...and up the coast we went.  Myself behind the wheel, flying down the interstate towards the great adventure.  Ben De La Cour sat shotgun, finger-picking an acoustic guitar across his lap.  In the back, rolling film and sound, the Mad Romanian Loose Shutter and the Papoose Moose of Jersey.  Together we rumbled into San Francisco.

Our first night we slept in the car in the Haight after drinks in an upstairs watering hole.  Ben swore he saw the ghosts of the 60's, long skirts swishing down on the sidewalk.  We had beautiful sunshine the next day, digging the green of Golden Gate park.  Down on Arguello we played our songs and met lots of good folks.  Then further north we traveled.

In Oregon the skies turned grey and cold.  We bunked in Bend and then kicked around Portland, my orphaned home away from home.  My old professor-cum editor-cum pen pal Martello invited us in, gave us hot coffee and a warm couch, and we reminisced about ten years gone.  In the shadow of snowy Mt. Hood we played again in a little roadhouse along route 27.  

Then it was Seattle and the wind and the rain.  I reconnected with old friends and met new ones, and in the early morning we bid goodbye to the Papoose Moose, called home on a big jetliner to the Garden State.  Now just three, we headed south again.

In a big old house in Berkley we caught our breath, played Oakland and San Francisco and snaked toward the rocky coast.  The waves crashed loud through the rocks at Big Sur, and along the highway, Loose Shutter, our Mad Romanian pointed his lens skyward and caught the wide wings of California Condors, swooping down along the cliffs.

We ate barbeque in Atascadero and hit the stage for the last time, songs familiar beneath our fingers.  Finally home again, I slept and slept.  It was easter sunday, and I was grateful.

Here in Venice I appreciate the sunshine and the twelve month spring.  Papoose Moose came back to town.  He and the Mad Romanian Loose Shutter showed us the film - beautiful panoramas of the great Northwest.  And before long the palaver begun, how to extend the adventure, how to heat it up and make it burn even longer.

In July, we four will climb back in the wagon and this time head south and west.  There won't be any snow or wind or cold, just sunlight and heat and dust.  We'll run through the desert, through Texas, down as for as the swamps of New Orleans and then cut north, find route 66 and head west again.  

Here in Venice I appreciate the sunshine and the twelve month spring and the turquoise waves lapping.  But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't already jonesing for the long straight road east.  We'll be there soon.

In the meantime there's music to be heard here, in my home city.  The Dead Messengers will even turn up for a full-scale rocknroll extravaganza on Cinco de Drinko.  More to come, always. More, more, more.

thanks for listening,