Saturday, April 17

Dunn Center, North Dakota

I got to Chris' house thursday night, a sweet little one bedroom slice of the good life.  Chris is driving truck until tomorrow so I've had the place to myself.  My favorite parts of his house include

the living room where i've been writing,
recording and catching up on work
the kitchen that he and Hana (his girlfriend) have stocked with sturdy,
beautiful old kitchen gear(and there's a trap door on the floor by the
table, I'm really curious what's under it..I may have to find out today)
his claw-foot tub
their cozy bedroom (no more sleeping in the truck)
Last night his dad, Rob Sand, had me over for dinner and a walk to meet the grand Sandparents.  I mean the Sand grandparents.  We've now recorded songs that he wrote about each of his grandparents (and there's been plenty of time for family stories over the last months) and I really enjoyed getting to see them all.  His mother, Mary Sand, is on a trip back to her native Montana and I hope to meet her when she gets back.

If you haven't already you might want to read Chris' last journal entry, it has a bunch of good insights into our last few months.

Lastly I'm reading a book (something I haven't done in at least a year) that I've been hearing about for a while - The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and enjoying it.

North Dakota is a beautiful place, with rolling grassy hills, grazing cows and bison, warm people and a rich local culture.  It's a treat to be here for a week.

Tuesday, April 13


I stitched these photos of west Texas together (somewhere between Ruidosa and Presidio):

This is the Chihuahuan desert, which stretches from northern Mexico to south west Texas.

Saturday, April 10

West Texas

I've been a reluctant blogger; actually the truth is I wrote three posts that I didn't publish because I didn't like them.  Which I realize is dumb because I know you all would have preferred my bad posts to no posts at all.  On top of that, another thing that slows me down is that I'm kind of a perfectionist and Blogger is really clunky when it comes to layout...for example every time I try to upload photos they end up all crooked with the text spacing funny.  Well I'm trying a new method, using a program that does all the photo uploading for me so hopefully this will encourage me to post more (and make it so posting doesn't take 2 hours).

I've just left the west Texas desert, where I was for three days or so.  Well, three days in the open desert and another 5 days in the town of Marfa, where Chris and I played our last show.  Chris flew back to North Dakota (on sunday) to minister his friend Dale's farewell celebration (see Chris's blog for more details on all of this) and I'm currently in El Paso (in the bed of my truck, lying on a mattress, stealing wifi off of the hyatt I'm parked outside of) on my way to visit friends in Santa Fe tonight.  I've been sleeping in my truck for about 5 days, starting tomorrow I move indoors as I make stops in New Mexico, Colorado, South Dakota and finally Dunn Ctr. North Dakota where I'll see Chris's home for the first time.

Below are some pictures of the west TX plain, the last one is an abandoned prairie house I investigated.  Last week I mentioned to Chris that I was interested in the hobby of 'urban exploration' and he reminded me of the pleasures of 'rural exploration'.