Northern Germany

Into Northern Germany we went. A short four hour drive from the Netherlands, and you’re in another country altogether! Now that’s efficiency, folks.

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Striking a very striking pose.

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Currywurst!  Quite good.

IMG_8994Sunning ourselves on the Baltic Sea…

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Berliners!

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Remnants of the Berlin Wall.

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Near Brandenburg Gate a pair of Americans were seen.

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Repurposed Birdhouse.

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What fancy building?

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Ye olde radio tower.

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Fields aplenty in Northern Germany!

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Sunset over the Baltic as seen from Rugen Island National Park.

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Stralsund, UNESCO World Heritage Site.  IMG_9066

Exquisite brickwork.

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This building dates back to the 1500s.  Old timey.

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Sunset from Eckernforde.

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Kiel Week!  We just missed it.

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Beautiful work of art boat.

IMG_8945 IMG_8941 Ok!  Back to the states we’ve gots to go!  See you there, friends.  🙂

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Netherlands in June (Pt. 2)

When last we left our two heroes, the Netherlands was happening to them.  Now, it’s time for them to happen to the Netherlands!  How is that even a pair of sentences?

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First things first.  Master Carillonneur Boudewijn Zwart played our song “Slippery Slope” for all of Amsterdam in the bell tower of one of the city’s oldest churches!

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Playing a song transcribed to sheet music by Basho!  Quite surreal.

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View of the city from the ledge.

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I hear ya, bud!

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OG Amsterdam.  Pre-OG, perhaps…carbon data is pending on this.

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The massive infrastructure of the belltower.  Breathtaking engineering!

Off to the Rijks Museum!

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A live art performance greeted us on the way into the building.

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Life-size Rembrandts awaited us inside.

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Trying to convince all of Holland that 21st Century Lederhosen is the new style!!

And so, there was a ton of artwork seen, hordes of tourists waded through, and partridge family in a pear tree.  Enough about that already.

Of course, it should be noted that we were indeed performing almost every night during this time!

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A walk in the marsh lands outside of Amsterdam.

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Swaying in the gentle breeze, a Choochie.

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Sheep and irises.  Sheep and irises.  Same ol’ same ol’… 😉

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What?! Another bike ride in the scenic countryside!?

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Happy happy joy joy.

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Learning to smoke eel from the master himself.

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Talented balloon artist Simon Jong made a Basho Balloon Sculpture!  Most impressive, don’t you think!?

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Welcome to Oosterleek!  We’ll be your tour guides for the afternoon.

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This here’s your standard windmill shot in the Dutch farm country.

Mines of Spain and Root Beer!

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This fish was about a mile from the nearest body of water.  On the next Unsolved Mysteries.

DSCF2731We visited the Mines of Spain, deceptively located outside Dubuque, Iowa somehow.  Here we see brave J. Elmo Rawling inspecting some of the stonework.

DSCF2742After conquering the chapel, we leapt for joy.  Note young Max’s perfect leaping form.

DSCF2791An old quarry where bluffs used to be.

DSCF2710Bird watching or defending a fort?  We may never know…

DSCF2774The Rawling and Wulff clans pose for a band photo.  Very graceful!

DSCF2720Chooch and Bev pose in front of the plank things.  This picture was taken right before Chooch put the bunny ears up.

DSCF2756Long legs mcgee.

DSCF2816Bluffertons.

DSCF2852After that it was off to the prom!  We were all very excited to be a part of Galena’s High School prom later in the day.  Very.

DSCF2836Some elderly boy scouts passed by while we were loitering.  No big deal.

DSCF2842Pasta family reflections.

DSCF2864All of a sudden, it was root beer time again!  Happy days, folks. Happy days.

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More soon!  We’re pushing further east now toward New England and beyond!!  Beyond I tell you!

Mid West Music Fest!

Hi Dear Friends,

After a lovely tour send-off show in Portland, OR. we pushed back out onto the road.

Make it Rain!

Make it Rain!

Cully Barn Show

Great crowd for a garage show!  :)

Great crowd for a garage show! 🙂

 

First stop is Winona, MN for the Mid West Music Fest 2013.

We visited our good friends Sarah Joy and Daniel for a little farm time in Houston County.

Sarah and Daniel's slice of paradise.

Sarah and Daniel’s slice of paradise.

Ornaments.

Ornaments.

 

December on the Colorado front range

We left our Thanksgiving winter wonderland of Wisconsin a day after six inches of snow fell. The roads weren’t exactly inviting to the Cloud King, but westerly we must trudge on for the lovely month of Denver in December.  Or as it’s known to us silly folk, Denvember.

Oh the weather outside is only moderately treacherous and therefore not as frightful as it could be.

Oh the weather outside is only moderately treacherous and therefore not as frightful as it could be.

Nail-biter weather!

Cruisin' slow, so everybody sees...uh, hello?

Cruisin’ slow, so everybody sees…uh, hello?

By evening time, Iowa was offering a lovely sunset to gaze at from the highway.

Iowish Sunsetter.

Iowish Sunsetter.

19 hours later, we arrived in Colorado for some front range frolicking!  Everyone in the rockies gallivants around like a band of willow-wisps, you know.  It’s like having a second job, without the income.

Foothills reservoir.  That's pronounced "vwah" at the end, ok?

Foothills reservoir. That’s pronounced “vwah” at the end, ok?

We got to see our pal Mo Valdez of Lastleaf Printing down in Pueblo!  Always such a pleasure to hang for even a little bit with this stellar human.

O'Death.  O'Lastleaf.

O’Death. O’Lastleaf.

Into a Denver of lions we go!

Cap Hill rooftop view.

Cap Hill rooftop view.

Traffic.  Not just a musical group.

Traffic. Not just a musical group.

Somewhere in there we found time to record a song with our friends The Haunted Windchimes!

Layin' track, bud!

Layin’ track, bud!  “Wyoming” recording at Sugar Sounds Studio in Colorado Springs.

The sting of Chooch's belt.  On our souls.

The sting of Chooch’s belt. On our souls.

Later, back in Puebs, we got to spend quality time with Inaiah and Desi from the ‘Chimes.

Stripes!

Stripes!

OK.  Eastern Colorado, that sure was fun!  How about we wait for the blizzard to hit, and head over two massive mountain passes while the storm is in full swing?  That sound good?

Visability is infinite today!

Visability is infinite today!  La Veta pass, southern Colorado.

Five hours of 30mph driving through this.  We got over Wolf Creek Pass to the western slope and were greeted by far more favorable conditions…

Was it ever even snowing? Wolf Creek Pass.

Was it ever even snowing? Wolf Creek Pass.

And on to Durango to wrestle with the kids!

Wrastlin' with Ella & Nils

Wrastlin’ with Ella & Nils

In the blink of an eye, we were already leaving Durango, gone, and in Arches National Park.

Breath of fresh air.

Breath of fresh air.

But more on the return trip in the next post!

November in the Northwoods

行く春や
鳥啼き魚の
目は泪

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”   – Matsuo Basho c. 1674

Hullo friendly internet faces,

For shame!  How could I’ve let the blog go for an entire month!  What with shows and thanksgivings feastings, two hour blocks on the internet have been fewer and farther between than I’d’ve facebook liked.  Nevertheless, onward we go into the great wide open space of the future.

Halloween of 2012 took place for us in Platteville, Wisconnie.  Two sickly apparitions floated in from Maine with terrible head colds, achy bones, and weak whip o wills to stay outside for any length of time.

Purple sprite faerie queen.

Slow cowpoke cookin’.

Road-weary and eyes still bleary with cough syruped inquiry, we traveled up to Fargo, North Dakota for a show at the Spirit Room.  See below for details.

Warming up for the show…

Physical discomfort aside, we had a great show, packed the house, and made many new friends.  The Listening Room is wonderful!  Back, back to Minnesota we trudged.  One Cloud King in hand is worth two…um, yep.

 

And sew the sunset the table again and again.

Menomonie, DePere, Sturgeon Bay, Manitowoc… all in a dream of shows and new places to shower.  Occasionally we’d punctuate an appearance with radio performances.

WORT fm radio in Madison with Jim Schwall.

The road is more hilly than perception would normally lead you to believe.  Along the way, we’ve experienced places considered by most to be outta the way.  Would ya just look at those rocks!  Look at them!

Whitefish Dunes State Park near Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Chooch looked at the rocks, and then out onto the Lake Michigan she loves.

Well hello again.

Plenty to see folks here, please don’t move.  Buffleheads and Snow Buntings, mostly.

Ft. Atkinson, Madison, Milwaukee, it’s all the same street, right Mr. Garcia?

Just keep truckin’ ooooooooooooooooon.

We’re headed back west to Colorado for five shows in early December, everybody!  A return to Portland, Oregon is imminent however!  We’ll be on the west coast by December 15th, Cloud King abiding…

Maine, the way life oughta have been

Friends, fiends, foiblefolks,

When traveling from Portland, Oregon, it seems to us lower 48thians that Portland, Maine is about as far as it gets, continentally and longitudinally speaking.  Our drive from Cleveland, OH to Winthrop, ME was full of fall’s splendor.

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The bekshiz (Berkshires)

And with the speed of a scrolling laptop mouse ball, we’re in Maine!  Ah, wondrous internets.

The Cloud King rests in front of Basho’s Mom’s place. (not a single family dwelling)

Lake Maranacook, about a block away…

Ah yes.

Our radio interview with WERU-fm went swimmingly well.

WE-R-U!

After WERU, we ventured to Acadia National Park for a little sight-seeing in the dense fog.
Cadillac Mtn never looked so mysterious!

Is he? No, they wouldn’t post that…

One blustery but clear day, we decided to take a little hike and go-seek an old abandoned firetower.

Hold me for warmth, dear heart!

What a pleasant stay!  We played a couple really nice packed-house shows, both in great settings.  Below is the art gallery show setting in Gardiner, Maine, at Karen Adrienne’s lovely space, about an hour before the concert started.

Circling the Square Art Print & Press
View within a room.