They say "a change is as good as a rest", and after two and half weeks on the road with different beds and different homes and different sound systems, I actually agree. All this change and bouncing around is doing me some good. New ideas, fresh fallen snow, and first time faces all seem to reinforce that his mercies are new every morning.
Our final show in British Columbia was at The Art We Are in Kamloops. It's all coming back to me now...cornbread, soup, chili, homemade ice cream, everything closed on Sunday morning. From there we had a few days off, and so obviously we found some hot springs. When we woke up on Tuesday morning to drive to Calgary, winter had arrived. Kicking Horse coffee is something I drink in the summer, but when I realized the roasting plant was just off the highway, we made a stop before crossing "the pass". Also known as driving through the Rockies in a snow storm. There were only a few moments of the day where the peaks of the mountains could be seen, but somehow I still felt the presence of them. It was pretty dreamy. We had a big parent fail in Banff, where we offered Stanley his first "Happy Meal", but besides that, we don't have any regrets that day.
We had four shows in Alberta, and the ex-athlete in me is now reminded of the four stages of team development. "forming, norming, storming, performing". If applied to this tour, I think we're on track. We were norming in Alberta. Things felt good and routine, musically. Stanley, my cousin, and I were the only ones on the playground one morning in Edmonton, and I felt pretty 'new york tough' for a few minutes until I felt like an irresponsible parent and just plain cold after about 10 minutes. But Alberta felt like home, despite never having lived there. We were treated like royalty and reunited with so many people we love. Full hearts, full bellies, and I dare say even a full wallet by the time we left Edmonton are all good signs that I think we'll be returning sooner than later! Thanks to Cafe Koi, Wine-Ohs, Cask & Barrel, and Cafe Blackbird.
We had one "just added" stop on our tour that never made the poster. It's probably sort of fitting, as I bet the town is off most people's radar. Meacham, Saskatchewan. About 90 people. Most of whom are artists or farmers. Or both. Due to some freezing rain, some folks got iced in, but we still played for a pretty full house at the town hall. We had the privilege of staying with friends of friends, whom I would now simply call -- friends. We shared our music and exchanged stories and made off with some loot to boot, as our host baked us bread and treats.
Now we're in Manitoba. Nine shows down and four to go. A picture says a thousand words, but I'm just trying to use a few hundred to describe some things, as pictures are just too easy sometimes. That being said, when this tour is over, I will post a few pictures, and perhaps these entries will come to life in new ways.