Off the Air

A collection of press clippings, special projects or appearances including Garrison Keillor.

Summer Love Tour: Around the Bend, like a majestic Eagle

August 28, 2011

PHC staffer Nic Vetter is on the Summer Love Tour with Garrison, Fred Newman, Andra Suchy, Heather Masse, Sara Watkins, and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and will update us periodically from the road.

After being out west in big sky country, I've decided twilight is my new favorite time of day. The enormous sky puts on a great show with the vivid painted colors and incredible cloud layers absorbing the reflections of the setting sun and then the finale of LED quality stars as night falls. But the locals in Bend and Boise are used to this scenery every day and so came to be entertained by our show, and they all seemed to be having a really good time.

Hailing from the tundra we're used to extreme temperatures changes on a seasonal cycle, but out in the high desert the fluctuations happen every day. It was about 101 dry degrees at the peak of the day in both Oregon and Idaho, and felt even hotter because the dry air was stagnant and didn't have a breeze to speak of. In Eagle, the clear 40 degree Boise River flowed behind the stage and people were out in their skivvies taking a dip and the audience came in guarded against the sun in their desert hats and polarized shades. When 101 suddenly dropped to what felt like under 60 degrees, I was woefully prepared in my shorts and t-shirt and flip-flops.

At the Boise airport, Sam and Thomas had to equally distribute the weight of all the equipment between 43 bags and road boxes to make sure they were under 100 pounds, the logistics and pressure of which would make any lesser men crumble to their knees -- and it was all before 7 am. They eat logistics and pressure for breakfast. Needless to say the equipment filled the dual prop plane that we took to Seattle and it's kind of a miracle we were able to lift off the ground, but it all got transferred to a 747 for the flight to Anchorage.

As we descended through the cirrus clouds over Alaska, it was an amazing sight of vast natural beauty for miles and miles and miles -- the greens are greener and the glaciers are so huge and white and you can tell the water is clear from 5,000 feet above. Pat pointed out that he must have counted at least 10,000 lakes in just a 50 square mile radius, which kind of makes our state motto seem slightly pathetic in comparison. We'll just have to see how their State Fair holds up to ours, which as far as I know, is the best. Stay tuned.

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