Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Louisville/Indiana/Illinois/St. Louis!

What a day. I'm going to start from now and go backwards. I'm in a Hampton Inn in downtown St. Louis, with a cold Budweiser recently having graced my lips. It's cool outside - not cold, but you can tell it's cold where it should be cold. I'm looking over some maps and driving options - there's been a change of plans in my change of plans. It's going off in A-Basin and in Loveland, and I'm going to keep driving through Kansas City in order to get some fresh powder in October come Friday. That was fun to type, so I'm going to do it again. I'm going to get some fresh powder on Friday. Friday, October 30. I'm a good 12 to 13 hours from Denver, where I'll be staying on Thursday night, and have tonight and tomorrow to make that happen. I'd like to get there early enough on Thursday - like 9 AM early - to tour the city and do some cycling before I meet my new Couchsurfing buddies. If you haven't checked out that great project, please do - www.couchsurfing.org. Brilliant. So I'll be driving tomorrow (and maybe stopping in Kansas City to check that box) and hanging out in Denver on Thursday. Then it's up at dawn to go catch first tracks on Friday. I have to decide which resort to go to. Decisions, decisions. As long as the choice is "which powder should I go play in on October 30?", I'll deal with it.
St. Louis is pretty cool. The Gateway Arch is INCREDIBLE (and yes, I walked through it going west). I wandered the city for a bit, and got the downtown vibe. It's like a quieter, cleaner, less angry Philadelphia - minus the Rocky statue. I enjoyed getting a Budweiser here. I felt authentic, even though a Belgian company is now responsible for that beer finding my palette. Before arriving in St. Louis, I drove through Illinois (shame on you Illinois and Missouri, for not having well placed welcome centers with big "Welcome to:" signs for me to take gratuitous photos with). Not a whole lot going on in Illinois on I-64; it's not Kentucky-at-night quiet, but it's pretty cool and still. I stopped at the inappropriately unadvertised Illinois welcome center and recorded some demo tracks inside while the rain kept coming down. It's pretty humbling to be putting some soul down on the metaphorical tape while someone 3 feet away is buying a Twinkie from a vending machine. But thus is life - make of it what you will. That room was as good of a place as any to sit down and do some recording. The world is my studio.
The song I wrote today was written with a great amount of inspiration from my grandmother, who passed away today. The song isn't for her, or really even about her, but she contributed greatly to it. You could argue that she contributed greatly to everything I've ever written (and for that matter most of the actions and words that shape my life), and you'd be right. But this one is special. I think she'd like it. Not in the "my-grandson-wrote-it-so-it's-infallible" way, but genuinely. I'm celebrating her life. She was the greatest person I've ever known. She has no idea how much she meant to me, and how much of the good in my person she helped shape. I reiterate: live your life the way your grandmother would want you to - you'll never go wrong.
Before Illinois, there was Indiana. Not a whole lot going on in Indiana, but at least their welcome centers bring the goods.
I woke up outside Louisville, KY (4 states today!) which was a cool town. I had a nice breakfast, then ambled into town to grab coffee (in addition to breakfast coffee, which is an entirely different entity) and update the blog this morning and catch up on work. I then took a bike ride around town (despite the rain), which is cool. Louisville is old and trendy at the same time. It's like the whole downtown area is going through gentrification at the same time. Nice people though. And I saw the biggest baseball bat in the world. Prove me wrong.
I'm off to go make moves toward Kansas. Excited to listed to the Chris Bell record Adam Froehlich just recommended to me. I think I'll stop for a bike ride in Kansas City tomorrow morning if this rain ever stops.

Currently listening to: Chris Bell - I Am the Cosmos

In loving memory of Paula Cloyd, my grandmother. This blog is dedicated to her.

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