On the way to Coeur d’Alene from Fort Collins, I drove through Grand Teton N.P. and camped in Yellowstone, where I woke up to wolves howling outside of my tent. That part was a little eerie, and the night was VERY cold, but I had an amazing time.
Coeur d’Alene is a pretty little town. I played there on Friday, 10/12, at Calypsos Coffee, where the staff and crowd were very friendly. I met some nice folks. Idaho is cooler than people realize. I hope my short, declarative sentences convince you.
The next day I drove to Seattle and met up with an old Marshalltown friend at the restaurant she now manages, called Poppy. She hooked me up with some delicious food and then we went out for some tasty beverages around Capitol Hill. The next night I played at the Rendezvous/Jewelbox Theater with three other local musicians. I was disappointed with the turnout, but I was delighted to see some Iowa City folks in the house. Represent!
Next was Portland. I drove through some nutso weather with some not-so-awesome drivers to get there, but I arrived safely on Monday, 10/15. I added a last-minute show that night at Ella Street Social Club (formerly the Towne Lounge) opening for Jeremiah Birnbaum. The crowd was sparse, but I was so happy to be back in Portland that I didn’t care. The next day I putzed around on Mississippi, which has drastically changed since my time there. Mississippi Records isn’t even on Mississippi anymore–oh my!
That night I played at The Waypost, which was hosting a debate viewing party before the show. My good friend Toussaint Perrault opened the show and played through a serious bout of jetlag, having just returned from a European tour with his band, Tu Fawning. I enjoyed the show immensely. It was fantastic to see lots of familiar faces there (including more Iowa folks!). I had lots of warm fuzzies!
I hung out in Portland for a couple more days and caught up with friends, ate scrumptious food, drank delicious beer, sang a little bit of Chopsticks karaoke, played a little Quizzy at Billy Ray’s (2nd place for the F*** Squad!), and had a boatload of fun.
I made the good ol’ I-5 trek down to Eugene on Friday, 10/19 (again with the nutso weather and awful drivers…). I was supposed to open for my friends Dave, Eric and Brian who formed a Testface-Tractor Operator-Pelletgun super group, but Eric’s wife Tiffani gave birth to their baby, Henry, a few days ahead of schedule (hooray!). So Dave and I formed an Alexis Stevens-Testface supergroup instead, and Heavenly Oceans closed the show. What can I say? It was a fabulous, nostalgia-filled night of awesome music.
I hung out in Eugene for a couple more days, walking down memory lane during the day and sleeping in a generous friend’s studio space at night. I got to sit in on Saltlick practice one day, which made me very happy. It was so great to see old friends and play with old bandmates, some of the most talented people I’ve ever met.
This morning I left Eugene and headed to Crater Lake (never been), but my timing was pretty bad. Today was the first snowfall of the season and all but one of the roads to the lake were closed. (On the way I stopped at a scenic overlook and a reporter from Channel 9 in Eugene was there and interviewed me about the snow, so I may have been featured on the news tonight…fame!) I got a cold and cloudy view of the lake. The weather was crazy–warm and sunny one moment, freezing and hailing the next. I listened to a soft rock station (Whitney Houston and Fleetwood Mac aplenty) to get me through the nail-biting driving conditions.
Now I’m parked in Ashland for the night, then off to Redwood National Park tomorrow! Next show: San Francisco on Thursday.