Category: travel


Ok, so the pandemic is not a quandary. It’s straight up in our freaking face. And beer drinking isn’t so much a quandary as a given. Particularly during the pandemic that is not a quandary.

And you might be wondering (or you might not, but let’s just pretend) why, when I’m playing in the virtual open mic to benefit Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival tonight, and have a big show on Friday (also at Poor David’s Pub) that I’m promoting, I’m taking time to worry about beer. And there it is folks, the pandemic in a quandary bottle (or can) with beer on the label.

Actually, I’m not so much worried about beer. There’s some in the refrigerator. It’s just that I’d like to go back (or forward) to feeling like I earned a beer. “I’ve done a hell of a lot today. Damn, I deserve a beer.” Rather than, “why the hell not, I’m not going anywhere.”

I still work of course (can you see me now), and Cyndy works from home too, but we don’t really DO anything. Even when I social distanced my butt to Colorado, stayed with our friend, Sally, and played a live (safe) show, that’s all we did. I got there, we hung out, went to my show, came back, hung out some more, and I came home. No sight-seeing, no going out for a beer, no nothing.

What would going out for a beer matter when I don’t (in my mind) deserve it. Or I deserve it, but I just can’t enjoy it. It’s sad when you can’t fully enjoy a beer.

And that’s my quandary. That, and I’ve run out of ways to use quandary. There’s nothing to do but ride this damned thing out like we’ve been doing for what seems like an eternity.

Come to think of it, I may have another idea. I’ll have a beer and get back to you.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

No matter how long I’ve been playing music, I’m still amazed when someone goes out of their way to show their appreciation. I was already grateful that Tom Martinez and his staff at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado, invited me back in October and November, after months of no shows for either of us. Not only that, it was a safe and enjoyable environment for all concerned.

The October show went well, but last week’s show went especially well. The staff was great and the audience was responsive and appreciative. Our friend, Sally (Cyndy’s best friend), was with me and sitting at the bar. We stay with her when we’re in Colorado.

After my third set I packed everything up. I came back from one of my trips to the van. As I walked in the door, a guy sitting in the alcove on the other side of the door from the alcove I was playing in, stuck his head around the wall.

“Thanks for playing tonight. We really enjoyed it!”

I smiled and said thank you. In a non-covid situation I would have shaken his hand and given him a card. This time the smile and thanks would need to suffice. Before I turned completely around, he continued.

“We put something in your bucket for you.”

“Thanks again! I appreciate it.”

Then I was packed and Sally and I headed out. That’s when Sally told me what actually happened.

The guy had called the waitress over. He said he didn’t have enough cash for a tip and asked if there was an atm nearby. Then he walked down the street in cold, windy weather to the atm, got some money out, walked back to the brewery, and dropped money in my tip jar.

With all the shit that has gone on this year, and all the bills and such that he probably had to pay, he took time and money out to show how much he enjoyed hearing me playing my music.

Damned if I didn’t appreciate it! And feel grateful.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

I figured better a picture of this than the actual toe. You might be eating at the time.

I was staying in a hotel in Amarillo Saturday night. I was coming back from Colorado after playing an album release (Southern Plains Revisited) social distanced show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City on Friday night. There was a bench at the foot of the bed in the hotel room. The bench had a metal frame with a tuck and roll type cushion on top.

I got up to go to the bathroom and banged my shin on the bench, cursed, took care of business, and went back to bed. The next time I had to go to the bathroom, I tried to give the bench a wide berth without running into the dresser. It almost worked. But I caught my little toe on the frame of the bench. It hurt considerably more than my shin earlier. So I cursed more.

When I got through and started to move, it felt like I’d stepped on something sticky. I was curious because it was clean before. I didn’t think too much about it though and started to go back to bed. As I was getting into bed I realized my little toe was bleeding. I went back to the bathroom, turned on the light, and realized I had been standing in a pool of my own blood.

I wiped my foot with a hand towel and put a bandaid on my toe. I used toilet paper to wipe the blood off the floor. The towel was bloody enough. I noticed a spot on the carpet where I’d stepped out of the bathroom. In the morning I noticed there was a spot of blood on the sheet. I cleaned my foot good with a bath towel and put a new bandaid on it.

I didn’t say anything when I handed in my “key” as I left. They probably weren’t the ones cleaning the rooms anyway. But I do kind of wonder what scenario enters the cleaner’s mind when they see the bloody towels, the spot on the carpet, and the blood on the sheet – and probably on the frame of the bench. Oh, and my toe still freaking hurts.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

I’m doing a Colorado album release show and a Dallas album release show for Southern Plains Revisited. While the show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado on November 20 will include some songs of John Prine, the album release at Poor David’s Pub on December 4 will be just mine and John’s songs in a more intimate setting. It will also be livestreamed on the Poor David’s Pub Facebook page as well as my own. Up to 30 people will be able to see the show in person, following social distancing rules, and donating. The club can comfortably hold 300, so there is more than enough room to spread out. If you are interested in seeing my show live, please contact david@poordavidspub.com. We would love to see you.

Tickets to the livestream are $10 and are available on my website. All tickets include a download of the album when it becomes available. Currently, it will only be available as a download and will be available in all the usual places online on November 20. In John Prine’s honor, a major portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to Poor David’s Pub to help David Card keep the doors open. The Pub has been around for 43 years and we’d like to see many more years of shows at the iconic venue.

Keep writing the songs that are on your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

I pulled into the parking space in front of the Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton, Kansas on Thursday, November 5, about 2 p.m. My cousins, Tom and Beth Burns, and Beth’s daughter, Ellie Bradley, have an exhibit of their artwork in a gallery upstairs. Their exhibit is titled Art From the Pandemic.

I set up for my livestream – which was to replace the live show I was supposed to do for the opening that never happened due to you know what – and had time to take pictures of my cousins’ art. The livestream went well, but the video isn’t the best due to bandwidth issues – it was Newton, Kansas, after all. But the sound is pretty good.

I didn’t get to visit with Beth and her family. Aunt Edna lives on the other side of the house. Edna just turned 90, so we erred on the side of caution. We had seen each other on the Zoom call for Edna’s birthday a couple of weeks earlier.  I did get to stop off on the way home on Friday and visit with Tom in Oklahoma.

A sculpture of Ellie’s I bought. I think it’s a cross between Tom and Jeff Dunham’s Walter.

Beth’s paintings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of Tom’s paintings and Ellie’s sculptures

 

 

 

 

Ellie’s sculptures – on the table are the Three Heads. The one that is now on my desk is on the right.

 

 

Beth’s paintings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom’s paintings

 

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re taking Highway 287 coming from Dallas toward Colorado, you pass a little stop in the road about forty miles before Amarillo called Goodnight, Tx. The only reason you would know you were there is the Herd Wear Retail Store and Goodnight Country Inn.

Goodnight, Texas is an unincorporated “community” in Armstrong County. As of 2000, the population was 18. The address is actually Clarendon, Tx. The town is named for Charles Goodnight and his wife who settled there and had a bison ranch. (We don’t have buffalo in the United States, we have bison, cousins to the buffalo on the other side of the planet.)

Charles Goodnight was one of the biggest cattle ranchers in the Texas Panhandle in the late1800s, having already created the Goodnight-Loving trail to move the cattle to market. He made and lost a fortune in Pueblo, Colorado, before moving to the Texas Panhandle and recreating his success with cattle ranching. While buying land with partners and enlarging the ranch, they had to push the bison back about fifteen miles. Which didn’t help relations with the Indians. Charles made a deal with Quanah Parker to give her followers two beeves (cows) every other day to keep peace.                                                                     

It was about that time that Charles began raising bison as well as antelope and elk. He tried creating a cattalo, crossing cattle and bison, but it wasn’t a huge success. When he quit working with the cattle ranch, Charles concentrated on bison, beginning with 250 head. Charles and his wife – who had encouraged him to raise bison and oversaw the younger bison – shipped bison to Yellowstone, Europe, and other places.

Which brings us back to Cecil Miskin and Darlene Wright at Herd Wear Store/Goodnight Country Inn. The store is smack on 287. If you’re paying attention, you can’t miss it. Back down the road from the highway you can see the Goodnight House. The Country Inn is a one unit bed and breakfast back of the store. Cyndy and I plan to go one weekend when we can see the museums we want to see in the area.

The Herd Wear Store has everything bison, plus more. Check them out on Facebook and the website. A lot of wonderful things. We’re getting stuff for Christmas from them. Best of all though, is bison meat. The kippered bison beef makes great tender steak sticks for snacking. We’ve also tried the bison bratwurst, the jalapeno cheese bratwurst, and the ribs. We still have summer sausage to try. The bison products are a little pricey, but oh, so freaking tasty. And Cecil and Darlene will work with you.

I’ve spent time talking with Cecil on two different occasions now – once with Cyndy and once this last trip on my mini tour. Cecil can tell you all things bison/buffalo and he’ll happily talk about Charles Goodnight and the ranch. They had to get rid of some of the bison in the past fifteen years, but they kept just enough to be able to call it a herd.

So the next time you’re going through, be sure to stop by and see Cecil and Darlene. They’d love to have you and answer any and all questions. They’ve got enough stuff to warrant a day trip just to go there. I know Cecil has enough stories to keep you entertained while you shop. Not to mention the many museums in the area.

Tell them I sent you and I’ll see them next time through!

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

I didn’t play the cajon this time around so I took up less room.

I got  back yesterday from my Mini World’s End Tour this last weekend – the extended World’s End Tour was the tour I had to cancel earlier in the year and will hopefully schedule again next year. The mini tour consisted of four virtual events and one live, social distanced show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado. Friday’s show had to be cancelled due to spotty reception. I thought I would start with an end of tour story first – for various reasons. The last show was the Poor David’s Pub/Kerrville Folk Festival Songwriters Showcase on Monday, donations during which are split between the two venues to support them in this difficult time we find ourselves in.

The show went very well for all of the songwriters. I was playing from my hotel room in Amarillo. You can find the show at Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub Facebook page, as well as the donation links.

I woke up Tuesday morning and fixed coffee that was pretty passable for hotel coffee. I packed the stuff in the van and headed to Sam’s to get gas. After I got gas, I pulled into a parking space to place my order on the Whataburger app. There was a location not too far from Sam’s, but it was out of the way. I picked the location on I40 and Grand.

I ordered a biscuit sandwich with egg, extra bacon, and no cheese. I added an apple pie for later on the road. I picked the card I wanted to use to pay and tapped Checkout.

The next thing I saw on my phone was No Cheese not available at this location.

What else is there to say?

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

I’m getting ready to leave for the mini tour this weekend surrounding my first live show since March. Today I’ll play a half hour set on my YouTube channel from the hotel in Amarillo at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Tomorrow I’ll play a half hour show at 8:30 p.m. CT from my friend’s home in Colorado.

Saturday, I will be livestreaming the last set of my show at World’s End Brewing in Canon City, Colorado at 9 p.m. CT. The set includes a tribute to John Prine on his birthday.

Sunday, I will be playing another half hour set at my friend’s home at 8:30 p.m. CT. The half hour sets will include stories behind the songs. All shows before the open mic on Monday will be on my YouTube channel.

Monday night, I will be playing in the Poor David’s Pub/Kerrville Folk Festival online open mic on Rob Case’s Open Mic Facebook page or on my Facebook page from the hotel in Amarillo. It’s always an enjoyable show with a variety of good songwriters and is always a fun time. It you would like to play at a future open mic, contact Lynda Case. Donations during the open mic are split between Poor David’s Pub and the Kerrville Folk Festival to save the venues.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

Taken Labor Day evening.

Okay, so snow is not necessarily a mountain thing, although it is prevalent for six months out of the year. But the temperature dropping from 90 to 30 degrees in a few hours with snow beginning to fall, on Labor Day, as it did last week, is most certainly a mountain thing.

As is the deer wandering around town as if they own the place, because, well, they were there first. So when they graze in the front yard or wander through the yard next door to reach the cul de sac as they have for years, you just watch. It’s a cool thing to watch anyway.

Bears have been wandering through for a couple of months now. They only tolerate the humans because they’re nice enough – and stupid enough in some cases – to provide their trash. As well as forgetting to close the garage door with a full refrigerator and freezer inside. Making a note of the bonus location, the bear hit that particular house three times. Apparently, he really enjoyed the freezer full of shrimp he got the first time.  

It’s a morning routine for Sally, Cyndy, and I in Colorado. Drinking our coftfee and watching the street, front and side yards for grazing or passing deer. We’re beginning to recognize some of them. It’s also fun to be driving around town and see deer in a yard, a roadside grassy area, or any grassy or shady area really.

The previous trip to Sally’s.

There is a particular deer that we know well. Each time Cyndy and I leave to head back home – like we did last Saturday – he’s laying in Sally’s front yard telling us good-bye. 

The same deer last Saturday.

 

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

There is a shop called Mountain Wookies in Colorado with a location in Canon City and another in Woodland Park. On the last couple of trips to Colorado, I went in search for a mountain wookie. Our friend, Sally, went on the search with me. The picture on the left or above, depending on your device, is of a cutout on the wall in the parking lot of the Mountain Wookies in Woodland Park. That wasn’t good enough.

There were shops with wolves, bears, deer, owls, dogs, and a pig or two. On the side of one mountain there were the Flintstones characters. But, alas, no mountain wookie. I had an idea for a picture I wanted to get that by design must have a mountain wookie.

Then, when Cameron and I drove up to Colorado the first weekend in August, the three of us were running errands and ran by Mountain Wookies. There in front of the shop on the sidewalk was a mountain wookie. Just go with that.

And here is the picture I wanted.

Mountain Wookie Eats Buc-ee for lunch!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

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