Sun Oct. 17th
Mon Oct. 18th
Tue Oct. 19th
Wed Oct. 20th
Thu Oct. 21th
Thu Oct. 21th

We made it! Made a mad dash for the finish line, had plenty of gas…so…landed in Oakdale around six o'clock! Played and are saying at Sierra Sky Ranch, in the Branding Iron Restaurant and Saloon, what a perfect landing spot for road weary travelers.

Started the day off in the St. George, a step back in time, gonna go back and play there on our way back to civilization that is, if can force ourselves back into that kind of groove. Played for the kids at Pioneer School, man what a nice bunch of second and third graders, were very receptive and respectful, and gave us the most sincere hugs we've gotten in a long time. Found our mugs plastered on the front page of the Datebook section of the Chronicle, sure would have been great to have that from the beginning, would have made the sales job-getting gigs, verifying and explaining mission-easier. Anyway, with a good stash of cash on hand and plenty of energy, we blasted for Oakdale, passed through Jackson, San Andreas, Angel's Camp, Columbia, Sonora, Jamestown, up over the ridge to Mariposa and across the line for a photo finish.

What can I say? These trips have a profound effect on me, I have the ultimate respect for my compadres, their willingness to take on a challenge such as this, for such an important cause, and to be good humored, always professional, and only mildly mutinous-which is the code of the sideman. For the people who took a chance and let us play without knowing what we sounded like, to give generously, and support us, to call in their personal networks to help out and take part. This is what I wanted to know: if this was still a part of the fabric of our culture, and it is, regardless of how isolated and insulated it seems at times. It has changed my feeling about my fellow inhabitants of the planet, and endowed me with a deep appreciation for them. As PintoPammy says, "better than TV!"

I only hope that those of you out there will be encouraged to support this kind of thing with your help and pledges. We need you in order to continue to do this, and I have found that these voyages do engage kids-even ones on Social Security-and show them how music brings people together and offers experience that enriches lives. Stay tuned for our next "Adventure in Music" (could be El Camino Real, Hiway 1, Lincoln Highway, Lewis and Clark Northwest Voyage, lunar?) and until then, "we'll see you in our dreams".

Click here for the Cowbop Theater movie (requires Windows Media)