We hang around for a while, explore the town a little, and then head out. We've got less than an hour's drive to Spences Bridge, BC, so we take our time and stop to enjoy the landscape. As usual, I look for the little roads less travelled!
Our little Dodge Caravan is not as romantic as a Silver Eagle tour bus— but it costs a lot less to operate, and does the job really well for this self-contained, 2 man tour. Lots of glass, a great view. Plenty of access doors. And the stereo is not too bad. We like the individual heater controls for driver and passenger, and the stow-away rear seats are really neat. The truck holds all our guitars, PA gear, merch, and personal baggage very nicely indeed.
Alas, Spences Bridge itself— the actual bridge joining the two sides of the town— has been closed by the province. They couldn't find an engineer who would bet on whether or not it would continue to span the river. I hope they can come up with a compromise for foot traffic, or light traffic, as the closing severs the community.
Owners Steve and Paulette welcome us in with coffee and pie. We set up and sound check around our lunch order! We learn that the show is sold out, and every seat in the house will be occupied. Later, we find we need to sit on stage between sets— there is no other space and every chair is reserved!
We have been provided with a home just a few minutes from the club, and we head over to it with plans of sleeping and relaxing until show time. It turns out to be quite a remarkable spot!
Here's our Tour Jacket winner! Hey, the odds were pretty good here tonight. You can't win if you don't have a ticket! This gal has a farm tucked up in one of the nearby canyons.
This gent didn't like getting his picture taken! The next table had a genuine ethnomusicologist from the University of Chicago (she was a good sport about me taking potshots at ethnomusicologists). You never know who you will meet in the most out of the way places. In fact, few places are out of the way to those who occupy them— rather these places are central to their lives. I'm the one from the "out of the way" place! I wish there was a little cafe like the Packing House where I live.
Steve is full of jokes and energy, and he rushes about from one job to the next. The customers love him, and he has a great time making them feel at home in the Packing House. In his role as bartender he encourages us on the stage. Another glass of red wine, please!
A great time is had by all. We autograph cds, posters, jackets, and these amazing house guitars before making our way out into the night. Back at the house it is dark, the stars are rich overhead, and the river is roaring in the distance. Sleep comes easily. Thanks everyone at Spences Bridge for making us feel so welcome. Dave and I wish everyone here every success, and hope that we will be able to visit again.