Welp, we made it! 43 days, about 9,500 miles, 26 states (though we only really spent time in 20 of them) (plus one province), 26 shows, 4 national parks, 16 balls of yarn (correct me if I’m wrong, Sarah), only 3 motels, 1 flat tire, probably a dozen different food co-ops, so many cups of coffee, too many bowls of car-made muesli, 3 successful dumpstering excursions, countless new friends, loads & loads of good luck, gunnysacks full of new music to explore and one season later, we’re back in our respective home towns.
We sort of ran out of time during our last week out to provide any sort of collective, reflective final post so I figured (this is Matt) I’d do one myself and Sarah, you can add yours as it suits you.
My first day back in Syracuse brought the illness that must have been willed into the wings by good fortune. With rare exception, I felt like I was in pretty dang good health throughout our travels but as soon as I was able to just sit still and be in one place for a bit, it hit me like I imagine a whale might. I’m just so grateful it waited until now to do so. Couldn’t have asked for better timing. Really.
Our last week just flew by but I wanted to mention a couple of highlights, namely Virginia (hear its for lovers):
Harrisonburg, VA was a blast. We met so many great people and learned a little about the “sleeping giant” that Harrisonburg is. We were treated to a “band platter” of delicious Ethiopian food at the Blue Nile. Then downstairs, we met Mark, who set up the show and also did a wonderful job running sound. Bib-Bi, the headliner, was really great too and full of nice folks. Next day: we were treated to the most delicious breakfast at The Artful Dodger (Thanks Keith!). All in all: a king among towns.
Charlottesville, VA: The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar is a super unique and cozy spot that we were lucky enough to play. My friend Liz, whom I met this summer while in VT came out (her family is in VA) and we got a warm welcome/response as we played through our set. Notably, this was the first show in quite a while that we didn’t have any technical difficulties (of course, Doylestown tried to make up for that but we did our thing and had fun there anyhow) and were able to play our autoharp songs without a fuss - also very very loud. AND, Sarah got the most scrumptious piece of gluten-free hazelnut cake, which she somehow made last into the next day’s drive. Our new pal Drew was good enough to let us stay in his cozy apartment just around the corner from the Tea Bazaar and had all the fixins for morning breakfast (including coffee beans in a hand-grinder) out on the counter waiting for us. Thanks Drew! Wish you didn’t have to work!
We got back to Syracuse, scrambled to unload the car, sort our things (including the troublesome task of choosing who would take what of the new music we acquired from friends along the way) and Sarah packed her car for the last 3-hour drive to Welland.
We saw so much and got so many great ideas for projects both big and small in the future, which I s’pose is what this was all about anyway. A success. I’m glad to have made it around the whole dang country in that plastic little Saturn, never once wishing that I was doing it with somebody else. Thanks to everyone who put us up (whether you’d planned to or not), set up shows, listened to our songs, shared food with us, gave us directions or showed us any warmth at all. It’s appreciated so very much. And who knows, maybe we’ll be back some time.