Jane Godfrey is a St. Louis singer-songwriter. In a genre she calls "Urban Campfire Cabaret" she sings songs which honor the ordinary and reveal the beauty and little truths of everyday life. More info at http://janegodfreymusic.com
It’s been quite a ride, but now our tour has officially ended. We will be adding more blog posts as we go through our pictures, thoughts, and memories of the trip, of which we have many, after we have time to process. In the mean time we made a little closing video for you with a little help from our videographer, John Godfrey.
“Ya just never know”, as we’ve established, where life is going to take you. In a recent experience, the “where” was a houseboat!
When we were looking for gigs in the Bay area our friend, Claudia, had put us in touch with her songwriter friend, Steve Meckfessel. Steve offered to host a songwriter gathering at his place – a kind offer indeed since he didn’t know us at all. We are thankful that he trusted Claudia enough to take us in, so to speak.
And because Steve’s place, as it turned out, is a houseboat, Sue and I were treated to a new experience. Although sharing songs on a houseboat was not on our “to-do-on-tour” list, it turned out to be an unexpected pleasure. We were both fascinated with the houseboat. It was, as the name indicates, a house…but it was a boat! I think I was expecting something cramped and creaky: more along the lines of the Crooked House meets Popeye. But instead, we were in a comfortable and handsomely crafted home. And the view was beautiful!
As we stood on the balcony viewing the lights and their reflections across the bay, we felt the movement of the water “rock the house” ever so gently. On the main level, in the living room, it was easy to forget we were not on solid ground. We noshed a bit and chatted with the others, discovering connections and common ground as one tends to do, and then the song-sharing began. This was far better than any “inland” gig we might have landed. We were witness to such quality songwriting and musicianship! What a lovely experience to be welcomed on a cool summer evening into a warm circle of new friends.
It was dark when we arrived so we couldn’t see too much of the immediate area, but these pictures give you the idea.
If you’d like to listen to some music of a couple of the songwriters we met, click on the names below:
To me, one of the joys of traveling to regions unfamiliar, is finding out things about a particular area; often things that never crossed my mind because they are so far out of my experience. In the case of Reno, NV, it was this:
WILD HORSES IN THE BURBS!
” WILD, WILD HORSES”
…couldn’t drag me away…etc. These pictures were taken by Sue’s, and now my friend, Darlynne.
Sue and I took an evening walk. And since ya just never know,
we were hoping for a wild horse encounter. But, alas, not a trace. No, that’s not true – we were dodging more than traces of the four-legged visitors; in the form of road apples (AKA horse poop). Because of the high standards of this blog, we chose not to document the aforementioned evidence.
As you can see below, we do have documentation of their recent presence. Those are hoof prints in the dirt.
According to Darlynne and Paul, the horses come down from the mountains in search of food and water. They do some damage to the vegetation in the neighborhoods but are not particularly threatening in other ways. It is a concern, though, as they run the risk of getting hit by a car or otherwise causing an accident. And, although, it is not advised, some people feed the horses; causing further, unsafe dependence on humans.
It would have been a magical experience to actually have seen the wild horses in the neighborhood, but it was fascinating to see pictures and hear about it from Darlynne and Paul.
Now every time I sing “Wish I Were a Cowgirl” I’m going to think about these beautiful Mustangs.
Here’s a link to a recent AP article about the horses:
I am a sucker for uniquely odd over-sized roadside attractions. To me, they are a bright spot on a long drive and they make me smile. I make it a practice to stop the car and take pictures when traffic, time, and my traveling companions allow. Lucky for me, Sue is not only amenable to spontaneous stops along our journey, but she’s all about interacting and posing with said gigantic Americana delights.
First, here’s a little oddity that was parked at our hotel in Hays, KS.
Classy trailer, eh?
Next, I must document that we drove through Alma, CO and I stress “drove through” because we did not stop to visit any of the local marijuana dispensaries. I had it in mind that I might need to visit such an establishment…just because I could. But common sense prevailed and we drove on.
On our long drive from the South Park area to Salt Lake City today we drove through Dinosaur, Co. and saw a number of choice roadside dinos, but the traffic situation was tricky at the time. Oh, the one that got away – a smiling pink behemoth! I was lamenting that missed opportunity when we drove through another town, Vernal, UT. and caught side of a real gem. “We have to stop!”, I whined; and Sue abruptly whipped the car into a gas station, sending my camera flying to the floor of the car.
First, the pumpkin.
I don’t know why the pumpkin. But then again:
Why is the dinosaur wearing a hat, eating a watermelon, and grilling a burger and hot dog? We don’t care, do we!!?
Honestly, what more could one ask for in a roadside attraction?
“I’m taking a road trip to freedom, but wait; there are few things I might be needin”
Pardon me for quoting myself. The above is a line from “Stuff” (co-written with Melanie Johnson). As if Sue and I didn’t have enough stuff to squeeze into the car, I unexpectedly acquired a “few” more things two days before we left.
Here’s my sister, Margie, and I with the gifts she brought:
Do you see what she did?
And the topper…look at the card she made. That’s my dad, my sister, Mary Kay, and my little brother, Tom. There are six more of us are in there somewhere (and two yet to be born). We’re headed to the family cabin on Daggett Lake in Minnesota.
I was so thrilled by this surprise, and so touched by her creativity and effort. (Seriously, she got me a copy of Air Supply’s Greatest Hits!)
Since then, Michael P Smith’s beautiful song “I Brought My Father With Me” keeps running through my head. Because, dear friends and family, I do feel as if I am bringing you along on this epic adventure. Thank you ALL for your encouragement and support!