P1010115Summer drew to a close and Paul invited the last of the summer tourists to our Southeast Alaska Odyssey Show in the Chilkat Theater on Mount Roberts.557064_10151165015188944_1178037302_n296423_10151171175483944_1038976499_nLocals gathered for the annual Mountain Music Festival.  This is Michael Truax, one of our favorite “Juneau” singers and guitar instrumentalists.  DSC_0009Abigail and Maire were festival volunteer helpers.DSC_0023Laura took in her last hikes.389163_10150961096696733_975510959_nMelissa and the girls finished sewing new kuspuks for the fall tour.  DSC_0010Quinn hosted his last summer bash with friends.kids in yardDouglas boat launch208936_213105365478748_585314028_nA long day of flying and we arrived at Minneapolis – St. Paul airport in Minnesota.DSC_0069First stop on our fall tour was Decorah, Iowa.  DSC_0234The “cut” is a flood prevention canal in Decorah and the sight of many summer days of play for Paul while he grew up.DSCF3662We loved walking and biking Decorah’s newly completed 11-mile loop Trout Run Trail.  The trail winds through the country side, over rolling hills, across trout streams and beside the Decorah fish hatchery.  DSC_0238IMG_1599IMG_1577IMG_1570556264_10151184495173944_1319810794_nIMG_0893Abigail took full advantage of the warm autumn days, running barefoot and learning to walk Quinn’s slack line. IMG_0199Abigail longs to own a kitten and she discovered this unsuspecting kitty in Grandma’s flower patch.  DSC_0103Kitty was lured up to the sunny porch…..DSC_0098…..and into the house for some milk.DSC_0117She wouldn’t take up much room in the bus Abigail assured us.DSC_0109Autumn harvest is plentiful and the farmer’s markets are brimming with brilliantly colored fruits and vegetables.DSCF1051DSCF1050DSCF1054DSCF1059DSC_0089We drove north to Sandwich, Illinois and stopped at the home of luthier, John Ressler. DSC_0096John is a gifted craftsman and he specializes in building stair cases.  But it is his skill at building guitars that is simply out of this world.  IMG_1643John shows Paul some of his latest beauties.DSC_0075Laura spends a happy afternoon in the music room and calculates how long it will be till she can return to Ressler’s place to claim one to call her own.  Learn more about John Ressler guitars at this website       http://www.resslerguitars.comDSC_0121DSC_0095DSC_0107http://www.alaskastringband.net/resslerGuitar.shtmlDSC_0105DSC_0110DSC_0113DSC_0103These wonderful portraits were presented to us after a concert in Minnesota.  Can you guess who the subjects were?IMG_1646IMG_1645A day in Chicago, IL and a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry.DSC_0142We are really thankful for modern dentistry and our amazing dentist.DSC_0210DSC_0137United Methodist Church in Albert Lea, Minnesota550658_10151209098858944_751347819_nCrossing the Mississippi River in Minnesota.283399_10151193145168944_282963581_nCasino Boat on the Mississippi River556146_10151193145123944_526813489_nSpring Grove, Minnesota….Uff Da Fest complete with trolls.DSC_0025DSC_0023DSCF1082DSC_0112DSC_0106DSC_0110DSC_0096DSC_0070DSC_0048DSC_0013CSC_0017In Manhattan, Kansas we met pastor Paul Berkey where he and the congregation of the community church hosted an evening concert of the Alaska String Band.197510_10151212807893944_642801504_nIMG_1749In Oklahoma we explored a wildlife refuge and met up with another traveling band called Link Union.IMG_0079IMG_0064IMG_0283IMG_0067IMG_0058604170_10151243112683944_1147453211_nIMG_0282DSC_0450DSC_0443DSC_0409Alaska String Band has enjoyed several visits to the Mitchell Resort and RV Park annual fall Bluegrass Festival.  Over the years we have performed and enjoyed hearing some great bands and made some even better friends.602504_10151215853768944_1945362263_nDSC_0286Sam and Gay enjoy the bluegrass performances on the mainstage.DSC_0287This amazing friendship cake in the shape of the state of Texas was gifted to us during the festival weekend by friendly bluegrassers.308684_10150390772318944_463990817_nRoy Thackerson the fingerless fiddler rips it up on the Orange Blossom Special.DSC_0260Blocker-Stephens BluegrassDSC_0337Grandpa’s Neighbors  DSC_0285Laura befriends a young bluegrasser.622141_528229660539994_1823068569_oFrom the Heartland band comes into our bus to visit.377683_10150391386573944_676660731_nLate night jam sessions are popular with many festival attenders and performers.DSC_0341DSC_0346DSC_0362DSC_0345DSC_0347Our favorite sound technician, Frank, sets the stage mic between acts.DSC_0144388930_10150390715598944_1517488785_n

DL and Clara Williams of Hillsboro, Texas are among some of the wonderful friends we have been fortunate to meet.  Clara is a marvelous host and amazing cook.  Here she is in her remarkable kitchen doing what she does best.


Laura lends a hand.306432_10150391373633944_1436648676_nDL and Clara host music nights and dominoes games to a large number of their contemporaries on a weekly basis.

Not only do we leave DL and Clara’s home warmed and filled but with clean laundry too!


Alaska String Band is the music entertainment at DL and Clara’s Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 10.48.43 PMLaura and Paul do a sound check before we play at the Belcher Center for Arts on LeTurneau Campus in Longview, Texas.DSC_0163LeTurneau student body is mosts appreciative.544855_10151249205583944_1744153526_nBlair Bluegrass Festival in Blair, OK.   Volunteer Fire Department sponsors this annual festival to benefit the fire rescue department.  Laura, Amy and Abigail went for a ride on the fire truck.269823_10151222761173944_1966926048_n

One more stop in picturesque Wharton, TX.wharton poster