Loving Misery at Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

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This is THE SPOT to take a picture of Smith Rock State Park. There is a bench here and a ton of hikers vying for a spot to snap a photo. I am sure you can see why this the spot- PRETTY!

Last week, Kristen and I were in Oregon, playing shows and exploring some great outdoors. We played a show in Bend, OR on a Thursday night before Memorial Day weekend. What a great little town, with tons of unique shops, restaurants and parks around. The day after the show we drove a half hour north of Bend to the town of Terrebonne where Smith Rock State Park is located. This is a gem of a park.  Look at it!  We did a loop hike through the park that was about 5 miles long and took us around 3 hours to hike with lots of stops and picture breaks.

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Kristen on the bridge over the Crooked River.
The old timer shot! I actually got out my Lumix camera for this hike instead of using just my iPhone like I generally do day-to-day.
The old timer shot worked out! I actually got out my Lumix Panasonic camera for this hike instead of using just my iPhone like I generally do day-to-day. What do you know, it takes better pictures 🙂

We took the Misery Ridge loop trail through the park. You can pick up a handy dandy park map at the pay station which shows all the trails in the park. It costs $5 for a day pass to the park which is so worth it. Bargain price for a whole car full of hikers or picnickers or rock climbers. This park is known for rock clicking, which makes sense when you see all the amazing rock walls in the park. The Misery Ridge loop is anything but miserable. It is a 3.7 mile loop but we added on another mile section to the loop along the Crooked River. There are some steeps climbs and stairs involved in this hike but it’s moderate difficulty overall.

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A crazy rock formation. Can you see the little climber right where the color of the rock changes? Rock climbing is too intense for me!
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Acting really strong when I got up to Misery Ridge. It was a steep hike but not to0 long to the summit. I was proud of myself for not being overtaken by a group of 50 kids tramping up like a caterpillar behind us.
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Kristen winding along the Crooked River. There were lots of ducklings in the water!

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Your obligatory sexy shot of Lady Van taking us to amazing places for fun adventures!
Your obligatory sexy shot of Lady Van taking us to amazing places for fun adventures!

Thanks for the good times Smith Rock!  We are already looking forward to our return to Oregon!

 

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The Never Ending Tour Draws to an End…For Now

The Never Ending Tour 2014-2015

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After 14 months on the road, around 200 something shows (maybe 238?, we aren’t the best at math around here), 47 states (with shows in 45 states), 40,000 miles put on the Lady Van (2 sets of tires), and countless new Kristen Ford fans made, The Never Ending Tour is drawing to a close…for now. We still have 7 more shows left this summer and then it will be off on our next adventure, but more on that later.  In September we are going to South America for 3 months, to Peru, Bolivia and Chile. You can learn more about that trip and even help fund a great nonprofit with us if you are interested. Perhaps I will even make a map of that trip before we leave!

I just spent all of my technology patience for today making these few screenshots of some custom Google maps I created.  Now, I want to share them with you…before WordPress crashes again and I lose this post all over again 🙂 People are always asking where we have been this year- so here are some pins on a map.  We have been all of these places! I wish it could be interactive  or I could have connected the route with a crazy squiggly line, but alas, there doesn’t seem to be a button for that, so it’s not happening today.  I do welcome advice on how to do that though, or if someone else just wants to do that for me, I think it would be awesome to have.

Tour During 2014

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Date Venue Location
5/24/2014 Middle East Cambridge, MA
6/15/2014 Pride Jamaica Plain, MA
6/15/2014 The Burren Somerville, MA
6/16/2014 The Fire Philadelphia, PA
6/17/2014 Bloomfield Bridge Pittsburgh, PA
6/19/2014 Buzzbin Canton, OH
6/24/2014 The Bridge Columbia, MO
6/26/2014 National Women’s Music Festival Middleton, WI
6/29/2014 Mickey’s Tavern Open Mic Madison, WI
7/2/2014 Fox River House Appleton, WI
7/3/2014 Copper Rock Coffee Co. Appleton, WI
7/5/2014 BBC Upstairs Milwaukee, WI
7/6/2014 Bremen Cafe Milwaukee, WI
7/10/2014 331 Club Minneapolis, MN
7/11/2014 The Courtyard Decorah, IA
7/12/2014 Art Fair on the Square Madison, WI
7/13/2014 Uncommon Ground Chicago, IL
7/14/2014 Reggie’s Rooftop Chicago, IL
7/15/2014 Tweet Homo Latte Chicago, IL
7/16/2014 Redline Tap Chicago, IL
7/17/2014 The Hideaway Louisville, KY
7/18/2014 Wildside Winery Versailles, KY
7/19/2014 Bigg Blue Martini Lexington, KY
7/20/2014 Acoustic Coffeehouse Johnson City, TN
7/24/2014 Mad Frog Cincinnati, OH
7/25/2014 The Irving Indianapolis, IN
7/26/2014 Pride Fort Wayne, IN
7/27/2014 Union Coffee House Buchanan, MI
8/12/2014 Brass Rail II Peoria, IL
8/13/2014 Gabe’s Iowa City, IA
8/14/2014 Uptown Bill’s Iowa City, IA
8/15/2014 Ritual Cafe Des Moines, IA
8/15/2014 Mars Cafe Des Moines, IA
8/17/2014 Zodiac Colorado Springs, CO
8/20/2014 Black Nugget Carbondale, CO
8/23/2014 Paris on the Platte Denver, CO
8/24/2014 The Laughing Goat Boulder, CO
8/27/2014 House Show Denver, CO
8/29/2014 Coal Creek Coffee Laramie, WY
9/13/2014 Clear Creek Brewing Buffalo, WY
9/24/2014 Century Club Buffalo, WY
9/26/2014 Century Club Buffalo, WY
9/27/2014 Clear Creek Brewing Buffalo, WY
10/4/2014 First National Bar Pocatello, ID
10/5/2014 Caffe Ibis Logan, UT
10/5/2014 Green House Effect Open Mic Salt Lake City, UT
10/7/2014 Green Pig Pub Salt Lake City, UT
10/8/2014 Eddie McStiff’s Moab, UT
10/9/2014 Woody’s Moab, UT
10/16/2014 Spirit Room Jerome, AZ
10/17/2014 Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room Cottonwood, AZ
10/19/2014 The Trunk Space Phoenix, AZ
10/21/2014 Brickyard Pizza Open Mic Albuquerque, NM
10/22/2014 Winning Coffee Albuquerque, NM
10/23/2014 Duel Brewing Santa Fe, NM
10/26/2014 The 806 Lounge Amarillo, TX
10/29/2014 Fralo’s Pizza San Antonio, TX
11/1/2014 House Show Victoria, TX
11/2/2014 Firehouse Lounge Austin, TX
11/4/2014 Sahara Lounge Austin, TX
11/5/2014 Opening Bell Dallas, TX
11/6/2014 Kudzu’s Memphis, TN
11/7/2014 Maggie Meyer’s Huntsville, AL
11/8/2014 Humphrey’s Huntsville, AL
11/11/2014 The Basement Nashville, TN
11/12/2014 Writer’s Night Nashville, TN
11/13/2014 Four Pegs Open Mic Louisville, KY
11/14/2014 WIldside Winery Versailles, KY
11/15/2014 Bigg Blue Martini Lexington, KY
11/16/2014 Good Stuff Marshall, NC
11/18/2014 One Stop Deli Asheville, NC
11/19/2014 Acoustic Coffeehouse Johnson City, TN
11/20/2014 Tree House Lounge Washington, DC
11/21/2014 Fergie’s Pub Philadelphia, PA
12/2/2014 Sally O’Brien’s Somerville, MA
12/5/2014 The Village Providence, RI
12/6/2014 The Top Floor Worcester, MA
12/9/2014 Sally O’Brien’s Somerville, MA
12/12/2014 The Rendevous Turners Falls, MA
12/13/2014 IMA Goshen, MA
12/16/2014 Sally O’Brien’s Somerville, MA
12/20/2014 Blue Mermaid Portsmouth, NH
12/23/2014 Sally O’Brien’s Somerville, MA
12/27/2014 Siena Okemo Ludlow, VT
12/30/2014 Sally O’Brien’s Somerville, MA
12/31/2014 Sally O’Brien’s Somerville, MA

 

Tour During 2015

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Date Venue Location
1/2/2015 Andy’s Old Port Pub Portland, ME
1/3/2015 Middle East Cambridge, MA
1/7/2015 The Outer Space New Haven, CT
1/12/2015 The Pour House Raleigh, NC
1/13/2015 The Village Coffee Fayetteville, NC
1/16/2015 Tir na nOg Daytona Beach, FL
1/17/2015 Debauchery Melbourne, FL
1/22/2015 The Living Room Boynton Beach, FL
1/23/2015 Speak! Friday Miami, FL
1/24/2015 Random Miami Miami, FL
1/25/2015 Mallory Square Dock Key West, FL
1/29/2014 Tre Amici @ The Bunker Tampa, FL
1/30/2015 Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse Tampa, FL
2/2/2015 Will’s Pub Orlando, FL
2/4/2015 Little Fish, Huge Pond Sanford, FL
2/5/2015 West End Trading Co. Sanford, FL
2/14/2015 One Stop Deli Valentine’s Asheville, NC
2/20/2015 The Crown Charlotte, NC
2/21/2015 Good Stuff Marshall, NC
2/26/2015 Bone Lick BBQ Atlanta, GA
2/27/2015 Sluggo’s Pensacola, FL
2/28/2015 The Grunge Pensacola, FL
3/2/2015 Celtic Irish Pub Pascagoula, MS
3/3/2015 Igor’s Checkpoint Charlie’s New Orleans, LA
3/5/2015 The Wild Salmon Lafayette, LA
3/12/2015 Super Happy Fun Land Houston, TX
3/13/2015 Fralos Pizza San Antonio, TX
3/15/2015 The Cove San Antonio, TX
3/19/2015 SXSW (all) Austin, TX
3/23/2015 The Garage Fort Stockton, TX
3/26/2015 The Quarry Bisbee, AZ
3/29/2015 Espresso Art Cafe Tucson, AZ
3/30/2015 The Trunk Space Phoenix, AZ
3/31/2015 Rogue Bar Phoenix, AZ
4/2/2015 Room 5 Lounge Los Angeles, CA
4/4/2015 Max Bloom’s Cafe Noir Fullerton, CA
4/6/2015 The Merrow San Diego, CA
4/9/2015 Legends Bar Las Vegas, NV
4/10/2015 Hops on Birch Flagstaff, AZ
4/12/2015 Phoenix Pride Phoenix, AZ
4/16/2015 Whyld Ass Vegan Flagstaff, AZ
4/17/2015 Black Hole Brewing Prescott, AZ
4/19/2015 Workshop/Houseshow Prescott, AZ
4/20/2015 Republic of Pie North Hollywood, CA
4/21/2015 Whiskey Richards Santa Barbara, CA
4/22/2015 State Social House West Hollywood, CA
4/23/2015 Barmel Carmel, CA
4/24/2015 El Rio San Francisco, CA
4/25/2015 Art Bar Santa Cruz, CA
4/26/2015 Last Stage West Atascadero, CA
4/27/2015 Bang the Drum Brewing San Luis Obispo, CA
4/28/2015 Beatnik Books Roseville, CA
5/1/2014 Studio on 4th Reno, NV
5/2/2015 Divided Sky Lake Tahoe, CA
5/5/2015 Mad River Brewing Blue Lake, CA
5/7/2015 Playwright Pub Ashland, OR
5/8/2015 Paddy Brannan’s Ashland, OR
5/9/2015 Krissy’s House Show Lebanon, OR
5/11/2015 The Triangle Salem, OR
5/12/2015 The Musicquarium Seattle, WA
5/14/2015 TIm’s Tavern Seattle, WA
5/15/2015 Poppe’s 360 Bellingham, WA
5/16/2015 Bob’s Java Jive Tacoma, WA
5/17/2015 TAB’s Bar and Grill Kenmore, WA
5/20/2015 Pig Bar Olympia, WA
5/21/2015 Trillium Cafe Hood River, OR
5/27/2015 Sky Club at Ankeny’s Well Portland, OR
5/29/2015 Slim’s Cocktail Bar Portland, OR
5/30/2015 Marcy’s Bar and Lounge Walla Walla, WA
6/1/2015 Checkerboard Bar Spokane, WA
6/5/2015 Venus Rising Espresso Butte, MT
6/6/2015 Wild Joe’s Coffeeshop Bozeman, MT
6/9/2015 The Murray Bar Livingston, MT
6/10/2015 Paradise Saloon Buffalo, WY
6/11/2015 Century Club Buffalo, WY
6/12/2015 Clear Creek Brewery Buffalo, WY
6/13/2015 Century Club Buffalo, WY
6/15/2015 Coal Creek Coffee Laramie, WY
6/16/2015 Little Bear Saloon Evergreen, CO
6/19/2015 Zodiac Venue Colorado Springs, CO
6/20/2015 Kinfolks Manitou Springs, CO
6/21/2015 Laughing Goat Boulder, CO
6/24/2015 Walnut Room Denver, CO
6/26/2015 House Show Paonia, CO
6/27/2015 Black Nugget Carbondale, CO
6/28/2015 Adobe Bar Taos, NM
6/30/2015 Eye on the Mountain Gallery Santa Fe, NM
7/1/2015 Mineshaft Tavern Madrid, NM
7/2/2015 IDK Sports Bar Amarillo, TX
7/3/2015 JJ’s Alley Oklahoma City, OK
7/4/2015 Red Brick Bar Norman, OK
7/8/2015 Canebrake Spa Wagoner, OK
7/10/2015 Cat House Lounge Eureka Springs, AR
7/11/2015 Springfield Brewing Co. Springfield, MO
7/11/2015 The Salvage Yard Joplin, MO
7/12/2015 Rose Music Hall Columbia, MO
7/14/2015 The Bridge Columbia, MO
7/15/2015 Acoustic Cafe St Joseph, MO
7/16/2015 House Show Sioux Falls, SD
7/17/2015 The Nickel Spot Sioux Falls, SD
7/18/2015 The Courtyard Decorah, IA
7/19/2015 Kathy’s Pub Rochester, MN
7/22/2015 331 Club Minneapolis, MN
7/23/2015 Pizza Plus Eau Claire, WI
7/24/2015 Fox River House Appleton, WI
7/25/2015 Fort Wayne Pride Fort Wayne, IN
7/25/2015 Silvie’s Lounge Chicago, IL
7/26/2015 Uncommon Ground- Clark Chicago, IL
7/27/2015 Uncommon Ground- Devon Chicago, IL
7/28/2015 Melody Inn Indianapolis, IN
7/29/2015 Bossy Grls Pinup Joint Columbus, OH
7/30/2015 Buzzbin Canton, OH
7/31/2015 Dublin Pub Dayton, OH
8/3/2015 Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA
8/5/2015 Biddle’s Escape Pittsburgh, PA
8/6/2015 The Rusty Nail Ardmore, PA
8/7/2015 Muggs on Main Doylestown, PA
8/8/2015 Maxwell’s Hoboken, NJ
8/9/2015 Henrietta Hudson’s NYC, NY
8/13/2015 Aurora (Sweet Little Variety) Providence, RI
8/15/2015 The Village Providence, RI
8/16/2015 Club Passim Boston, MA
8/18/2015 Workshop Somerville, MA
8/19/2015 Rendezvous Turners Falls, MA
8/20/2015 Radio Bean Burlington, VT
8/21/2015 Top Floor Houseshow Worcester, MA
8/25/2015 The Beehive Boston, MA
8/26/2015 Flask Lounge Portland, ME
8/28/2015 Andy’s Old Port Pub Portland, ME
8/29/2015 Blue Mermaid Portsmouth, NH
8/30/2015 6B Lounge Boston, MA
9/6/2015 Hampshire County Fair Northampton, MA
9/9/2015 The Outer Space Hamden, CT
9/10/2015 Sally O’Brien’s Somerville, MA

So there you have the basics of where the Never Ending Tour went this past 14 months. Maybe someday I will put up more awesome pictures of the USA and get an even better map together, but for now I think this will do 🙂

Lady Van!  We made a 2016 calendar all of photos of Lady Van. It's a great reward on our fundraiser page if you want one of these bad boys!
Lady Van! What a champ! We made a totally amazing 2016 calendar all of photos of Lady Van. It’s available as a great reward on our fundraiser page if you want one of these priceless bad boys!

Olympic National Forest- This TOO is America!

Kristen and I are constantly amazed by the diversity of the USA.  This week we went to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.  Most of the land area of the peninsula is now the Olympic National Park or National Forest, protected from development and open to tourism. There are also many Indian Reservations on the peninsula.  The rest is made of small towns and such, but we didn’t make it to any of them besides Aberdeeen.  Aberdeen has the last Walmart we could sleep, is the boyhood home of Kurt Cobain, and has a sign upon entry that readings “Come As You Are”.  What’s not to like about that?

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Here is the road driving into Olympic National Park. We had to drive about 30 minutes down this dirt road to reach our campground.  We entered the park at Quinault Lake, which is a beautiful little town.

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Can someone say "Most amazing campground ever??"
Can someone say “Most amazing campground ever??”  Also, it was technically winter still so we didn’t have to pay.
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We went on a hike along the East Fork of the Quinault River.  The trail crosses the park.
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There are lots of fun slugs in the Olympic Forest. I’m pretty sure this is a banana slug.
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The forest is really magical. I love how lots of saplings would sprout along the fallen trees, called nurse logs, soaking up all the nutrients of the dead tree. It makes you think about what is alive and what is dead.
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About 2.5 miles down the path from the trailhead, there is this bridge over the Quinault. But no ponies in sight…
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SO much moss! So many ferns! They are called epiphytes. The shades of green were just out of this world. Quinault Rainforest is one of only three temperate rainforests in the USA. All three are in the Olympic Forest of Washington.
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This is what I look like hiking before it starts to pour.

 

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Along the banks of the Quinault River. We stopped here for some snacks before the rain started. We could hear thunder rumbling in the distance all day, but here it became very loud and close!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kristen and Deirdre crossing Fire Creek on a fallen log. Lots of fallen log crossings out there!
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I had to put my camera away when the sky opened up on us, but then the sun came back out, Glad we weren’t out backpacking because our shoes were soaked. Yay for raincoats!
Kristen with The World's Largest Spruce Tree!
Kristen with The World’s Largest Spruce Tree!  Who gets to go around measuring this stuff?
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Now that’s a big tree, super hard to capture how big with this camera.
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It was fun to watch the birds flit in and out of this tree. So many good spots for a nest!
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I’m obsessed with ferns!
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Bye bye Rainforest, it was magical!