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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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.

Fallallallalla
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.

Boats & Bluegrass!

We had a fantastic time playing and hanging out on the Mississippi River last weekend at the 11th annual Boats & Bluegrass Festival in Winona, Minnesota!  Here are some pictures from the weekend’s adventures.

Right before the set…

A little pat pat for good luck…

Our campsite was filled with friends the whole weekend through.

Kumbaya dudes. Kumbaya.

We took a canoe ride across river, down several channels to a remote beach.  Felt like a Mark Twain novel!!  Chooch’s paddle broke within the first 30 seconds of being on the water, so Bash muscled that sucker the whole way.  Tickets to that gunshow…were free.

Look ma, no paddle!

Pretty near the sandstone there.  😉

Beauteous bluffths!

We rounded the corner, and came upon a sweet surprise show by the Boyz In The Barrels!  Boats and Bluegrass, indeed.

Beach Boyz in the Barrels!

Lazy afternoon enjoyment at its best.

I got sand in ma undies!!

Exhausted and hap-hap-happy.  End of the weekend weakened warrior.

Dozing next to Mitch’s big orange awesomeness.

Sunday afternoon found us back at Pagoda Springs Farm, lounging with friends and playing some disc golf…

Chela, this is our howwwwm!

Good weekend!

Ebert gave this movie one thumbs up.

We’re off to Chicago, St. Louis, and Cleveland over the next ten days!  Stay tuned, friends!

Cable, Oh! Claire, and other short stories…

Well, it’s been another week of adventure and intrigue here at Cloud King central.  We’ve had no fewer than five hundred sweet moments since last updating the ol’ blogaroo, so I’ll try to post the best ones to catch everyone up!  Did you know that sasquatch roams the hills of South Eastern Minnesota?  After hearing tales of tail-less bipedal creatures and their death-like stench from eye/nose-witnesses, it’s clear some more investigation will be needed.  True story…for another time.

We traveled from Duluth down to the charming town of Cable, Wisconsin for a relaxing night at the Cable Nature Lodge and the Rookery Cafe.  Special thanks to Bill Brakken, proprietor and welcoming committee at lodge, for his most gracious hostmanship!  This ain’t equine science, people; the place is fantastic.

Oh give me a home, where the bison tenderloin roams…

Rainy weather followed us out the door of the lodge on Monday morn.  Fortunately, the foliage was turning deeper shades of awesome before our very ayes, captain.

And the eyes have it…

Why the turkey crossed the logging highway doesn’t seem to have been such an issue for our ancestors.

On the road again…but why?

Ah, the internet’s ability to teleport one from a quaint roadside scene to the epic canoe shot below.

Must…go…toward…the…light.

Mystical Minocqua melts my meart…er, heart.  Below, we see the ever elusive Chooch Rawling as she glides through the waters of Sunday Lake.

This lady has the upper body strength of ten adult T-Rex’s.

Water so clear you’d think twice about peeing in it.

Restrain yourself. I just waded through a warm spot.

Libby, a very sweet little feline, kept us warm during the LOTR marathon that ensued later in the evening.

“More cat purring on legs photos, please,” said no one.

From Minocqua we meandered down to Lake Wisotta (a combination of the words Minnesota and Wisconsin as far as we could tell) for an afternoon of jumping jacks.

You shall not pass!!

Unexpectedly, the sun set again that evening.  Awful, huh?

I’ve had just about enough of these, thank you very much.

After our Eau Claire stop, it was back to the Farm of Dreams in Rushford, MN.  For anyone not in the know just yet, we are head over heels for this region.

I second that motion.

  Ok.  This next segment of our program really deserves an entry all its own, and eventually that will be the case!  Just down the road a bit from Tarantula Arms Farm is Pagoda Springs Farm, owned and operated by a couple of real keepers: Sarah and Danny.

Our new friends!

This farm is situated just off highway 16 outside of Rushford, MN, on 260 acres.  Good golly it’s simply phenomenal.

Walkin’ man walks.

Danny hitches a ride from Sarah over some particularly nasty thistle patches.

“I think I need to be going that way.”

Sensory overload.

Right. We’ll just fix that little place up and stay for a couple-few decades. How’s that sound?

Dylan!

This dog is fearless…fearless I tell you!

What more can be said?  We can’t wait to perform at Boats and Bluegrass later this week!

Calabasas Rd. on the Ranch

We’re on the farm for a couple days!  Thanks so much, Bruce Edwards and Annette Coulon for letting us stay at their Mountain Icelandic Farm just outside of Watsonville.  Such a treat to be around the horses again, with the sun and fields of strawberries all around…

Chooch flexes some muscle on the riding track while Miles chaperones.
Visiting with old friends Lettir (left) and Hekla (right). Such sweet animals!
Farm house. Check out that solar array!
Hanging out on the guest house deck with Mr. Zanzibar.

Our show at the Rio Lounge tonight is going to be fantastic!  Can’t wait to play some good music, and then head over to see our new friends John C. Reilly and friends play their set at Moe’s Alley.