Since Pace Bend Park, stuff has happened!
We made our way back to Austin, TX for a few days to visit with our friend Natalie and collect veggie oil in town. While there, we saw a parade with a bunch of awesome marching bands and a huge bone-cobra multi-person bike...thing (see video). Later on that evening we saw a street show with a few marching bands from the earlier parade. They rocked, big time. Emporor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, and Titanium Sporkestra had excellent enthusiasm and their music ranged from old-world, to Dead Kennedy covers, to haunted carnivale sideshow, to barter-town reminiscent raw energy, to jazzy waltzy fun.
That same night we met...Trey.
The stories of Trey:
We were sitting outside the bus when a man and a dog came ambling over. After pleasantries, he says "I consider myself a true Austinite. I've traveled, but I grew up here and I've been on the street here for 33, going on 39 years." He then talked about:
--How a car battery exploding is 1/8th the power of a nuke.
--The sentient drug-running talking car named "Kara" that he co-invented,
...and talked to through his PSP
--The movie Stand By Me was based on him and his friends. Also, "Thing" from the Adams Family movie was based on his friends detached hand that crawled "four miles....or 4/4ths of a mile anyway"
After the marching bands, Natalie picked us up on the way to a H.P. Love-Crafty night. Crafting and the (extremely bad movie) "Dagon", mutated evil fishy-people and elder gods and such...and you screw that up??!?!?? How??
The next day, we collected veggie and took off towards Lafayette. We stopped in a Home Depot parking lot to pick up some supplies and a couple, Jamie and Cosmos, stopped to talk to Ari about the bus and their small farm that was just outside of town. They offered a place to park the bus for a visit. We arrived in Lafayette fully expecting to be bombarded with zydeco and tasty Cajun home style cooking...unfortunately it was a Tuesday. We only planned to be in town for a day or two and all of the music was almost a week away, and all of the authentic food was out of town and extremely expensive....or not open on Tuesday nights. Our timing was terrible. We did some laundry at a coin-op a mile or so walk from the difficult-to-find bus parking spot. We walked around the town, which closed down almost earlier than Montpelier, and with heads hung, we walked back to the bus defeated. but we wouldn't let that get us down permanently! We took off to play some music at an open mic at Artmosphere a local bar/venue. There were a bunch of amazing pianists and we made friends with one named Liam Catchings. Later that evening, Pete went out for a late night veggie harvest. The next day we decided to check out some shops while they were open, novel idea, huh? We ventured into the Sans Souci Fine Craft Gallery that was filled incredible local art. Many of the artists used materials that were reclaimed from Katrina-damaged houses like wood, window screens, glass and metal. We also checked out the local farmers market and bought some great produce, bread and brownies. We decided to head out and visit with Cosmos and Jamie and their two children, Aspyn and Coa. Their farmstead is GORGEOUS. They are excellent people and we are so glad to know them! We ate crayfish in huge piles on garbage bags (traditional style), ate fresh berries in as many handfuls as we could shove in our faces, bounced ourselves silly and provided human-horse-back rides on their trampoline and helped to set up a fence for their misbehavin' goats and sheep. After spending three more days there than we expected, (they rock, and they are obsessed with Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon series) with good reason!!!) we headed back toward New Orleans to meet up with Ray and Felicia. I was glad to be back in New Orleans to be able to check out the WWII museum, the many art galleries and sights and friends that I wanted to say goodbye to...unfortunately my body had other ideas. Sick as a dog for the next week, all I cold really do was spend hours in public bathrooms, or watch Battlestar Galactica...that part wasn't too bad. The temperature was rising quickly and the humidity was catching up. Our minds were loosing grip. Ray and Felicia left to visit Jilly, and her husband at her bayou home in Prairieville, LA. We stayed for a night while we collected over 100 gallons of veggie from the most beautiful dumpster we've ever come across. Full TO THE BRIM with amazing oil. There was probably over 300 gallons. We met up with Jilly and her husband Victor and lil' un the next night, joining Ray and Felicia. We had met Jilly during Bustopia at the Green Project. They had just gotten a school bus but had not been able to make much progress due to having to juggle baby and work schedules, so we all helped them work on preparing their metal floor and subfloor. They lived right on the bayou and their stilt house had an amazing amount of calm to it...when the crazy neighbor wasn't calling the cops on them for having chickens. Which the police officer admitted was a ridiculous reason for calling them. After a couple days there, we all headed in our separate directons. Ray and Felicia took off back to New Orleans to work as bike-taxi drivers for Jazz Fest. We took off back towards Jackson, Mississippi! A few hours later, we pulled back into the same parking spot we had stayed in months ago, and stayed with the same friends. Rose and Claire! We had a great second time in Jackson, dumpstering pizza, tons of doughnuts, trying to break into a pool, limbo dancing, and watching Cabin In The Woods (which was a fantastic movie). After vegging out, watching a ton of Doll House, Dr. Who, and Battlestar, we said farewell and drove almost 12 hours straight from Jackson, MS, to a rest stop in TN. Phew! We met a trucker, James who told us how much truckers make (I'm in the wrong profession) and about a little oven thing the size of a lunch box that you can plug into your cigarette lighter and bake bread in, or warm up lunches. It costs $20. Awesome! Once on the road again, we tried to find a roadside attraction before heading too far north away from the incredibly ridiculous tourist traps like dinner mysteries, and lost sea dinosaur-adventure tours. It was unfortunately the off season for crazy. A few more hours and we arrived at 11:30pm in Berea, KY at our friend Celeste and Stella's apartment. We quickly learned that their house was a hop, skip and a jump from everywhere cool in Berea. It was a crazy first day as we woke up, walked 10ft to The Black Feather Cafe and had breakfast, went caving with Celeste and some new friends, saw a Balinese puppet show and ate amazing free food, and attended a fantastic percussion performance with electronic xylophone, and many others of the standard non-electronic variety. We stayed in Berea for a few days, and then realized that we were probably distracting our friends from their school work more than they could afford. So we decided to take that time to go visit our friends Brent living in Indiana from East Montpelier, and Paul living in Louisville, KY from Vermont too. We're currently in Brent's living room, finishing up the last of season three of Battlestar and working on this post. In a few hours we'll be in Louisville!
|Our friend Ben Passmore, rad comic writer/artist.|
|Sans Souci Fine Craft Gallery, Lafayette LA. Amazing local art!|
|Farmers market, Lafayette.|
|Cosmos and Jamie's house/farm in Lafayette. Gorgeous!|
|Watering our new basil plants!|
|Mulberry trees! Delicious.|
|Ari had a hard time at first...|
|But he eventually found inner calm.|
|Obligatory kitty photos!|
|Hey! You're not a kitty!!!|
|There we go.|
|Yep. Poison Ivy TREE.|
|Coa, and his signature "Meeeeee?" face.|
|Cosmos and Jamie.|
|Jamie and Aspyn.|
|CORTEZ!!! A local in New Orleans. His curiosity about the bus brought him by almost daily.|
|Jackson, MS. Dumpster "diven" doughnuts. 30 seconds of work = 30 days of working out.|
|It's like Inception...but bubbles.|
|James, a trucker that we met at a rest stop in TN. He gave us trucker tips about food.|
|Eutaw, Alabama! Home of many Old Crow Medicine Show songs.|
|Celeste Beyer! Montpelier friend living in Berea, KY.|
|Stella, Celeste's roommate. They both rock.|
|Stella's inadvertent attempt at Coa's "Meeee?" face.|
|Fudge head. Extremely disturbing, yet delicious.|
|Fantastic drum performance!|
|Inside a ceramic telescope in an art gallery on Berea campus.|
|Another Francois's piano recital...amazing and hilarious with the periodic interjection of Bach, Mozart, and many others as played by his brother.|
Blind Portraits are fun! Here are some that Pete did of Brent, Charlotte, their dog Zoey, and Ari, and one that Ari did of Pete.