Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Gigs

   Been busy the past few weeks with musical gigs around some of the local high class venues.
In the late afternoon I cram all my gear into the tour bus and hit the road for town.
 I can never pass up a pit stop and a picture once I hit the lake on the long rough drive into civilisation.

This night we back up the famous Sam Field with his style of country rock at the luxurious Pemberton Hotel, with special guest star, the mechanical bull.
The posters read, 'Lock up your heifers, the Renegades are coming to town!"

It was going to be a long night, so I stopped to relax at one of Pemberton's finer restaurants.
"I said...., can I have a look at the wine list please?"

I hope they have suitable crowd control over at the venue, I'd hate to get mobbed by fans on the way in.

OK looks like they have the crowds well under control. Where is everyone, must be a hockey game on or something. What the hell, the bull usually gets the locals off the couch.
    We got set up and I was reminded once again that nobody cool ever walks into a bar until almost closing time. Eventually the place filled up with happy, free spending, word slurring young people, attracted in by the prospect of challenging the bull, whom had top billing on the sign out front.

When I arrived in town I had bought a cowboy hat over at the high fashion section in the local hardware store for my evenings wardrobe. I've never been a noisy bar person, and the prospect of entering a jumping, fluid fueled noisy establishment like this on a Friday night holds little attraction. But when you are up on the stage, at a safe distance, doing something you enjoy and causing the mayhem on the dance floor, it is really quite fun. The cowboy hat was a grand idea and made a note to incorporate it in future gigs as I could block out the bright stage lighting. We finished the second set and we turned on the mp3 to keep the crowd dancing and consuming while we had a short break. Sam and Ross had just left the stage, I had taken off the cowboy hat and shades and was lagging behind a little, doing something with my kit, probably carefully wiping it with a dust rag.
   Suddenly from out of the squirming, bouncing, yahooing crowd on the dance floor comes a rather lubricated young lady. I think she may have needed a little more elbow room for her particular style of country dancing, and saw the now abandoned stage as a perfect place.
She wobbled around there amongst the mic stands high kicking and sending her flip flops clear down to the other end of the room, one landing in the midst of a pool game in progress, waving her arms, and hollering "Yeehaw Yeehaw!!", all the time splashing fermented smelling liquid from a bottle in one hand.
"No cowgirls on the stage!", I said, shouting over the music.
She teetered around and focused in on whom she probably perceived to be the local bespectacled high school principal.
She seemed a little stuck for an answer, so I added, "Look, your friends are going for shooters, if you hurry you can catch them!".
She did a wobbly shoulder check and I swear her head spun right around, or maybe it was just the strobe effects from the lights. Then she looks down and spies my new cowboy hat, seeing it as just the thing to complete her new wobbly cowgirl persona.
"That your'sh?" she asks, an eye looking on either side of me.
"Yes, and leave it alone please, I need that for the next set", I said,  and I almost got all the words out before she put it on her head, pulled it hard down to her ears, yells "YEEHOO!",then leaped off the stage and re-joined the mayhem on the dance floor.
   We played the rest of the evening with me trying to keep track of my particular cowboy hat bobbing above the crowd and travelling from one end of the room to the other, making several trips to the women's washroom and a few trips outside for a smoke. I watched it bob over to and stand in the line up for the mechanical bull. I'm playing and watching this and thinking, well maybe the hat will be thrown clear with any luck. My hat eventually bobs up to the mechanical bull and climbs aboard, the wearer being joined by two friends. I didn't know they put three people on bulls.
There is no need to make a long story short here, the trio of bull ridin' cowgirls came off hard about spin number two, all three of them cushioning their fall with my hat.
The bull tender helps the girls up, picks up a white, flat crumpled object, holds it up and punches his fist into it to pop it back into something that resembles a badly abused chapeau.
I sort of lost interest in getting my hat back after that.

Vancouver may have Rogers Arena, but Pemberton village has the Wednesday night Farmer's Market.
Josh and I were invited last week to play an unplugged, stripped down version of Blackwater MC.

Are you sure Aerosmith started like this??

Josh and I. We've done this before, and it is always fun. We get paid in vegetables of course. I like to play for the kids, they are always a good audience, and like to move in close to watch us and interact with us while we play Josh's original material. Other than the kids, it is a pretty tough crowd to get a reaction out of, people intent on buying fresh produce and going home for dinner. I joked we have a hard time competing with vegetables as an opening act, and suggested investing in a mechanical bull.

I stopped on the way home that evening and took a picture back the way I came.

London may have the Royal Albert Hall. But down the road at the first nation community of Skatin' they have the People's Hall. A church group had just spent the previous week re-fitting the kitchen and foundation and Skatin' was ready to break it in with a Saturday night dance. The annual Inshuckch Days celebration is on this same weekend so there was more people around the country than normal. The old People's Hall has to be 50 years old, and I was afraid of some of the heavy stompers going right through the floor. Archie, Duane, Ross and I got together as the Wide Open Range and set up to put on a memorable evening.
People's Hall, Skatin'
Dwayne and Archie go over some chords before they opened the doors of the old hall.
A good time was had by all, and I'm sure they will have to have a crew go around the outside of the hall and hammer back in all the siding nails that we loosened up.

After a few hours sleep down the road we went and moved our equipment into the Head of The Lake School, where we were to close the 2012 celebration with a set after lunch. It is always nice for me to play these 'local' gigs, and I am not far from home. 

Head of The Lake School, they all here to see us?.
Dwayne, me in back, Archie, Ross. Wide Open fun!

We got mobbed by our fan at the exit, demanding autographs from his favorite band.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A morning walkabout. August 2012

    Well it has been slow around the hot spring campsite recently. That is normal for the middle of August here, this is always the hottest period of the year and taking in a hot spring may not be a logical choice for most people. (They may not realise it is possible to cool the tubs down for afternoon soaking.) This is also mosquito time too, middle of August, remember that.  I've had people show up in the last couple weeks for a stay only to track me down on the way out later to get their money back because the mosquitoes are so plentiful.
I tell them, "You should have been here last week when they were a problem!"
They don't seem to bother with me very much, but they sure go for the fresh meat that shows up from town.
    As a rule I keep a local Inshuckch member down at the hot spring to keep an eye on things and greet the users and campers when they pull in. During the week the bugger likes to go home for a few days off, imagine that. Collecting at the spring and conversing with everyone that comes down the road has never been my forte, Generally there has been someone camped out there for most of the season doing that for me. None the less, during the helper's time off I need to take the initiative to go down and seek out anyone who may have arrived in the night. I gave my help his days off in mid week so to give me the slow shift, when there is hardly anyone coming out to use the spring or camp. Thus freeing me up for other important activities, like exploring, inspecting the waterfall, being anti social, thinking big thoughts, and the ever important afternoon quiet time.
    So in the morning when I feel it is safe to go down I either walk, hop on my motohorse, or the quad and go down for an inspection. There are several routes I can take from the lodge here, the riverbank, the airstrip, the old heritage gold rush trail, or just go out the driveway and take the road.
Today we will take the road.

A hundred yards down there is a fork.

Pretty much self explanatory. Km 44.5

The old bench sign I built that has welcomed visitors for 15 years now is a little further in. Going to bring a gen set out soon and give it a good sanding and refinish.

A box drop is prominent for those honest folks coming in after hours, with a light bulb to see.

The office, located at the gate.

Looks to be no one on the upper area.

Looks like no one is camped along the river bank sites.
No one in the center area. 
Ah, theres one near the day use area.
That outfit is paid up until the weekend so no need to bother kayak girl.

No one camped at the site of the old gold rush 'Hotspring House' roadhouse, or back in the 'bug pit'.

The high bank sites are empty.
A hell of a way to try and run a business.

I'll head over to the hot spring area.
Well thats too bad, I got the place to myself again. I hate it when that happens. Yeehaw!

T'sek (St. Agnes Well/Skookumchuck) Source produces up to 52L (14 gal) per minute, at a maximum temperature of 53 Celsius (129'), too hot to enter.

Wild blackberries grow up to one corner of the 'spring.

When I'm really sure no one is looking, I stick a pack of paper under my arm and scoot around the abandoned campsite, using the trees as a slalom course on my motopony, restocking the 8 or 9 outhouses scattered around.
 Hey! Thats the good stuff, who's in charge of purchasing around here?!
Actually, my grade four teacher correctly forecast this type of employment in my future.

The place is quite aways from town so no need to expect anyone arriving normally until later in the day, so I'm free to go back to the office and make a tea and eat almonds for awhile before I head back to the lodge and finish some staining, and I will make a loop through on the bike every couple hours for the rest of the day.
Damn nice work if you can find it.

For more about the hot spring facility see the Dec 2011 post 'Early Hot spring Improvements'.