My eyes are red and puffy, for once not from lack of sleep but from balling my eyes out after saying goodbye to my man at 4am this morning at the airport. B is off to tour with The Washboard Union, opening for Country legend Dwight Yoakam, and I am alone in New Orleans. But, I digress…
After Santa Monica we headed to Pismo Beach to hang out with B’s Uncle Ralph and Aunt Linda. They were on a road trip from Reno to Pismo to Vegas, and the timing worked out that we were only 3 hours away while they were there. About halfway through the drive the van shut down in the middle of highway 101. You see, Bessie Blue doesn’t have a gas gauge, so you have to keep track of the miles and gallons etc. We had forgotten to record them last time we hit the gas station, but agreed on a number that we had to fill up at – whoops. This is the second time this has happened in the 7 months I’ve had her… (the first time was in the middle of West 4th and Arbutus in Vancouver) The van shuts off with no warning, power steering cut and everything. LUCKILY we were in the slow lane (where we often are) and drifted to the side of the road safely. Not quite far enough though, as the gas tank is on the drivers side. We had a jerry can with 10 gallons in it (prepared) and a car safety kit Curt Henderson left behind on our tour up North this summer (thanks Curt, we used your cone). After 20 minutes and an instructional YouTube video, we got the jerry can working. We sketchily gassed her up and drove to the nearest station. It was like sitting on pins and needles getting there – no one spoke. She took down 36 Gallons. We now fill her up every 300 miles.
Pismo is gorgeous. It’s a little surfer town with great food and amazing whale watching. We surfed for two days and watched the humpbacks. Our second day of surfing we had porpoises swimming about 20 feet away from us, then I saw another solo grey fin in the water and freaked the F out. Having just come from the Monterey Aquarium and just watched a presentation on white sharks outlining that they are pretty much ALL chillen on the Cali coast, perhaps my mind got the best of me. It didn’t help that we sparked up a conversation with a man previously from Vancouver Island (he noticed Bessie’s BC plates) asking if sharks were a thing here and he responded “oh yeah. My buddy was attacked by a great white just over there” pointing to the water on the other side of the dock. Then he told us to google “drone shark footage – Pismo Beach”, a video showing two great whites under the water right in the break of Pismo Beach. Nevertheless, we paid for the boards… and the next morning in the thick fog we went back out. And it was terrifying.
After 3 days we headed back to LA to play a live-over-the-web set at DromeBox Studios set up by a lifetime buddy of mine Andrew (watch it here). Then we played a set at The Mint. We were on a bill with the very talented and lovely Andy Allo. The room was full and the vibes were high. My old Berklee buddy Will and his now wife (congrats!) Jane came out and we sounded great. This is still one of my favourite shows of the tour. Afterwards we went out on the town after with Whitney and her gorgeous crew of lesbians. LA is so big, it’s almost overwhelming. You could be there for a week and still not get to all the neighbourhoods. Out of the ones I caught, I loved Venice, Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach. Our show at Bar Lubitsch the next night was unfortunately canceled as the main act had to bail – we were bummed but sometimes that’s how she goes. So it was off to the desert!
We pulled into the Joshua Tree Saloon about 4pm. We were told we get a meal and some drinks. After checking out the menu and deciding we were both obviously getting steaks with all the fixings, the server informed us there was a separate performers menu. Burgers it is. There was a football game on every screen and the lady who was doing sound asked if we could start real quiet as to not interrupt the viewers. Not only did the TV’s stay on, but the SOUND stayed on. It was a bit deflating, but we did meet some great people and had the floor during the second set. We camped out in the parking lot and headed to Joshua Tree National Park the next day.
Man there is something magical about the desert. Maybe it’s the slower pace because of the heat, or the quiet of the desolate landscape, but B and I both found it very inspiring. We hiked the rocks, watched the sunset with a bottle of wine and had a photo shoot (obviously). I wrote a new tune and had a 7am yoga sesh. We stayed in Joshua for two nights before heading to Arizona.