Hello readers and welcome to another fun filled episode of CajonAlone life on the road! As promised, I went and played down on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco for a couple hours, which was really fun and provided lots of learning moments. Parking was $6.50 per hour, there are lots of other performers and salespeople who utilize music in their shows, set up with your back against a wall (or something to block people from walking behind you) and make sure PA announcements aren’t happening straight across from your setup. My brief adventure on the Wharf yielded me $1.01 from folks who chucked money into my guitar case. The dollar came from an older gentleman who took a moment to tell me he thought my contraption was really cool, and the penny came from a little Asian girl who was there on vacation with her family. I gave the $1 to another street performer who was rocking it (with my card) and the penny I’m going to keep in my guitar case as a token of luck and memoir of my first public street performance!
After my quick show at the Wharf, I packed up and towed the camper to San Luis Obispo to an area called Port of San Luis near Avila Beach. This place was INCREDIBLE and has been my favorite place I’ve visited on this trip so far. I’m positive I had an amazing time because I don’t have as many pictures of this place as I wanted, which generally means I was too busy enjoying myself. I found a camping spot for my trailer on the side of the road right next to the ocean, with a lovely little beach in my front yard. Falling asleep and waking up to the tides was so soothing, and the dogs really loved having a beach and ocean within walking distance. In between swimming and games of fetch in the ocean, I was able to work on blogs, filmed a new video in front of the ocean (watch my cover of Thrice Red Sky here https://youtu.be/cKDtUiWqQbw) and I got out to play at Avila beach near some bars and restaurants. My earnings improved significantly from San Francisco, netting $25 in two hours, which still isn’t Marketing Director money, but is much better than my San Fran income. I got lots of positive feedback from the folks who walked by and stopped to listen and even met a young lady who is going to school at Boise State now and was on vacation in SLO, proving to me once again what a truly small world we live in. Filming my video right next to my trailer made setting up easy but did come with challenges very similar to my filming in the Redwoods. Diesel trucks zoomed by, cyclists stopped to gawk, campers stopped by the dumpster a few yards away to dump trash and I even had a neighbor move in right behind me who interrupted me right in the middle of one of the takes to inform me she’d be double parked for a moment while her and her husband parked their camper (which inspired me to take a break while they backed the trailer into place and used their noisy leveling system).
Because I was parked without hookups, I frequented a cute little diner called Fat Cat’s Café where I’d grab brunch and a coffee in the morning and return to refill throughout the day. The servers there were super frienldy, as were all the people I met as I explored San Luis Obispo. I have every intention of spending more time in SLO.
From San Luis Obispo the dogs and I headed down to Long Beach California to meet up with my dear friend Kindra, who I hadn’t seen in ten years. After finding a camper spot I went and hung out at Kindra’s apartment and did laundry (after 2.5 weeks, there was PLENTY) while she worked from home. After work we headed down to a brewery right below the apartment and enjoyed some delicious beers, pulled pork and brisket and caught up on the past ten years. Kindra had been living abroad I last saw her and we shared travel stories, talked about old times and tried to figure out how to fix all the world’s problems over Japanese Whiskey at the end of the evening. Although I didn’t really get any work done in SoCal, it was great getting caught up with an old friend and busting out some laundry.
From Long Beach I started the long journey out to New Mexico, staying overnight in Palm Springs and Phoenix. Palm Springs had some incredible landscapes and great people, but my one-night stay didn’t really allow for much exploring. In Phoenix I met up with yet another friend from Idaho Falls/Boise, Lindsey and her boyfriend Phil. We enjoyed some nachos and beer at this cool little outdoor/indoor bar called The Yard, which had cornhole, ping pong and many other games. After winning a couple tight foosball games against Lindsey, we said our goodbyes and the next day I made the LONG haul out to Albuquerque.
On this trip, I’ve listened to TONS of The Joe Rogan Experience, which is such an entertaining way to pass hours in the car. As I was leaving Phoenix I put on the episode with Neil Degrasse Tyson, and eventually Joe and Neil start talking about this giant hole where a meteor hit the earth thousands of years ago, and as they’re discussing it they mentioned that the site is in Arizona… near Flagstaff… right along my route! Apparently Mongo was in dire need of a bathroom break, cause as I was walking him and Mable to use the bathroom at the meteor crater, he starting pooping mid-step. Since I wasn’t paying attention (or expecting my dog to start shitting mid-stride) he actually ended up pooping on my leg. After a quick cleanup I cranked the AC for the dogs and went in to see the Crater. The Meteor Crater was gigantic, beautiful and extremely windy! According to Joe Rogan the earth rang for 1,000 years from the force of the impact from this 50 meter meteor blasting into the earth at 26,000 miles per hour.
I finished the Neil Degrasse episode and started a new Joe Rogan I picked at random, featuring a former CIA covert operative named Mike Baker. I picked this podcast purely out of interest as to how a conversation with Joe and a CIA operative would go, but right off the bat Mr. Baker starting talking about this incredible place he lives and how amazing the people and natural beauty of this place was. And where you may ask, is this awesome place Mike Baker lives? BOISE IDAHO! Seriously. After the universe put an amazing natural wonder right in my path, the majority of the next podcast features a guy from Connecticut who moved to Boise and just can’t say enough great things about it. Joe had also JUST announced a show in Boise at the time of the podcast, which I already have a ticket to and was planning to attend. Mike assured Joe he’d have a super warm welcome and would love the natural beauties of Idaho, which led him to show Joe pictures of Payette Lake and many other natural wonders, which absolutely floored Mr. Rogan.
Synchronicity is a super interesting concept to me, and something I see evidence of regularly in my day to day life. The intense level I experienced as I drove from Phoenix to Albuquerque was honestly kind of touching. It was like the universe lit my path, right at a time where I was weary from some long drives, short stops and limited exposure for my music and invention. To me, it was the universe telling me to slow down and take all of this in and really be present in each moment. I’m amazed at how easy it is to fall back in with old friends after being away from each other for years at a time, and how you can develop such similar thoughts, beliefs and world views when you’re in separate cities, or on different continents. The world is so large, yet so small, which can make you feel insignificant in comparison to it all. But we are all a part of this big old world, we’re all connected, we’re all brothers and sisters, and we all have a place and a meaning in this world. I feel so blessed to be chasing my meaning in this world, and I wish all of you success in finding yours. So that’s it, another long blog in the books! I’m exploring NM and playing music with my friend of 25 years Casey, and I can promise you the next blog will cover some really cool stuff! Likes and shares are always appreciated, and make sure you check out Mongo’s blog from today as well!