"I've Been Everywhere, Man" Living the song on two wheels.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by swedstal, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. swedstal's wingmom

    swedstal's wingmom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2019
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Norfolk, Nebraska
    This is Brett's Mom. His dad and I stayed at the Blue Swallow on our Route 66 trip. We enjoyed that so much!
  2. swedstal's wingmom

    swedstal's wingmom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2019
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Norfolk, Nebraska
    I know I am biased but I think Brett's writing is awesome! And I have told him for years that he should be a schoolteacher! Thanks for affirming that! Brett's mom
  3. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Oddometer:
    8,526
    Location:
    Ft Likkertail , USA
    I doubt many would disagree with your assessment, as Brett’s writing has been highly entertaining to say the least!
    It is the rare RR that attracts so many steady followers..:nod
  4. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13,115
    Location:
    Tennessee
    :lurk

    Good stuff! Thanks for sharing it!
    swedstal likes this.
  5. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    419
    Location:
    NW Oklahoma
    I'd put in a good word for him here in Oklahoma.
    swedstal and interceptor1972 like this.
  6. sorethumb

    sorethumb Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Bluffton, SC
    Canadian.jpg

    I think in Saskatchewan y'all are now married or something. Went through something similar here with a bushel of boiled peanuts.
  7. swedstal's wingmom

    swedstal's wingmom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2019
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Norfolk, Nebraska
    Thanks for posting these pictures of Brett! Brett, you are looking around with the same sense of wonder your dad always displayed especially in the picture of you walking in the small canyon. I love it!
  8. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,812
    Location:
    Fly over zone
    Pretty quiet here lately. Anyone have any Brett sightings?
    swedstal likes this.
  9. swedstal's wingmom

    swedstal's wingmom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2019
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Norfolk, Nebraska
    This is Brett's mom. He is in Yosemite this morning. His good friend, Adam, joined him last weekend to do Sequoia together and watch the Chiefs. I am encouraging him to take a couple of days off to rest and catch up on his ride reports. That way he can really enjoy the rest of his travels. So be sure to tell him to listen to his mother!
    This group is the best! Thanks for watching out for him so well and for all the encouragement you have given him. He's is good about sending me a text nearly every night to let me know he is OK. So I don't mind at all relaying that to you when you ask.
    How many of you are serious about riding with Brett for a bit at the end of his journey? I would be happy to semi organize something although I wonder if it might be like trying to herd cats. It's up to Brett, of course, but keep the conversation going.
    It's a beautiful day for a ride here in Nebraska. Hope it's the same where you are!
    Mark Thom, GHOC, simbaboy and 17 others like this.
  10. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Oddometer:
    8,526
    Location:
    Ft Likkertail , USA
    Hi Brett, your mom told us you should listen to her....:D Enjoy the ride!!!
    swedstal and KiwiPewe like this.
  11. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,812
    Location:
    Fly over zone
    Good news! Thanks for keeping us updated. Hopefully he will follow your advice.
    I was and am interested in riding with him around his completion time, either at or after his last stop. Haven’t been able to clearly determine if Brett thinks it’s all that great of an idea. :hmmmmm
    swedstal likes this.
  12. WYO George

    WYO George I have no idea

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,773
    Location:
    left of nowhere, WY
    He’s following Mom’s advice based on our text messages yesterday. He already knows I’ll join him providing the weather is allowable. We’ve already had snow here in Wyoming so I just have to plan things based on the weather of the hour.
    simbaboy and swedstal like this.
  13. hankmoody

    hankmoody Ummmmm?? REALLY?!

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,580
    Location:
    South YogaPantistan

    Bretts Mom!! Love your boy! Yes, it would or could be a bit like herding cats. However, you could make it fairly simple. Just Define a date and location. A place like Bessey National Forest is about 4 ish hours west of you. Something like that. (Norfolk NB?) Whomever wants to meet and escort the boy home, can then make plans to do so.

    Think about it! Sadly, truly sadly, I won't be able to participate. New Job. However, I can humbly note that I have the great pleasure in hosting Brett twice. Near the beginning and near the finale.

    All the best
    LRB
  14. WYO George

    WYO George I have no idea

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,773
    Location:
    left of nowhere, WY
    Psst... the abbreviation for Nebraska is “NE” not “NB”.

    Just friendly ribbing. I think your idea is a solid one, no need to over complicate things and make extra work for Swedstal Mom.
  15. hankmoody

    hankmoody Ummmmm?? REALLY?!

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,580
    Location:
    South YogaPantistan
    Oooops
    simbaboy likes this.
  16. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,148
    Sorry for the long absence. Lots going on! Writing has been really tough recently!

    Yep! Well spotted. I was going to talk about the vehicle, but just ran out of words. I just used "Jeep" as a generic term. :thumb

    I'm still thinking it over. I'm honored that you would consider coming. I'll hopefully make a decision on this in the next week or two. Stay tuned!

    I'm definitely a jack of no trades....:hmmmmm

    ...just don't tell them about my college football allegiance!

    :lol3 Perfect use of the meme! I hope to hear the boiled peanut story sometime.

    Yep, still thinking it over. I'll hopefully decide in a week or two. I really hope to meet you sometime. @hankmoody said he has stayed with you before. If you can tolerate him, we will probably be good friends. :-)

    ...and you hosted me well! Thanks for everything that you've done for me. I almost forgive you for messing up Nebraska's abbreviation.

    Phew...for a second there I thought that I forgot to visit a place in New Brunswick. I never know whether to speak English or French in that province!
  17. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,148
    Singin' On A Corner In Winslow Arizona

    Tuesday, August 27th

    Hoover Dam, Nevada/Arizona, USA

    (Just a reminder, my previous update about Cedar City broke chronology. After my visit there, I continued on to Las Vegas for a night, then saw Hoover Dam the next day. This post will pick up there.)



    Arizona!

    Of the 49 states not named “Nebraska,” this is the one where I have spent the most time. I was glad that the state included two song places, Winslow and Catalina, giving me a good excuse to enjoy the state again. Shortly after crossing the border, I recommenced my most circuitous tour of Route 66. Once again, each gas station had a whole aisle dedicated to “mother road“ memorabilia.

    [​IMG]

    Arizona welcomed me with its iconic heat. I-40 was a veritable graveyard of truck tires. After a number of uncomfortable hours I begin to climb elevation towards Flagstaff. Around 3000 ft the trees returned and the temperature became milder.

    With plenty of daylight remaining, I set up my tent in a National Forest outside of Flagstaff. I was weary from the lack of sleep in Vegas the night before, so turning in early was just what the doctor ordered.

    [​IMG]



    Wednesday, August 28th

    I gotta be honest.

    I’m pretty tired of camping.

    However, this morning help me remember why some people consider camping a leisure activity. It was a crisp 55 degrees in the morning, which has to be the ideal temperature at which to wake up in a tent. I rolled over, started my coffee and felt like it was going to be a good day.

    [​IMG]

    I needed a full day of work to do some catching up, so I decided to leave the maroon cocoon set up at its site and head into Flagstaff. I was probably at the library for around 7 straight hours and got many things accomplished. The only drama on the day was a fairly intense hailstorm as I did my work. Sorry, Annie!

    [​IMG]

    Thankfully, my tent back in the National Forest was just fine.
  18. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,148
    Thursday, August 29th

    Winslow day!

    I had just a short ride before reaching my next destination.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hadn’t done a lot of research about Winslow before my arrival. Pretty much the only thing of note that I was aware of was a street corner…. I suppose that may require a little bit of an explanation. I would encourage you to listen to the song below by The Eagles, “Take It Easy.”



    The lyrics to begin verse 2 are as follows:

    Well I’m a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
    Such a fine sight to see
    It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford
    Slowin’ down to take a look at me
    Come on baby
    Don’t say maybe
    I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me
    We may lose and we may win
    Though we will never be here again
    So open up I’m climbin’ in
    So take it easy.

    This song was primarily written by a great composer named Jackson Browne in 1971. The lyric about Winslow truly describes a time when Browne was broken down in northern Arizona. To this day, this lyric is the thing that most commonly comes to mind when one thinks of Winslow. Though I am tempted to criticize the city for having so much of its identity wrapped up in a single song, it might seem a little hypocritical coming from someone who has spent over two years on his own song related quest.



    The town of Winslow eventually embraced this notoriety. In 1999, they constructed a special corner to serve as a backdrop for travelers who are looking to hop off of I-40 and “take it easy” for a bit. Taking a picture on this corner has become one of the most quintessential experiences for those traveling Route 66. (Photo from my parents visit in 2013)

    [​IMG]

    There’s even a beautifully restored flatbed Ford on site!

    [​IMG]

    I knew from the start that this corner would serve as the backdrop for my picture to define the place. However, I was also hoping that I would be able to acquire a guitar from someone in order to sing “Take It Easy” myself. I checked my trunk, just to make sure I hadn’t thrown a guitar in at some point, but came up empty.

    After a brief stop at The Corner, I back tracked along old 66 (which actually splits into two one-way streets in this town) to the visitors center, housed in a 100 year old trading post. Even with my standard allotment of cock-eyed optimism, there’s no way I could have anticipated what a great stop this was going to be.

    [​IMG]

    I met Bob, who is the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, and told him what I was doing. When I expressed my interest in knowing more about Winslow history, he unveiled his wealth of knowledge. He is a busy guy with loads of responsibilities. However, I just happened to walk in at a time when his schedule was wide open. All told, he spent about 2 hours patiently answering all my questions, imparting to me information which will be interspersed throughout this post. Though countless visitors pass through this town, Bob made me feel like I was the most important one.

    [​IMG]

    Towards the end of the conversation, I asked Bob if there is anybody he knew that might loan me a guitar for a performance on the corner. Less than a minute later, I had Bob’s phone to my ear talking to his musician friend, Greg. Greg never asked me any credentials about why he should loan me a guitar, he merely asked, “What kind do you prefer?” This was an incredibly beneficial stop and I was so glad to have Bob add his name to Annie’s collection.

    [​IMG]

    But wait, there’s more!

    I returned a little while later, as I’d forgotten to get Greg’s number. Bob was in his office and this time he had a question for me: “Do you ever need a place to stay? I have a spare room available.” I hope I always remember his demeanor when he posed this question. There’s was something so incredibly courteous about it, as if he was trying not to offend me!

    I know what you are thinking, I thought it too: This guy is the epitome of workaholic. The manager of the visitor’s center offering a visitor a place to stay? This is the very definition of taking your work home with you! But please don’t judge him too harshly, he really is a nice guy.

    I felt so honored that he would ask and accepted as graciously as I could. But I had no time to get emotional! I had a song place to see!
    Mark Thom, simbaboy, chilolac and 9 others like this.
  19. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,148
    Winslow sprang up as a railroad town when the A&P line reached the area in 1881. It became a common pit stop for travelers and soon grew into the largest city in northern Arizona.

    A name that was new to me was that of Fred Harvey, below:

    [​IMG]

    This entrepreneur is credited as being the first person to successfully implement the idea of a chain, in the business sense. He wanted travelers along the railroad to be able to come to his establishments and know what kind of food, service, and accommodations (even sheets) to expect. One of these “Harvey Houses” is the La Posada hotel, constructed in 1930.

    [​IMG]

    Mary Colter was the architect of this establishment. Female architects were extremely rare in this era, but she was able to work her way up through the Harvey corporation to become a renowned designer.

    [​IMG]

    She considered the hotel her masterpiece, painstakingly selecting every piece of the decor: The gardens, the furniture, the china and even the maids’ dresses. As railroad travel declined through the middle of the 20th Century, nearly all of the Harvey Houses closed. La Posada was shuttered in 1957, with all of the fixtures being sold at auction. Colter, who was 89 at the time, remarked that “There’s such a thing as living too long.”

    [​IMG]

    Some of the buildings of La Posada were used as offices for railroad employees, but it was mostly abandoned. The building fell into disrepair and was nearly demolished in the 1990s. Citizens of Winslow pulled together, saving the historic building.

    [​IMG]

    The building was purchased in 1997 and four brave souls moved in and began restorations. They worked room by room to make the space suitable to host travelers again. The fruits of their labor are readily apparent in each nook and cranny of the impressive property.

    [​IMG]

    This hotel serves as an accurate microcosm for Winslow’s history. The fortune of this city seems to have always been linked to the number of travelers passing through. The 1930s and 40s were boom times. Not only did Route 66 come through town, but Winslow’s airport was selected as a stop along the first transcontinental air route.

    [​IMG]

    The end of railroad travel was a huge hit to Winslow. When the I-40 bypass was built in 1979, many businesses along old Route 66 were shuttered. Winslow continued to lose population and businesses, hitting a real low point in the 90s.

    For most cities, this would be the end of the story.

    Winslow is not like most cities.

    It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what lit the spark, but something began in the late 90s which is still going on: The people of Winslow began to dream. They dreamed about a hotel, a corner where tourists would come to take pictures, and much, much more.



    In addition to providing my lodging for the night, Bob offered to buy me supper as well. He took me to a place called Bojo’s on 66 where I ordered tacos “Winslow style.” This is where there is half of a hamburger patty in the taco instead of ground beef. It’s another interesting holdover from Winslow’s history.

    [​IMG]

    I had a great evening chatting with Bob. He is originally from San Francisco and came to Winslow during its low point in the mid-90s. He is one of the people responsible for its turnaround, investing his time and talents to the betterment of the community. He says he has no interest in running for mayor, but he will have my (albeit worthless) endorsement if he ever does.
    Mark Thom, GHOC, simbaboy and 19 others like this.
  20. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,148
    Friday, August 30th

    I shelved my normal shower-singing repertoire this morning, instead focusing on scales and warm-up exercises. I had a performance to prepare for!

    I made Bob a batch of my Swedish egg coffee before heading down to The Corner. I met Greg who had a guitar for me in the back of his truck. It was perhaps fitting that I was borrowing it from him. He was a founding member of the foundation that developed The Corner. Were it not for him, this place might not even exist.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the photo above, Greg shows some of the anchoring work they had to do to secure the mural wall after a fire in 2007. The whole building was destroyed, except for this one wall.

    I was eager to grab the guitar and run the song a couple of times. I had composed the arrangement in my head while riding around, but I wasn’t quite sure how it would translate in real life. I still had to choose a key and a tempo. Normally I would like to run a song at least 20 times before performing it. But this time, twice would have to do. Here we go!



    Alright, let’s grade this thing….

    Arrangement: The original, with its four part harmonies and banjo solo, is daunting to try to emulate. I chose to play the song in swing time, which frees me up to a little more vocal expression. I totally rearranged the second half of the song, attempting to “trim some of the fat” out of the original. I wanted the whole arrangement to build towards the beginning of the third verse. This is the lyrical climax and I thought the music should reflect that as well. I never quite nailed down my preferred tempo, which is why there are a number of them represented in this performance. All in all, for doing this arrangement almost completely mentally, I am very pleased. Solid ‘A.’

    Performance: I’m rusty. Both in my singing and playing. I had a couple of flat-out misses on some chords, but thankfully my hand muscles held up the whole time. It was a bit early in the day for my voice to really flourish and there are quite a few issues both in pitch and tone. Maybe I’m getting too used to singing inside of a motorcycle helmet, because my tone has become “shouty.” I really went for it though, not holding anything back. I’m giving it a ‘B minus.’ Not terrible, but not up to my standards. However, if you would have offered me a ‘B minus’ performance that morning, I would have taken it. It’s a tough song under tough circumstances.

    Greg took some great action shots of me while I was playing.

    [​IMG]

    I especially like the one below, looking from the perspective of the girl in the flatbed Ford. It’s no wonder she slowed down to take a look at me!

    [​IMG]

    If I have a guitar, I have to sing my theme song right?



    This was a fun, loose, “swing for the fences” performance. Other than running out of wind in verse 2, its a pretty good take.

    Greg had to head to work, but before he did I had him initiate the two step process of crossing a place off of my sign. He was so generous to let me put my grubby, vagabond hands on his nice guitar. I hope that I will have a chance to get to know him better on my next visit to Winslow.

    [​IMG]