July in these United States: Returning West

A return from the Netherlands was inevitable. Though we tried desperately to convince our new Dutch allies to adopt us, eventually the month of June ended and we awoke as if from a dream back in the United States.

A heat wave had taken hold of most of the US in late June/early July.  The heat coupled with the humidity was barely tolerable at best!  Time to break out the grill and go swimming in the rivers and lakes dotting the landscape, I suppose…

From the Cloud King’s parking place in Augusta, Maine, we started the long trip back to Oregon, stopping first in the colonial land of Massachusetts.


North Hampton, Massachusetts!  A lovely setting for a house concert at our friends Liz and Adam’s place.  Though the mosquitoes were thirsty, a good time was had by all!

600497_10151771663916514_75653015_nAfter a short stint in Western Massachusetts enjoying the Berkshire mountain range, we pushed on down into New York state a ways, enjoying the swimming holes as the Cloud King bopped southwesterly.

Here we have Caterskill Falls, a great place to climb and then enjoy the refreshing swim!

IMG_9512Ooh la la!  That’s my kinda double waterfall right there.

IMG_9523The water was very unpleasant and we didn’t have a good time at all.  I don’t recommend going.

IMG_9486Hudson, NY.  Like Brooklyn only different.  Onward, Cloud King!

IMG_9415Clearly we have a place here of un-remembered origin.

IMG_9547Communing with the little piglets!

IMG_9588Another horrifyingly beautiful place to swim outside of Kinderhook, NY.

IMG_9649The Hudson Valley of New York is as gorgeous as they come, folks.


From New York to Ohio in one fell swoop!

First, a radio performance on WYSO


IMG_9688A visual summary of our show at Taffy’s in Eaton, Ohio with group Year of the Buffalo…

And into Indiana in the middle of the night.  Bugs galore!

968847_556347077763869_709195841_nI think you missed a spot.

We played a lovely house concert at Connie and Steve Lyman’s home in Indianapolis, IN. on Saturday July 19th.  Our first ever show in Indianapolis was a success!

IMG_9696Posing for our band shot with Connie and Steve.

From Indianapolis, we traveled to southeastern Indiana for another house show the next evening at the Bird Hollow Farmstead!


A very impressive garden.


IMG_9724More goats!!  🙂

What a lovely stretch of land down there in rural Indiana they’ve got.

A hop skip and a jump through Iowa and Nebraska…

I-80 westbound outside Council Bluffs, IA.

I-80 westbound outside Council Bluffs, IA.

And before you know it, we were in Colorado again!


Ah, the wild west…

Here’s the setting for our lovely penthouse concert in Denver on July 26th.



Later on we hiked to beautiful Ice Lake for Basho’s Birthday Bash!

IMG_9852Pure snow melted Ice Lake, at 12,500 feet elevation about ten miles outside of Silverton, Colorado.


The valley leading up to the lake…

IMG_9828 IMG_9810 IMG_9854


Sheryl and Jenn hanging out by the lakeside. 🙂

IMG_9868 IMG_9873 IMG_9903

San Juan Mountain Range…whoatime.


IMG_9905And off we went, further down the road!  August 2013, here we go.


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.


Striking a very striking pose.


Currywurst!  Quite good.

IMG_8994Sunning ourselves on the Baltic Sea…




Remnants of the Berlin Wall.


Near Brandenburg Gate a pair of Americans were seen.


Repurposed Birdhouse.


What fancy building?


Ye olde radio tower.


Fields aplenty in Northern Germany!


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

IMG_9173 IMG_9156 IMG_9150 IMG_9111 IMG_9069

Stralsund, UNESCO World Heritage Site.  IMG_9066

Exquisite brickwork.


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


Sunset from Eckernforde.

IMG_8974 IMG_8972

Kiel Week!  We just missed it.


Beautiful work of art boat.

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

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?


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!


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


View of the city from the ledge.


I hear ya, bud!


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


The massive infrastructure of the belltower.  Breathtaking engineering!

Off to the Rijks Museum!


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


Life-size Rembrandts awaited us inside.


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!


A walk in the marsh lands outside of Amsterdam.


Swaying in the gentle breeze, a Choochie.


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


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


Happy happy joy joy.


Learning to smoke eel from the master himself.


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


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


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

Maine in May

To Maine!

But first, to Niagara Falls, New York!  We had a great little visit with this powerful force of waterfalls in upstate New York.  Note, objects in pictures are closer than they appear.

IMG_8050Those buildings on the Canada side were practically stepping on our feet, for instance.

IMG_8053 IMG_8054Tiny stairs leading into a tiny pool of tiny water.  What a small geological attraction!

On the way back from the falls, the Cloud King stumbled and fell.  Ouch!

Cloud King Breakdown BuffaloWhat’s a little alternator between friends, anyway?  We were back on the road within 18 hours of this mishap!

IMG_8061The Berkshires of western Massachusetts.  The beginning of rainy days in New England.

IMG_8075We managed to find some sun, regardless!

IMG_8103And had ourselves a little photoshoot picnic in the Maine woods.

IMG_8139Pretty lady. 🙂

A few days later, we ventured onto a friend’s farm for some much-needed horse time.

IMG_8239Owning 300 acres in central Maine has its perks, and a twenty-fice horse herd is but one of them. 😉


Icelandics and Morgans pictured here.  IMG_8316

Happy happy happy!


Here is Deb, one of the owners of said farm.  She and Trudy her partner are great!


Josephine the French Bulldog gets to know her friends.

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Farm girl. riding in the truck bed.


Some homeless dude we picked up on the way back.


The 150+ year old family farmhouse.

We’re ready for the Nederlands and Germany!  Blasting off across the pond in just a few short days now!  See you on the other side… 🙂

Mines of Spain and Root Beer!


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.


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.


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

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.



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!

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.

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.


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.