It was crazy pulling the camper that far with just enough funds to make it happen. All of this is on a wing and a prayer! Do you think luck plays a part in survival? Sometimes it sure feels that way. And I put a lot of faith into that luck - traveling that far with my family and tiny home in tow. Woah.
The inner workings of this job, the planning, the choices, the public (you) don't always get to see why. But the reason why this particular trip was scheduled was to see if we could do it. Yep! Just to see if we could. We had three gigs anchoring our schedule. We had the push off in Lincoln, NE and then just two days later, Sunfest in Sherwood,OR and then a Concert Window via the internet in Seattle, WA, and then that gig was canceled, and then changed to the Casey Family Reunion back in good ol' Massena, IA.
Traveling with a house behind you is serious business and I want to take this opportunity to tell you that Aaron Earl Short rocked it behind the wheel. "He makes that look easy." a lady said to me at Sunfest. "I know!" I exclaimed and I really mean it.
As new camper owners there was a lot of things we had to figure out. How far 8 miles per gallon is going to get us? Ouch! Is there electric? Is there water? Where are we parking the dang thing? Will it fit? We were tested right away on that last question. Will it fit? Aaron says there is only one way to tell if the camper is going to fit. The answer: If HE looks first.
Before leaving we had to get work done on the van. Two very important things weren't working, the stereo and the air conditioner. We got the radio fixed but the air conditioner, no such luck. The compressor was fixed but the line still needed repair and here is where the drama begins.
The garage ordered the kit to fix the line the week before. UPS said that it will arrive Tues. or Wed. We leave Wed. Of course the part doesn't show until right before I am cutting all hope (which is hard to do in 100 degree heat and humidity). The garage gets us in about 2pm before our gig in Lincoln at 7pm. Lincoln is about 3 hours away. The clock starts ticking. Will we get there in time?
The air gets fixed and we leave a little before 4. We know we are going to be a little late, but we know we can still make something of this show at Crescent Moon Coffee.
Thank you google maps/GPS! You help me so much!
I knew exactly where to go, but... not where to park. We were going to stay at a near by campground but because we were running so late we were in downtown Lincoln with the camper. The directions were to park in the back parking lot, probably if you have a regular sized vehicle. The pressure to just get ourselves to the gig in that tight time frame pressed and we got stuck, badly stuck between vehicles with only centimeters to spare!
Thankfully just as this happened my Aunt Jo and Uncle Lee Arellano, who live there in Lincoln, showed up. I hauled in the gear and Aaron and Uncle Lee worked on getting unstuck.
It took the guys longer than we hoped and I had to play the gig solo. Singing songs and telling stories to the small and loving crowd. Abileen even sang a couple.
Crescent Moon was great to us, thank goodness! I hope we get the opportunity to come back and do that stage justice. Thank you Crescent Moon and my Aunt Jo and Uncle Lee!
Pulling hard the next day we make it through Nebraska and far into Wyoming. We stay at an RV park and utilize the amenities.
The next day we head out of Wyoming, through Utah and Idaho all the way to the Oregon border. We stayed that night at a, yes, here it is, a Walmart. You knew it was coming, I knew it was coming - an overnight in the Walmart parking lot. When we are only going to be parked for a few hours, it works out really well. Didn't smell all that great but it was quiet and we got just enough sleep to excitedly head out in the morning about 5am.
We were in Oregon! I have to say - I love it! There is just a kind of beauty that, for me, can't be contested.
And we were were playing Sunfest that night! This is a festival that has been on our radar to play for over 10 years. It is a great community and we were so excited to get to perform our music.
Oregon music is a lot like our music, here or anywhere. It is abundant! And definitely we were received with a Portland style, "lets see what you got, Iowans". Aaron immediately got the crowd provoked with a potato growing joke. How strange it seemed to be away from home.
The crowd really responded to our music. We got smiles, thumbs up, and a few peace signs - very cool people. We'll be back next year for the big 20th anniversary, already plans are happening. We'll probably hit up that Oregon Country Fair they all were talking about too. Sounds like a crazy good time. This years Sunfest was a fun, dusty, sunny and hot hippie fest - It was a beautiful reunion of peaceful music-lovin' friends that we now consider part of our High Crest family.
It was time for us to park our home for a few days and we decided that the coast was the way to go. We headed to the Oregon Coast Hwy 101.
Again I pay homage to Google Maps/GPS. You make my wheels sing.
I spend a lot of this adventure on my tablet, searching for what I can tell to be the next stop, which I am just hoping will be cool. This is where I disclose that planning is an essential tool that I have underrated, at least by RV standards.
There is a lot of first come, first serve camping spots in State Parks along the coast - if you can get there. We snagged the last one at Beverly Beach State Park. It was ocean side, misty, cool and lovely. I was overwhelming grateful.
We actually stayed on the coast for two more nights at Seal Rock. We explored tide pools, stuck our toes in the ocean sand, played with the tide, watched the sun set over the ocean, saw whales jumping, window shopped in the local towns and loved it! We didn't take one minute for granted.
During this trip we lost a very good family friend, Jack Blythe. This was Aaron's Dad's old time partner in crime. These two performed in the duo, Pacific Quest, for many years. Later they performed with all three of John's boys, Aaron, Rob and Tony in a cover band called Generation Gap. Jack was one of Aaron's earliest and greatest influences in music. It was heartbreak in the middle of Nebraska when we learned he passed. We thought strongly of turning around and heading back, but Aaron said Jack would want him to keep going, keep playing music. In memory of Jack, Aaron sang I Shall Be Released by the side of the Pacific Ocean.
Turning and heading back home from the ocean was a struggle. We wanted to reconnect with friends up in Washington but we just couldn't afford it. Also navigating on the fly in tourist season was tough. We wiped the tears, said goodbye, and headed home. We had a Casey Family Reunion to get to.
Many of you following us on Facebook saw pictures of our daughter, Abileen, our dog Zapata and our cat, Mango. And some of you suggested that we make an Instagram page for Mango. We did and called it Mango_view. You can follow Mango on Instagram at https://instagram.com/mango_view/
We absolutely loved your feedback. Thank you to everyone who commented, shared with us, followed us...it helped us on the road so much. Thank you for being there! We will continue to try our hardest to keep the music rockin' for you.
We learned a lot, we have plenty of ware and tear on us, but that is what the journey is all about - finding your happiness. And we did it together as a family. Where next?