Porcupine Sighting on Bain’s Kloof Pass

Porcupine sighting on Bain’s Kloof Pass

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I pick up quills whenever I see them on a trail but I had never seen a porcupine until we spotted this fella along side the road as we were driving up the pass to the mountain house. S/he was about 2 ½ feet long and plump. Isn’t the pattern of the quills amazing?

Roger and I toured the country a second time with the new album in September. Got back a week or so ago. We left at the beginning of spring — a beautiful time to travel. The cold places in the interior of the country were warming up and the tropical areas along the South Coast and Durban were not steamy yet. He played Cape Town in the West, Durban in the East, Jo’burg in the north central section of the country and many smaller towns in between. I am a 59-year-old roadie. I couldn’t have dreamed far enough outside the box, to have imagined this lifestyle.

We moved to SA three years ago this month. We toured the country 3x in 2012/2013 with the book. Moved to Napier in August 2014. Continued renovating the house through the end of March 2015. People ask how I like the country but, I haven’t been able to say because it was toooo much change to take in. I’m filled with impressions that I’m only now beginning to digest and sort out. Life slowed down a bit after the workmen left the house and we were able to move about freely making the space our own. I am acclimating. Napier feels like home now. Mid-way through the September tour, I found myself looking forward to getting back to the veggie garden. Bought basil, bell peppers, gooseberry bushes and jasmine at the nursery this morning. Now, I have to get them in the ground along with the tomatoes, beans, chilies, eggplants and peppadews before flying to the States on October 17th.

There’s never enough time to visit on these trips. This year I’m driving from Pennsylvania to Florida to be with family for most of November. I’ll stop in Durham for one or two nights going and/or coming but I don’t have firm dates yet. Perhaps a guaranteed way to see folks in a relaxed manner would be for friends to make their own dinner reservations at the Palace International, 1104 A Broad Street, 919.416.4922 on a designated evening. That way no one would have to coordinate anything. As there is a good bit of overlap among the people receiving this blog you might bump into other friends as well as me during the meal. Please let me know if I should send you the date once it is confirmed.

Finally, I am happy to load my luggage with signed copies of Roger’s cd (Now is the Time – $15) and book (Back in from the Anger – $20). If you would like to order, pay me in advance through Paypal. Simply go to the Paypal website and note that you want to send money to my email address (glynn142@gmail.com). There isn’t a fee. Paypal will accept the money and notify me and if I don’t see you in person, I will leave the package with your name on it at the MALS reception desk on campus. If you want Roger to scribble something in addition to his name, write it down and send it to me.  Please send orders by Thursday, 15 October.  The cd is also available electronically via itunes and the book via Amazon.

Big hugs to all and happy holidays if we don’t see each other.

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Roger and Petrus adding a deck.

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Raised bed filled with chard, arugula (aka rocket) and a bolted spinach plant that appears to be growing out of my head.

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Our first artichokes.

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Closing the Circle

It’s been a while since I wrote.  The last post was from the Grand Canyon and we’ve traveled clear across the West since then,

Farmington, NM. Jesus is watching…

visiting Canyon De Chelly and Bandelier Nat’l Monument in New Mexico.

Taos, New Mexico. Karen and an Earthship

Bandelier Nat’l Monument. Rogge examining (Apache walking stick) cactus

Bandelier Nat’l Monument, NM. Rogge climbing out of cliff dwelling.

We ploughed through Texas, often driving through rain, hauling ass for New Orleans and the comforts of city life.

Eunice, LA. Nick’s Bar and K

The hotel had an outdoor pool and hot tub! We’d wander the city in the morning.  Have lunch. Return to the hotel during the heat of the day.  Go out at night for music and drinks and return for a swim before bedtime. I’m not sure if its human nature to seek a routine in a new environment or if we just gravitated towards a bit of a routine after all of the camping.

New Orleans, LA. the Mississippi River K and R

We drove over to the 7th and the 9th wards and  looked around the Musician’s Village. Then we traveled south of the city to check out a nature preserve and found ourselves touring Hurricane Isaac damage. Poor New Orleans–it’s on the front lines of climate change.

New Orleans. Casamento’s on Magazine Street.

From NO we continued driving east through Mississippi and Alabama to Panama City Beach, Florida, where my brother Joe, his wife Jane, AND Isabella, my gorgeous three month old niece live.  We swam in the Gulf of Mexico along the “Emerald Coast” and it might be the first Rogge swimming pic I missed ’cause we only took baby pictures in Panama City Beach.

Panama City Beach, FL. Joe, Jane, Isabella

We drove east from PCB to Jacksonville and turned north for home.  Ten hours later we were eating sushi with my sister Kath and her family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Rogge practices every day in preparation for the big book launch/concert tour that begins soon after we arrive in SA.  I’m hanging out with my nieces, going to the beach, reading novels, eating constantly and, catching up on sleep.

We’ve been through/to 27 states since we left Durham in mid-July and figure we will have driven roughly 12,000 miles by the time we park the car at my mom’s in October.  We’ve had a time.

Kingsland, GA. El Cheapo Gas

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San Francisco and points east

San Francisco. Cafe Roma

San Francisco was a whirlwind. Annette and Will Roberge gave us the grand tour which included walking part way across the Golden Gate Bridge, driving through the park and many of the wonderful neighborhoods that make-up the city. Rogge and I spotted a dead look-a-like of Free Wheeling Franklin of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers sitting at the wheel of a red Volkswagen van in Golden Gate Park.  And, Will managed to find my old house on 2nd and Balboa in the Richmond district.

San Francisco. Chinatown. Musician

On Labor Day we drove to Yosemite Nat’l Park and asked the ranger at the registration desk if he could direct us to a less crowded site.  He suggested Yosemite Creek, an isolated, desolate site at the end of a 4 mile car-breaking, washed out, pot holed, gravel-less, excuse of a road.  The landscape consisted of enormous boulders and rocks tumbled all about, burnt, downed, blasted trees, nothing green, nothing living.  There was only one other tent at the site and Rogge thought it was fabulous—I was stunned by the devastation.  It looked like a forest destroyed by bombs except that there weren’t any craters. We hiked and toured Yosemite the next day making our way to a Nat’l Forest campsite immediately south of the park with a beautiful waterfall.

Yosemite. K and R in front of El Capitan

Yosemite. K in bed

Yosemite. Rogge in waterfall pool

Many thanks to Will Roberge for encouraging us to drive through Death Valley enroute to the Grand Canyon.  I couldn’t have imagined the landscape without experiencing it—mountains, scrub, dunes, stunted palm trees all of varying colors and textures.  The high was supposed to be 113 degrees.  We only saw one thermometer before noon and it registered 105.

Death Valley. car, sign, Rogge

Death Valley. Rogge at Zabriskie Point

Friday and Saturday, Sept 7 and 8, we camped wild in the Kaibab National Forest, just north of the Grand Canyon. The GC sites were all taken and we didn’t like the nearby private camps so we set-up by ourselves down a Forest Service road in the Kaibab Nat’l Forest. The skies were dark and blowing by the time we found a good spot. It was the first time we were encountering rain and we had to fashion a rain shield from our ground tarp.  We figured out the right design and then I sat on Rogge’s shoulders as if we were playing chicken, and tied the tarp as high as I could reach around the trees! I was wavering up there, 8 or 9 feet above the ground trying to stretch rope around the trunk and follow directions on how to tie a reef knot.  We were a sight!  By the time we got the tarp and the tent in place, the storm had blown over.  I made a beautiful fire circle with pink rocks I found along the road.  Rogge found wild Boletus mushrooms during a walk in the forest and cooked them along with lamb chops, corn on the cob and broccoli on the little Coleman two burner stove. We eat as well as we did at home.  That night we sat around the fire, waved to the men in trucks who drove up and down the gravel road and listened to the coyotes.

Kaibab Nat’l Forest. Grand Canyon. Camping solo

Kaibab Nat’l Forest. Grand Canyon. close up dinner

Grand Canyon. K and Rogge

Grand Canyon. K with camera

Grand Canyon. Pinyon Pine sap

Grand Canyon. wide shot of canyon

Time to go,

Love, Karen

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