Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mermaid Tour 2015: Last Leg

Mermaid Tour 2015: Last Leg

Here's another interactive map of my route west. The east bound map is on my first Tour post (see the tag at the end of this post). It's fun to map it all out like this, I can picture most  of the towns and areas I passed through still in my mind. It helps that I did the same trip just last year, I feel like I know this route pretty well now. 

After a great visit in North Dakota, and a nice breakfast with my mom, I started back west toward my next show in Whitefish, Montana. It was raining when I left, and continued throughout the day in varying degrees. Until around Bozeman, when I hit a big thunderstorm. Like I've said before, I think it's just part of the routine when you drive across MT to hit storms. I got a great pic of lightning in the not so far distance last year. And just like last year, there was a point where the storm was so crazy, the wind so strong, the rain so heavy, and the visibility so bad, that I had to pull over on the highway. It was nuts!! And a little scary. There's always that guy in a pickup truck, young is my guess, who whips by us all like it's nothing. Please don't crash into me, dude! Argh. After a few minutes, I slowly drove out of it, and made my way to my first stop in Butte. 

Driving out of the storm finally.
I reserved a hotel, and had a peaceful night. I ran for some Taco Bell for dinner (my favorite road garbage food, esp in hotels for some reason), and let me tell you. Just do yourself a favor and skip anything even half Mexican once you get east of Spokane. Just. Nevermind. They don't even have green sauce, and everything was just gross. Truthfully, I'm not sure about WA and OR in general. You've been warned.

The next day I arrived in Whitefish, just in time for the start of booth setup.  I knew the routine. Scramble for parking and then haul your stuff a ways into the park in the heat. Bleh. I was pretty excited when a backpack traveler offered to help me for a few bucks. Yes!! Best $10 I ever spent, took him 15 min to do it all and it was no sweat for this youngster. If I was thinking I would have asked him to come back on Sunday for tear down

Tally Lake near Whitefish, MT

I was able to reserve camping this time at Tally Lake a ways from town. As I learned last year, the state campground closer to town is horrible. Too paved and loud (a train hello!) for my taste. In fact, last year I vowed never to stay in another state campground if I can help it. They are never fun! Anyway, even though I picked out my spot online, I did great. It was secluded and quiet...totally worth the 30 min drive to town every day.  

The show itself was fun, but not as good in sales nor as many people as last year. I did meet more cool vendors this time, and had fun visiting with them. Always a highlight of doing festivals for me, making new artist friends.  I even met one person from my fb artist group, which was neat! She came to whitfish after we discussed it on fb. Ha!

My booth at Huckleberry Days.

After Whitefish, I headed further west and spend one night at my friend Bernadette's place in Spokane. We are old friends from college, and she's not only a passionate artist and art educator, she's a great hostess! She cooked me dinner from her garden, and we drank Montana beer and talked and talked. Food for the soul, is good girl talk.

Turk being sweet.

So I made my way through WA and stopped over in Mt. Hood, OR for one last camping hoorah. I love that area! So gorgeous and cooler temps. I camped for a couple nights there and soaked up the trees.

Mt. Hood, OR.

Now, I did have one last show planned on my way back through Oregon... and up until the last minute, I fully planned on following through. But once I looked at the setup info, I changed my mind. It was a new little music festival, which I was looking forward to as a nice relaxing last stop. But they put all the booths on a baseball diamond inside a fence. Bleh. So I'd have to haul my stuff, sit in the dirt all weekend, and be separated from the audience by a fence. No thanks. I was so tired from my weeks on the road, and this didn't sound like fun to me. So I canceled

Killer camping spot near Trillium Lake.

My last last stop was actually the same as my first stop... Leisa's house in Springfield. Yay! Such a good friend to put up with me a second time lol. I was super exhausted and saying weird things, just generally annoying I think. Leisa and her husband were very sweet about it. I spent one night, and then drove the last 5 hrs home to Eureka. Tons of hugs for my dog, and kisses for my hubby. Another killer tour on the books. Whew! Check out my other Tour posts by following the tag below. Woop! Good times.