• Southwest Tour • T OR C

A particularly cold and wet afternoon has kept me indoors at Aqus Cafe in the town of Petaluma, CA where we'll be playing tomorrow night. A hot drink in my hand and my mind is drifting back to no-man's land and jumping in that river called the Rio Grande.

Further south than the mountains of Santa Fe, T or C (as the locals call it) was significantly warmer, but not exactly balmy for an outdoor concert--somewhere in the low to mid 50's, if memory serves. Luckily, we were playing in a covered gazebo/patio area right next to the hot tubs, and Jake, the owner, set up a couple propane heaters and aimed them at the stage area like two large footlights pointing up at us.

People started coming in, appropriately bundled up or carrying blankets. About twenty five chairs had been set up and as we started into our set they found their seats and settled in for the music. The sun had set behind us but we could still make out the line of Turtleback Mountain in the dusk, and the bend of the Rio Grande rolling past us.

We were full of energy and basking in the glow of a warm audience of strangers as the night rolled on. We could even hear cheers coming from the hot tubs, which helped to remind us of what we had to look forward to after we finished playing.

After an hour and a half-long set we thanked everyone for coming out and braving the chill for some live music. After chatting with several of the locals who had come from town to hear us we packed our stuff back to our room and made a beeline for the hot spring tubs. I can't think of a better way to cap off a great outdoor evening show than a soak in natural hot springs a mere stones-throw from where we'd played our last notes.

The three hottest public tubs were under a gazebo overlooking the river with the two other tubs a few steps below. As we unwound in the water, faces full of grins, I remembered the ecstatic feeling from jumping in the cold, cold waters back in Desert Hot Springs and decided that it was only fitting to see if the mighty Rio Grande would do the same. It did.

And our heads hit the pillows that night like stones falling softly through water until our thoughts rested at the bottom of some sleepy river rolling through truth, or consequences, or both.

©&℗ 2013 Misner & Smith/Scribble On The Wall Music. All Rights Reserved.

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