It was a whirlwind month as predicted although we must have mostly paced ourselves because upon returning I did not feel the need to sleep for 5 days.  Just one and some change.  I think I’m back on track now and glad we didn’t miss Spring in Austin…all 6 days of it before it just gets hot for 6 months.  /End weather report rant.

Hotel El Rancho - Gallup, NM
The El Rancho Hotel in Gallup.

As a New Mexican I’ll admit maybe we have a prejudice against Arizona for a few reasons.  One is that most of the country interchanges NM with AZ because we are “one of those southwest states.”  I have actually met (only a couple of) Texans who think Arizona is their western neighbor.  So we New Mexicans have an inferiority complex.  Also Arizona might import it but they don’t have claim on real green chile, so there’s that.

However, I discovered it’s a lovely state with some really unique scenery.  And that whole saguaro cacti stereotype thing…it’s not a stereotype, it’s true.  They have them.  Everywhere.

Sedona, AZ

We played in Prescott and Clarkdale and Sedona, which really does look like a Route 66 postcard from 1954.  I want to go back and investigate these weird “energy vortexes” they have around Sedona…I like energy and I figure if I can stand in a vortex of it, well why not?  Next time.

Arizona Pig
Yes, an Arizona Pig was had.

Not a saguaro, but an alien cactus nonetheless.

We played the coolest winery in Walla Walla. The town itself is lovely, and the show was super fun. Lots of nice folks showed up. The winery is called Walla Faces…and the faces on the wall are painted by Candice Johnson, whose brother Rick owns the winery. Each year their wines get a Face that Candice has painted, and each has a name. Candice gave us a bottle of “Jane,” which we will give to our favorite Jane that we know…perfect!

Anyway, the winery plus the gallery plus melding the two arts together really made sense to me…fusion in its finest form.

Susan Gibson in Walla Walla

Walla Faces
Some of the Walla Faces.

Hotel in Walla Walla
Our SWANKY hotel room thanks to the Inn at Walla Faces.  Whooo!

Springer, NM Storm
It was windy in Springer, NM

We call it The Road not because it’s whimsical or romantic, we call it that because that is all you see for hours at a time. Yes, coupled with some really great scenery out West, but look straight ahead and there it is…The Road.

We had a grand time in New Mexico, stopping at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge to walk across.

Jana: “What river is that?”
Susan: “Uh…the Rio Grande.”
Jana: “Oh. Yeah.”

Rio Grande Gorge

Last Friday night Susan opened the show for Blame Sally at Swallow Hill in Denver. This was awesome because Swallow Hill is a fantastic venue and because we discovered just how excellent the ladies of Blame Sally are. The songwriting, the musicianship, the harmonies…all of it was inspirational and awesome. Go. See.

Blame Sally

On Saturday we had about 45 minutes to spare and were driving through Arvada, CO, where the Old Town Pickin’ Parlor resides, one of the coolest guitar stores I have ever been to, for sure. As happens to me sometimes, I found myself walking out with a new instrument (what can you do?)…a cigar box banjo. It’s cool, and Susan has been teaching me chords while she drives. Safety first, then music theory!

Cigar Box Banjo

Now we are in Casper, WY after a fun time in Saratoga and Centennial. It’s Shark Week, apparently…cable in motel rooms is always welcome!