosh on having it as a van mate.

Dave performing in Murphy, ID.
Dave performing in Murphy, ID.

We talk about getting a better sign off. We come up with nothing better.

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S. A. T. W. P. Episode 41

June 3rd 2017. Day 3.

White Bird, ID.

Our very first interview! It is with Martin Kessels, a long distance biker from The Netherlands.

Martin Kessels.
Martin Kessels.

We are playing Scrabble as we podcast.

We slept in the parking lot of a Big Box store in Bozeman, MT, and were on the road by 8.

Some interesting rocks along the way.
Some interesting rocks along the way.

Yesterday we stopped in a rest area and made beans where there was a rattlesnake warning.

Wise words!
Wise words!

This morning we stopped in a coffee shop and had some laughs with the barista.

Dave played at Grizzly Peak for his third time and talked to our friend David. Some other residents told Dave dirty jokes. It is always fun to play there.

We drove on one of our favorite roadways, Highway 12 from Lolo to Kooskia,  a winding and very beautiful road.

Highway 12 from Lolo, CO. to Kooskia, ID.
Highway 12 from Lolo, CO. to Kooskia, ID.
Whitewater rafting on the Lochsa River in Idaho.
Whitewater rafting on the Lochsa River in Idaho.

We stopped at Colgate Licks.

Colgate Licks, ID.
Colgate Licks, ID.

We proceeded South through a beautiful valley (that reminded us of Ireland) to White Bird, ID.

The view above White Bird, ID.
The view above White Bird, ID.

White Bird has a beautiful downtown and the Swiftwater RV Park is a very nice little gem of a campground.

The Salmon River in White Bird, ID.
The Salmon River in White Bird, ID.

Stephanie won Scrabble last night by about 20 points.

Dave looking out at the Salmon River.
Dave looking out at the Salmon River.
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S. A. T. W. P. Episode 40

June 2nd, 2017. Day 2.

Bozeman, MT.

We have made it to the Rocky Mountains and on the way we saw some Pronghorn antelope.

Some of the Badlands that we drove through.
Some of the Badlands that we drove through.

Dave had a hard time sleeping last night due to coffee and claustrophobia, but we were up at 6 and on the road by 7.

A sign advertising The Enchanted Highway.
A sign advertising The Enchanted Highway.
"Geese In Flight" on The Enchanted Highway.
“Geese In Flight” on The Enchanted Highway.

On the road we saw a bunch of cool tiny campers from an organization called “Sisters On The Fly”. There is a discussion about large campers and then we see one.

One of the "Sisters On The Fly" campers.
One of the “Sisters On The Fly” campers.

We discuss all the things we saw during the day’s drive and talk about America’s trouble adopting roundabouts.

Lots of interesting exits one might take along the highway including this one for "Buffalo Gap".
Lots of interesting exits one might take along the highway including this one for “Buffalo Gap”.

In Billings, Dave took a nap and then had a fun gig. Stephanie wrote down reactions from the residents.

We go over the scores from last night’s Scrabble game and some of the words.

 

Our Scrabble game from 6/2/17.
Our Scrabble game from 6/2/17.

Dave won, 271 – 248.

On to Missoula tomorrow, we discuss the upcoming schedule of shows.

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S. A. T. W. P. Episode 39

June 1st, 2017. Day 1.

Recorded in Medina, ND.

This is the first podcast from our first Spring Tour of 2017. We are in the back of a van which is rigged as a camper. Over the past week Dave has been adapting the back of our 1998 Toyota Sienna. We talk about the design and materials that Dave used. These are the pictures of how it is rigged up. This is a beta-test for the Scamp that we intend to buy.

Cross bracing for the platform.
Cross bracing for the platform.
The platform from the back.
The platform from the back.

Stephanie also created black-out panels for the van windows. She talks about the challenges she had in the process.

Platform from the side.
Platform from the side.

Yesterday we did our food shopping and also purchased a new Coleman Stove after returning the cheap piece of crap we had purchased from Wal-Mart. We discuss the stove that we returned, the return process and what we think of Wal-Mart.

Dave planted the garden the day before we left and we had fresh morels and asparagus for dinner.

The musical equipment in the back.
The musical equipment in the back.

We were up early, packed and repacked the car a few times and on the road by 11:30. A good gig in Fargo, ND, and then we drove to Jamestown for another very good gig. Dave tells a joke.

The camping equipment in the sides.
The camping equipment in the sides.

We arrived at the town park in Medina, ND, made some sandwiches and now we are podcasting, Scrabbling and getting ready to sleep. We discuss recent games of Scrabble that we have played.

The evening’s Scrabble game. 271 for Dave, 248 for Stephanie.

We are headed to Billings, MT, tomorrow!

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S. A. T. W. P. Episode 38

June 13th, 2016. Day 38

Waite Park, MN.

We are at home on the couch with our cat, Archie!

We were up at about 5:30 a.m. and arrived home at 11:00 p.m.

Buffalo Bill.
Buffalo Bill.

We started out in Sheridan, WY, and drove through with just a few stops, our first being a very early one for gas in Sheridan. All the traffic signals were flashing yellow.

A view from the rest area.
A view from the rest area.
Lewis and Clark did a lot more camping than we did.
Lewis and Clark did a lot more camping than we did.

We stopped at a rest area that was dedicated to Lewis and Clark and noticed that there was no mention of Sacajawea. Dave napped for a while. We also stopped at Wall Drug and Stephanie got to see it for the first time.

Annie Oakley.
Annie Oakley.
Wyatt Earp.
Wyatt Earp.
Wild Bill.
Wild Bill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch was at a Perkins in Mitchell, SD. We got an onion ring that we used as an “anti-” symbol. We listen in on other diner’s conversations.

Our food was politically motivated.
Our food was politically motivated.

Since we happened to be in Mitchell, Dave convinced Stephanie to go see the Corn Palace. We talk about the Corn Palace in detail.

Stephanie hitches a ride on a jackalope.
Stephanie hitches a ride on a jackalope.
Wall Drug... we have arrived!
Wall Drug… we have arrived!

East on 90 to Sioux Falls and then 23 up through Minnesota with one stop for beer in Granite Falls so Dave could have a nightcap.

The corn art above the stage in the enormous Mitchell Corn Palace!
The corn art above the stage in the enormous Mitchell Corn Palace!

We made good time today with an end mileage of 10,192 miles, 11 states, some of the most beautiful country in America and it is nice to be home.

Dave had to have his picture taken with Willie Nelson.
Dave had to have his picture taken with Willie Nelson.

We talk about some of the highlights of the tour and how we managed to do it on a shoestring. We discuss what we learned and some of our plans for future.

Dave getting a little too friendly with the locals.
Dave getting a little too friendly with the locals.

What a tour! Such great people, what beautiful country, amazing food and competitive games of Scrabble!

The Mitchell Corn Palace!
The Mitchell Corn Palace!
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S. A. T. W. P. Episode 37

June 12th, 2016. Day 37

Recorded in Sheridan, WY, at the home of our friend, Julie.

Dave lost at Scrabble last night, 333-195. His new strategy of falling asleep in the middle of the game didn’t work.  Tonight he lost by only a few points, which is a step in the right direction. Dave questions the scorekeeper. The scorekeeper claims to be very honest, Dave agrees.

Feeling bullish in Sheridan.
Feeling bullish in Sheridan.

We didn’t have coffee with our neighbor at the campground. We once again rate the Sheridan/Bighorn Mountains KOA at 2/5 tiles for several reasons. We are being generous.

Feeling sheepish in Sheridan.
Feeling sheepish in Sheridan.

We slept in a bit and then got on the road to Starbucks to use the internet. A group of older locals at a neighboring table were talking politics and especially gun control. This was recorded on the day of the mass shooting in Orlando, FL, and we are in a place where guns are welcome.

After the older locals left, a group of tattoo-covered bikers showed up and one of them removed his prosthetic leg. They then started discussing life, relationships, and books. Don’t judge people by appearances.

Horsing around in Sheridan.
Horsing around in Sheridan.

We continue our discussion of gun control, or the lack thereof.

Dave really likes the expression on this dog's face.
Dave really likes the expression on this dog’s face.

As we headed back to Julie’s house we took a picture of a sculpture of Sam Mavrakis, a local legend who was a veteran, sportsman and owner of a local sporting goods store. You should look him up.

Sam Mavrakis Sculpture.
Sam Mavrakis Sculpture.

Back at Julie’s house, Dave took a nap while Stephanie “Facebooked” and looked through some pamphlets.

Dave performing at the retirement community in Sheridan, WY.
Dave performing at the retirement community in Sheridan, WY.

After the nap we drove to a beautiful retirement community where they were celebrating their family day picnic for which Dave was playing. Great food all around and the performance was good although the PA was intermittent. A meadowlark sang along to the song “Summertime”. It was a great magical musical moment! Everyone was enjoying the show.

There was a resident who was from New York Mills, MN, and another who had been to the Mall of America. People were very interested in Dave’s 12-string guitar. We helped clean up after the show because the people there are so great.

Saying farewell to Sheridan and it's many sculptures!
Saying farewell to Sheridan and it’s many sculptures!

Back at Julie’s to record this podcast and get some sleep. We will be up early tomorrow to start home. It has been a long tour and we want to see our cat, Archie.

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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 36

June 11th, 2016. Day 36

Recorded at the Big Horn Mountains KOA, Sheridan, WY.

We had a great time today!

Inside the Sheridan Inn
Inside the Sheridan Inn

Some early morning confusion when Stephanie disappeared so Dave made breakfast. Stephanie reappeared and it all worked out.

The gunfighter.
Watch out for this guy, he won’t take crap from anyone!

Dave took care of some business at a local Starbucks (3/4 tiles) over lunch. We talked to Don, a former rodeo star who told us jokes and we got to eavesdrop on his phone call.

Indian Woman Walking
One of many great sculptures in Sheridan!

We saw another dude who looked like a cowboy and another with a hairstyle. We discuss Craigslist dating.

Nice kitty... nice kitty...
Nice kitty… nice kitty…

Scrabble scores – Stephanie won… again… by 50 points.

We went to our gig at a retirement center but had some trouble finding it. GPS has nothing on Stephanie, the ultimate navigator.

Sign for the Sheridan Inn.
Where Buffalo Bill stayed!

It was a good gig, loads of fun. The activities director there was shorter than Stephanie. Dave’s jokes fell flat, people were singing along, people danced, and we got asked back.

Dave gets it in the back.
I told you to watch out!

It looked like rain so we went back to the campsite and closed up the tent.

Inside the Sheridan Inn.
Inside the Sheridan Inn.

Then we walked around downtown Sheridan and took pictures of the amazing sculptures. Sheridan is filthy with sculptures.

The Beautiful and Historic Sheridan Inn.
The Beautiful and Historic Sheridan Inn.

It was drizzling but not unpleasant. We visited the Sheridan Inn where Buffalo Bill lived for a while. We took a look at an old steam locomotive and we noticed that the original train depot is for sale.

Dave looking at a steam engine.
Dave is wondering how hard it would be to get that out of there.
The old train depot.
The old train depot.

We walked around inside the Sheridan Inn, Dave used the restroom which smelled okay.

The lobby of the Sheridan Inn.
The main desk in the lobby of the Sheridan Inn.
Dave relaxing on the porch at the Sheridan Inn.
Dave relaxing on the porch at the Sheridan Inn.

We kept running into a horse drawn wagon giving rides to a distillery. Driving back to the campsite we stopped at a liquor store and got Dave a 4-pack of chocolate stout. There were adventures being planned outside the liquor store.

Horse drawn wagon.
This wagon kept trying to get us to go to a distillery.

Back to the KOA where Stephanie met a drunk guy and a guy with big boobs. While Dave cooked dinner Stephanie talked to the drunk from Alaska who was in town to spring his buddy from jail .

I think we met these guys at the KOA.
I think we met these guys at the KOA.

After dinner Dave played guitar and a woman came by with a Jack Russell terrier, Maxwell, and invited us for coffee in the morning.

Dave probes a horse's nose.
So hard to resist…

This KOA has deteriorated, we give it 2/5 tiles. Restroom smells, wifi is spotty, poor showers, no rec-room.

So many great sculptures!
So many great sculptures!
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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 35

June 10th, 2016. Day 35.

Recorded in Sheridan, Wyoming, at the Sheridan / Big Horn Mountains KOA.

First things first: Stephanie won by 40 points last night. Dave had all the “big” letters but Stephanie still won. Dave abused the tiles when we were done.

You can hear Interstate 90 in the background; we traveled a lot of it today.

The storm that we were watching while driving along I-90.
The storm that we were watching while driving along I-90.

We woke up this morning at the West Yellowstone KOA in Montana.

Last night we met Ben, a member of the Skablins from Arlington, WA, a 10 piece band.

During the night we were entertained by a crying baby, some snoring, a bit of talking and an amorous balloon squeaking neighbor who conspired to keep us from sleep.

A beautiful, sunny morning. Dave aired stuff on the picnic table while we made breakfast.

We packed up and got on the road by 9:05.

More of the cloud!
More of the cloud!

Stopped at a fast food joint for lunch and, not surprisingly, got some gas.

We went on a GPS detour from one road to the same road.

There was a beautiful cloud formation on the horizon which we watched for a good part of the drive. We could still see the amazing cloud after dinner.

We lost track of a receipt and spent a long time looking for it but even so we arrived in Sheridan at about 7.

Beautiful and far enough away!
Beautiful and far enough away!

Dave had a show in Billings, MT, his 3rd time at the venue. There were 2 Minnesotans there and it was good to chat. We were invited to dinner but we had too far to go so we declined.

There are all kinds of things to do and see in Sheridan. Buffalo Bill Cody stayed at the hotel in town and there are sculptures all over the place on Main Street (which we will take a look at tomorrow).

At dinner Dave had a hamburger and Stephanie had a breakfast platter.

The grain elevators of Sheridan, WY. The Best out West.
The grain elevators of Sheridan, WY. The Best out West.

Drove through town rather than taking the freeway, Dave knew the way home because he has been there before.

Now: Podcasting and Scrabble!

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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 34

June 9th, 2016. Day 34.

Recorded at the West Yellowstone KOA, MT.

Dave lost at Scrabble… by a lot.

We were recording after hours so we were trying to be quiet.

We woke up at Gros Ventre National Forest in the Tetons. There were awesome thunderstorms during the night.

Awesome Mountains!
Awesome Mountains!

Stephanie got into a conversation with the Scamp owner who was parked near us and then another one showed up so we had a mini Scamp convention. The owner nearest us turned out to be a classical guitarist and retired college professor who wants to start performing again.

We drove through Teton Pass which has a 10% grade.

Drove on to the West Yellowstone KOA, set up our tent.

The entrance to Yellowstone Park.
The entrance to Yellowstone Park.

Went into the National Park and got to see Old Faithful and loads of wildlife; bison, marmots, mule deer, pronghorns and an Indigo Bunting.

Hot pools.
Hot pools.
An old faithful geezer.
An old faithful geezer.

Waiting for Old Faithful was cool. Stephanie realized that we were sitting on top of a super volcano so she did what she always does; the research. She learned that there are over 300 active geysers in Yellowstone.

A geyser field.
A geyser field.
Information needed when sitting on top of a super volcano.
Information needed when sitting on top of a super volcano.
Beautifully colored and very hot pools.
Beautifully colored and very hot pools.

More thoughts about people being stupid around wild animals.

Yellowstone Park. Bison visible on the right side, just above the side mirror.
Yellowstone Park. Bison visible on the right side, just above the side mirror.

Dave soaked his feet in the Firehole River.

Dave soaking his tired feet in the Firehole River.
Dave soaking his tired feet in the Firehole River.

Back to the West Yellowstone KOA. Very nice, probably the best KOA so far. Loads of amenities.

Preparing dinner Dave serenaded Stephanie and we met some other musicians and had a jam session. We played some requests for the other campers.

Dave jamming with a fellow camper.
Dave jamming with a fellow camper.

After dinner we headed back to the tent to podcast. It was a little cool after a lovely day but good for sleeping.

We discuss how good it is to be seeing some of the sights instead of driving past them.

Tomorrow we are off to Billings, MT, to play the Highgate, our 3rd time there.

Stephanie feels exhausted but we are soldiering on and will not admit that there is anything wrong.

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Scrabbling Across The West Episode 32

June 7th, 2016. Day 32.

Draper, UT.

Last night Dave lost at Scrabble by about 20 points.

Our night’s sleep was interrupted by the noise of pile drivers.

The entrance to Great Salt Lake State Park.
The entrance to Great Salt Lake State Park.

We drove to the town of Holladay and found that they were expecting us at 3 pm instead of at 11 am. So we had lunch at New York Pizza Patrol and then went off to see the Great Salt Lake.

Dave looking out at Great Salt Lake.
Dave looking out at Great Salt Lake.

It was an amazing sight and we even stuck our hands in the lake.

Some information on Lake Bonneville.
Some information on Lake Bonneville.

We discuss Sea Monkeys, and that Great Salt Lake is indeed a large, salty lake.

We also talked to a park ranger, Pajo.

A commemoration marker from the 2002 Winter Olympics.
A commemoration marker from the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Dave performed at Cottonwood Place in Holladay. Everyone was getting manicures and they offered him one. He declined but only because he had to set up for the show.

The Great Saltair.
The Great Saltair swimming resort.

Ten people talked to Dave after the show, which is always a lot of fun.

Our car thermometer said it was 100 degrees and yet there was snow up on the mountains.

Harmon’s Food Mart was our next stop and we stocked up for the rest of the tour.

We discuss an upcoming gig in Sheridan, WY, and also the one tomorrow in Jackson, WY. After that we are going to visit Yellowstone National Park.

Mountain Shadows has been good to us this year, a four and one half tile rating.

Beautiful Great Salt Lake.
Beautiful Great Salt Lake.

And then, Scrabble!

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