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music

Strictly Cool

Gillian Welch. John Prine. Merle Haggard. Robert Plant. Patty Griffin. Steve Earle. Punch Brothers. Bela Fleck. Emmylou Harris. Buckethead. Can you imagine a festival that brings all of these amazing talents together? For free? In gorgeous Golden Gate Park? It’s real. It’s the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.

Music is so important to me and has been such a big part of this trip, we figured such an event would be a great way to bring our journey to an end. I was amazed. Although there were grips of people there, it was a very friendly event. At the end of each night, the moderator reminded everyone to pick up after themselves and take care of each other. And everybody actually did.

Thank you, Roger and Kim for letting us loiter around your place for the weekend. Viva California!

Gillian & Dave

Gillian & Dave.

mighty ducks

Mighty Ducks?

old friends

Not only does the guy tear it up on guitar and look good wearing a bucket on his head, he has sweet robot moves and nunchuck skills.

Buckethead

Ah-mazing.

College

There are a few things you can count on when you visit your old neighbor and friend Jessica. Good food. Good wine. Good conversation. Sadly (but also excitingly), she and her hubby Pete recently moved to Eugene, where Jess started a doctorate program at the University of Oregon. Home of the Ducks. What a great mascot.

Although we were missing Pete, we had such a lovely time in an awesome city. We biked the town, hiked a butte, did some important work at the Pizza Research Institute, and had a mellow but memorable ladies night out. Thanks for everything. Until next time…

Pizza Research Institute

Pizza Research Institute: for the betterment of mankind.

PRI Eugene

That homeless guy in front of the PRI - or was he?

spencer butte

On top of Spencer Butte

pesto pasta

pesto + orzo + kale + crusty bread

ladies night

Jessica doing the Steve Jobs pose

Montana Love

Bozeman, Montana. Post bike ride. Wearing socks for the first time in months. Terry and I listening to the Geto Boys station on Pandora and cracking up at the lyrics. Making dinner in the van. Back in the mountains.

Sometimes, it’s not the biggest things, the most extreme things, or the “1000 places to see before you die” things, that get you. Sometimes, the little things really are the best things.

“I gotta say, today was a good day.” – Ice Cube

Hyalite Reservoir, Bozeman

Hyalite Reservoir, Bozeman

Helena, MT

Helena, as seen from the Ascension Trail System

Missoula

Our new friend Ross, who we met at the trail head, and is not only from Cincinnati, but from ANDERSON, showed us the ropes that day. Small world, I tell ya.

Montana Snowbowl

Montana Snowbowl, as seen from the Rattlesnake Trail

Chicagoland

After a day in Cleveland, the Chicago area seemed like a good stopping point. We visited our friend and FBI agent, Adam. (That’s the real FBI, not a Female Body Inspector.) After a bike ride and some conversation about the place, we found ourselves on a little auto tour of Gary, Indiana.

This was another one of those eye-opening moments for me on the trip. There is much to say, but I will just comment on the sheer infrastructure of this once-booming steel town. Roofs collapsing; beautiful old churches with trees growing out of them; every building in disarray. I’m not sure if I was too amazed or too scared, but, camera in hand, I didn’t take a single photo.

Then, and on a much lighter note, we visited our friends Kyle and Megan at their beautiful house in the Chicago burbs. Who says spontaneity goes out the window when you’re pregnant? We went on a last minute trip to Megan’s folks’ place in New Buffalo. A charming Italian dinner, a few cocktails and “California Songs” were all we needed to take our minds off the looming road ahead.

New Buffalo

Terry, Kyle, Megan and future baby Emma on Lake Michigan

“California Songs” are a collection of albums put together by Megan’s uncle. All of the albums are compilations of artists who were influenced by the Beach Boys. There are hundreds of albums. This was a fabulous continuation of my Rock Hall kick, and the cd’s have provided some good ear candy along I-90.

Just a quick stop off at Two Toots (a train restaurant for kids, of course) so we could see Tim, Emily and the kids one last time, and we’re officially headed West! Thank you to everyone who continues to make our journey so amazing.

Neil Young & Hwy 1

It’s foggy mornings and sunny afternoons on the Central California coast. We visited some of the smaller coastal towns where the scenery can take your breath away. Mountains, quaint towns, and the shore. Of course we hit up some local mountain bike trails. We even found a day to just sit on the beach and do nothing, a rarity for us.

Oh, I almost forgot to post that we saw NEIL YOUNG! He stopped in Santa Barbara on a reunion tour with Buffalo Springfield, with none other than Gillian Welch as the opener. Awesomeness. We were the youngest people there. This is one to cross off my life list, although it just made me want to go and see him again. Life list item #79: See Neil Young. Again.

Heading up to San Fran on Hwy 1, we were told the road was closed due to a slide out, but we chanced it anyway. I did not want to miss Bug Sur, those views and the nostalgia of being on that part of El Uno. Boy did we luck out, it had just opened an hour earlier!

Highway 1

I guess you could say we’re getting the hang of this California thing :-) Next up: Adventures with Elizabeth and some good old friends in San Francisco.

Stuff I’m Going to Miss: The Family Band

I realize that the list of stuff I’m going to miss has the potential to be a very long one. But we have a lot to be thankful for here!

Growing up I remember my Grandpa always loved to sing. He would break out in “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dina” and “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More” in the most jovial of manners. Apparently, back in the day, singing was what friends and family did for entertainment when they got together. How fun is that?

I’m thankful that I have friends that enjoy the same thing. Put us around the campfire and give us some shakers and hand drums and we transform into Jake and the Family Band. As the name would indicate, there may be certain people in the band with more musical talent than others. But singing and making music sure is a great release.

Someday I hope this link will go to a real website with a certain somebody’s music recordings: www.jakebutz.com

Devaney and Butzfunkel

Devaney and Butzfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel

See a resemblance?