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.
Stephanie also created black-out panels for the van windows. She talks about the challenges she had in the process.
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.
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.
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.
We were up at about 5:30 a.m. and arrived home at 11:00 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
Since we happened to be in Mitchell, Dave convinced Stephanie to go see the Corn Palace. We talk about the Corn Palace in detail.
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.
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.
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.
What a tour! Such great people, what beautiful country, amazing food and competitive games of Scrabble!
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.
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.
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.
We continue our discussion of gun control, or the lack thereof.
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.
Back at Julie’s house, Dave took a nap while Stephanie “Facebooked” and looked through some pamphlets.
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.
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.
Recorded at the Big Horn Mountains KOA, Sheridan, WY.
We had a great time today!
Some early morning confusion when Stephanie disappeared so Dave made breakfast. Stephanie reappeared and it all worked out.
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.
We saw another dude who looked like a cowboy and another with a hairstyle. We discuss Craigslist dating.
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.
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.
It looked like rain so we went back to the campsite and closed up the tent.
Then we walked around downtown Sheridan and took pictures of the amazing sculptures. Sheridan is filthy with sculptures.
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.
We walked around inside the Sheridan Inn, Dave used the restroom which smelled okay.
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.
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 .
After dinner Dave played guitar and a woman came by with a Jack Russell terrier, Maxwell, and invited us for coffee in the morning.
This KOA has deteriorated, we give it 2/5 tiles. Restroom smells, wifi is spotty, poor showers, no rec-room.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drove through town rather than taking the freeway, Dave knew the way home because he has been there before.
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.
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.
Went into the National Park and got to see Old Faithful and loads of wildlife; bison, marmots, mule deer, pronghorns and an Indigo Bunting.
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.
More thoughts about people being stupid around wild animals.
Dave soaked his 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.
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.
We woke up at Givens Springs near Melba, ID, after a night of amazing storms. Not much sleep but a great show! Very hard rain and tremendous lightning and thunder. Our Coleman tent held up like a champ.
No WiFi to get our GPS started so the AAA TripTik came in handy. We discuss Steve, our host at Givens Springs, and his family history and the history of the springs.
Dave played a home in Logan, UT, and had a great time.
We talked to a young woman in Logan, UT, who gave us an interesting angle on growing up around mountains.
After a brief detour we drove to Draper, UT, through dust storms. In spite of heavy traffic in Salt Lake City we made it to Draper and the Mountain Shadows RV Park. One of our hosts, Braxton, has grown up a bit.
We arrived around 7:30 pm so we went looking for food and found a place that Dave had performed at the previous year, New York Pizza Patrol. What a surprise!
Dave won at Scrabble last night and was accused of cheating because he kept taking all the best places on the board.
Dave has a show tomorrow in Holladay, UT, so early to bed after Scrabble.
But let’s Scrabble first: Stephanie won by a few points even though Dave had all the good letters.
We were awakened by birds and neighbors in Twin Falls, ID, and were on the road by 9am.
Bannock War – We stop for signs like these whenever we have the time.
As we often do, we stopped at historical markers for Indian wars, the Oregon Trail, etc…
Time slipped away and we wondered how we turned the 2-hour drive to Murphy into 4 hours.
About 300 attended Sunday’s events which are hosted by the Owyhee County Historical Society Museum.
We talk about Jim Nimmo, the gentleman who booked me for Outpost Days. Jim Nimmo jr. played bass for me for most of my set and then I sat in with Jim and his family as they played their set. It was great to perform with such an amazing group of people!
We then watched the Horny Toad Races. Stephanie got to touch one.
Some people in Murphy try to sell us a Bed & Breakfast.
Tomorrow we are off to Utah. We remember our visit to Draper, UT, last year and an encounter we had with a fellow camper.
We talk about swimming in the hot springs here. Stephanie started learning to swim.