We left Juneau on September 16th at about seven thirty a.m. Wouldn’t this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb PIE!!!! We flew to Seattle where we almost missed our flight and upon landing in Minneapolis we found that some of our bags had been stolen by a hijacking Guinea pig. We rented a helicopter and after figuring out how to get all of our stuff into it we headed off to Decorah, Iowa. We got to Decorah at night, twenty one o hundred o clock to be exact and went to bed immediately. We spent the next few days packing our bus and visiting with our family. But before we could pack we had to get rid of all of the little presents that our fury little friends had left us in the bus.

When the bus was packed and we left I moved back into my cave. It is a bit smaller than my room in Juneau, Ak. I still manage to fit a ton of stuff in the area I have as my own. The bus seems to have shrunk since the last time we were in it; either that or we have grown. It is fun to be back on the road again though even if we don’t have as much room as before. When I was exploring my cave I found a time capsule I had left on our last tour. When I finally got it open I found some golf balls and a bunch of random papers. I haven’t quite finished decoding the manuscripts yet but I have gotten partway done with them.

When we did leave we headed down to Duncan, Oklahoma. We drove for about eight hours the first day and stayed in a Wall-mart parking lot braving the dank dark horrors of hobo Ville. While we were driving along we saw a lot of cows and corn. We drove about eight more hours the next day and stopped at a rest spot and practiced for a while. Abby had her ripstick and she and I took turns riding around in between the columns and poles. We then left and drove the rest of the way to the Shady Oaks Campground. It was dark as the inside of a monkey’s uncle’s foot by the time we got there so all we did was check in and go to bed.

The next day the festival kicked in to gear with the band Extreme Bluegrass starting it all off. There was quite a good line up at the festival which included The Redhead Express, The Triple L Band, the Star Canyon band, The Rockin Acoustic Circus and others. We played four times at the festival.

We met the Redhead Express (another band from Alaska who are now living in Branson City, Missouri) while we were there. Laura and I stirred up a batch of Grandma Z’s world famous gourmet chocolate covered peanut buttered rice crispy treats. We then lured them into our bus for a dessert and bluegrass jam extravaganza. There ended up being barely any room to move. When they tried to leave we found we were stuck so we had to go and get a crow bar. (Even though we were stuck.) There are nine members in the Redhead Express and five members in the Alaska String Band so you can guess what it was like. We learned a great trick from the Triple L Band. It involved shooting bottle caps at each other. And our life has been udder chaos ever since. (Moo.)

We invited a guest artist on stage with us from the Star Canyon Band during our last performance. Jeff came out in a hula skirt and wig, then he danced and sang with us. (Actually he yodeled into the mic with my mom, which totally discombobulated her concentration.) Star Canyon of course had to have my dad, Paul, come up in their set to try on a dress, a wig and earrings. They danced, sang and ended up laughing a lot. I was given about ten more hats for my collection. So all in all it was a pretty good way to start off the tour.