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  May 17th, 2004 - stay another day in Santa Fe!...

What a day!
Santa Fe, the cow bop way
the band was sparkin
my dogs are barkin
not a note left on guitar or bass
guess we'll have to blow this place
onward gallop to gallup and other parts west
to put the 66 challenge to the final test

It really is beginning to fell like we're making the last leg of the journey. Today was definitely a day to remember. It started with trying to rally the troops and getting out into Santa Fe. Some of you may have noticed that Cozy Dog was conspicuously absent from yesterdays fotos, there is a good reason for that: he wasn't here. When we nailed him down for the 66 challenge, he had a prior commitment that he couldn't get out of, so we all agreed to get him to an airport so that he could fly out of in the morning and return that night, and luckily we made it to Albuquerque in time. You'll note we caught him jet-lagging on the pix page.

After some serious coffee, (not a problem in Santa Fe), we met up with Jeanette and Charlotte from the market again and they agreed to keep a careful eye on Clementine so we could check out more art and stuff…Santa Fe is chock full of it! The we moved over to Canyon Rd., yet another killer shopping and gallery area, and we played at Nathalies, an incredible western store, and I ain't lying here, I have never seen Pammy like everything in any store before. We played out in the courtyard and Nathalie fed us very well, I guess we were looking hungry from the amount she ordered, what a sweetheart. We met Sonny Tuttle, who is the real deal. He is a Sioux who does hand-painted spirit visions on hides, his work is stirring and exceptionally detailed. He also has this war whoop that he did after every tune, it was killer, we tried to get him to come on the road with us but after hearing all about it he wouldn't go for it.

Went back over to play a quick set at the market. As we pulled up, we wanted to get this woman's parking place, and Pammy saw she had a Carmel Valley sticker on her car (that's where we're from for those of you who aren't up on minor details), it turns out she actually lived on our street before moving here, now that's weird-and yet another aspect about doing this kind of trip, that sort of stuff just seems to happen more often than normal. Of course we created a huge traffic jam as we pondered over the coincidence of it all.

Now, the band wanted to find a place to put our stuff, change, and relax a taste before the gig at the Cowgirl. I was not exactly gung-ho on the idea (because I thought we might meet someone who would put us up for the night, we were running really low on the dough). Well, in order to keep harmony-and stave off potential mutiny-we checked into the Cottonwood Motel, (I call it the cottonmouth, cause that's what the situation was doing to me). Actually, it had the look of something less than savory, but in actuality is clean and livable (for the time being). It did, however-speaking of clean-clean us out. I mean, we finally hit zero. The manager had insisted on cash up front (I think she's had musicians stay here before). There was a weird terror about it, and I tried to conceal it from the others. (Yeah right, we're in the middle of New Mexico, about a thousand miles from the finish line and we're out of money, I've GOT this under control!) I know we can use CD money according to the rules (and people have been buying them), but all of us are intent upon making it work without. We hoped for a good hit and some generous tips at the Cowgirl. We got there and freaked, karaoke was written on the chalkboard out front. I was really relieved to find the owner and to find out that it was only a miscommunication in his ranks, but when I'd had trouble finding him for five minutes, I'd imagined he wasn't working and had forgotten to tell whomever was taking his place, you know the drill, it is actually more common than I'd like to admit…yikes! Fortunately, however, we did have the gig like we thought…phew! I'll tell you, when I finally got back to the truck, the troops were looking mighty beaten. This was the day that we have done the most playing of any so far, and until the Cowgirl, all acoustic. I was worried we'd be pushing Pammy's pipes too far. We hooked up our mini PA (an Accugroove speaker and an Acoustic Image top, graciously donated for the trip, this stuff is small, sufficiently powered and sounds great with the voice, a guitar, and a bass coming through it). Mike seems to be settled into the cardboard box thing, he could have used his drums, but instead he dumpster-dove into the deep funk to retrieve a box. It wore out on him after the first set, and upon seeking replacement, he found a big, brightly colored Huggies box. Whatever floats your boat I say, and it does get a sound, and just think how much easier it'll be if we try this again-not that anyone will go for it- that little drum kit we made at home is now obsolete. Clementine is looking bigger all the time.

Playing the Cowgirl is a great experience, a cross section of people, a place where many greats have played: Patsy Montana (PintoPammy's yodeling hero), Ramblin Jack Elliot and the owner Nicholas swears that Elvis actually came in about six years ago and did a set. That was at the end of the night and we know about the effects of the altitude when combined with adult beverages, but I'll tell you he had me believing too.

One of the great things about this trip (and I know I say it again and again) is that we are meeting fantastic people, and our lives are all changed for the better because of this experience. I know that I'll never be the same, both in regards to the way I perceive people and the way that I treat strangers, and that, my friends, is a something I highly endorse. We set out on a mission to help make other's lives better through an extreme challenge, and it is us who are benefiting as much as anyone. One quality person we have met is Chaz Cone. He was basically the most gracious advance man we could have ever imagined. He left for the 66 trip a week or so in front of us in his custom 53 'vette, his website (which is something all of you might want to check out: provided us with a map for where to go, what to do, who to see, the whole thing. And he told everyone to watch out for us, I mean, how nice can you be. And he went way out of his way to come and hang with us tonight with his traveling pal Peter (they have matching vettes…and take a look at these things, they are on his site).They are on their return legs, we hung and enjoyed each other's company like long lost friends like we now are and always will be.

I guess I'm getting long winded, there's so much to tell you about, but I'll quit for now, save some for tomorrow.. .oh, and by the way, we did OK tonight, we'll eat tomorrow, and it'll take care of itself from there, it has so far, that's the Cow Bop way.

Quote of the day: "At my age, I should have gotten a Depends box!" Mikey, after someone noting the Huggies disposable diaper box as his drum of choice.

Click here to check out pictures from May 17th