I’m pretty excited about where you’ve been


Looking forward to stories and pictures. Maybe even a Johnny D sighting.

I don’t travel much except to the Bay Area, but I am considering meeting my sister who’ll be in Slovenia in early October and possibly going to see a old friend in Germany in September. Or maybe my previously discussed possible plan to go to Chicago.  Or maybe I’ll just stay cozy in Eugene. Who knows? 

My last road trip was to hear a performance about a road trip, lol


 George Walker and Brian Hassett


I wasn't specifically thinking of this picture as "Travel" - until I realized that I was one of 4 Canucks in a heavily Dead-stickered, Ontario-plated vehicle somewhere on a road into the Richfield Coliseum in March '93... 



I can't imagine pulling up to the Ambassador Bridge in something like that these days. I know the last time for sure I crossed the border in it was for Buckeye Lake> Auburn Hills in '94. By Soldier Field '95 my buddy had a shiny new Cherokee that was high-style in comparison, and empty of any external visual cues.

And just to clarify - he drove the "crossing into Detroit" circuit (Cleveland & Chicago), I drove for the Buffalo/WNY crossings (or the ferry to go to Pine Knob). We were workin' stiffs (Ya they call me the Workin' Man!*) with limited vacation days and this was truthfully 90's Grateful Dead - so convenience had worked it's way into these adventures... "If" we could hit some show then hell yeah, that's why I was saving a couple days anyway until fall dates were on the East Coast Hotline every year.

I might have seen this pic - but I hadn't looked at it in ages. Being too Deader-than-thou for myself, I quickly admonished myself for even allowing the start of a little Eyes Of The World earworm liquid shoulder shimmy when I saw what my cutting-edge-at-the-time disposable Fuji camera caught in the rearview mirror. In retrospect - it's cool enough to warrant some sort of song-inspired title I would think, no? I mean Eyes is a little to on the nose as they say, but give it some thought...

So I give it some thought. 

Visions Of Johanna is what I hear when I look at the picture. His car didn't make it to Chicago in '95 - but we did, and although we had a hell of a time - a HELL of a time in the fine city of Chicago - we had that fun the Friday night we rolled into town (with a two-paper caper compliments of Igor the valet at our hotel before hitting Koko Taylor's) and to lessening degrees, during the show on Saturday... The rearview mirror is the look of a guy still heading into a show with "that" excitement. THAT particular type of excitement that came to an end. We still crossed the border plenty of times for various Phil & Bob shows in the period afterwards - but for me - that was different. 

It's Visions Of Johanna because I know how THAT particular type of excitement ends for the guy in the mirror. It ends walking out of Soldier Field and us agreeing that yep-ya'betcha - trading our tickets for the tour ending show tomorrow after that wet fart of a shit-stained, waterass explosive shart of mediocre mediocrity for an unopened bottle of Southern Comfort & $40 USD on our walk back to a parking lot we paid $40 to park in 12 hours ago is too good of a deal to pass up... Let's get out of the hotel bill for another night, head back Sunday and we'll show up a day early and save the vacation day. BIG vacation day because it turns out I'll be sending in an envelope for Toronto shows at the end of the Fall Tour... Envelope goes out start of August for a venue less than 20 minutes by subway from the subway stop 5 minutes from my door.  Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

So if memory serves - and I'm not going to bother looking, but if I had to guess I would say Toronto Mail Order Day 1 was a Monday - and I got a phone call at work the next morning about 8 seconds before the woman I worked with confirmed with a look of panic on her face from her phone call that my phone call might be legit and true... There might have been a holiday and the Mail Order Day 1 for Toronto was a Tuesday - factually I don't honestly know and couldn't really say - but I'm getting older trying to remember stuff from 25 years ago.

We already had tickets for Ratdog at Shea's later that same week - so I've still got the stub from that - but man, I would have loved if the Toronto Mail Order Returns included the tickets like a couple of the other shows did. I still keep a tab open on a link to Amoeba Hollywood just to convince myself it is still possible that one day I'll buy the proof they have of the tour poster with Toronto on it I saw ages ago. Sleeping in my own bed seemed about right back when members of the band would cross the border - but sleeping in my own bed after catching Jerry play live?? C'mon - that's the stuff of urban legend.

It's Visions of Johanna because I know his last happy/thrilled/spun moment - whatever it is that you call THAT particular type of excitement you had from before leaving Chicago '95 as opposed to after - that's what I see here. We know he's going to walk away wishing he got to catch one more almost-focused arm raise during the "you can tell by the way she smiles" line like that one, last golden moment in Soldier Field at his last show by that band a little more than 3 years down the road...

That's what he's going to remind me of every single time we road trip together still, all these years later although my health has seen that stop since what was then, the final Seger show at Pine Knob in '17.

Thanks to the new Travel Folder inspiring me to take a look in my "Road Trips" pictures - I'm going to go full March 14, 1993 and pick up a landline and call my buddy and see how many of the stickers he remembers from his tried and true last VW.

* subliminal Canadian-content Rush song reference - you know you screetched it out Geddy style... 

Nice to take the trip with you, Fretboard. Very cool, thanks.

This time Judit, let's go to Greenough, Montana.


My wife's company has little executive getaways that she's been lucky enough to be invited to - and they are spouse friendly so that works out perfectly for me. Maybe an hour SE of Missoula if I recall correctly. Didn't take long to find the 3 other Deadheads in our group of 60 or so.

I am not a cattle rustler, although I spent my summers as a kid on a tobacco farm with cows and horses. It was great fun to play City Slicker again for a few days though...



Hardly seem fair to have to head back to a tent after a day in the saddle. Heated floor in the washroom was a nice bonus. My wife is a world traveller - I am more of a guys 3-day weekend concert getaway sort. One thing I have learned - take the damn pictures before you lug the suitcases in.


Luckily no mountain lions made it into the dining area - there were 3 sightings the week we were there but none by us. My wife and I did see a bear though.


This wasn't exactly a roughing-it place...



looks like a place i'd like to see, great pictures btw. it's a part of this country i've never been. there is a tour of little big horn, rushmore yellowstone and the tetons that i want to do but can't get the family to pull the ticket

Sweet pics Fretboard.   I used to live in Missoula and that area is called "up the Bitterroot" because its up the Bitterroot River - the "river" in the film "A River Runs Through It."   Western Montana is one of my favorite places in the lower 48 and I would probably be there now but for the lack of jobs outside the extractive resource and outdoor recreation industries.   

Did you feel ok after riding horses all day?     

Hey Ken - Missoula was a great place. Think it was maybe Monk's we spent a night at taking in some live music downtown? We always talk about going back until we see the prices at the resort...

The saddle time wasn't as bad as I might have expected - I did way more damage to myself at the archery range.

I could be wrong, but I think it was either the Molly Hatchet or the Blackfoot we rafted down. It was tame - believe we were there mid-Sept.




The view from a look-out getting to the ghost town of Garnet.


Great place, jaw-droppingly awesome when someone else is paying for it all.