Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day Nine ("It's A Wrap")

"What The Heck Are You Thinking"?

It's coming full circle, now.

I asked myself that same question 6 months ago, when I bought my train tickets, and confirmed that I was indeed coming thousands of miles across America, into the most remote area of Southern Canada. Now it is for a different reason that I again ask that question of myself.

It's 4:00AM... and I am up and working!

I'm a musician, not a farmer!

I fell asleep around 10PM last night, so I got my minimum 6 hours sleep. Thoughts had been racing through my head all night about all the things I still need and want to do. I need to clean the house; I need to record some songs; I need to photograph "Scotty The Dinosaur"; I need to get posters from the show I played, and then I need to pack. That's just a sample of the activities I have to accomplish before I can relax, and do the rest of the things I feel are necessary in the final day at the Stegner House.

A few days ago - I went to The T-Rex Museum to see their exhibit on several dinosaurs (including "Scotty The T-Rex" - found right here in town, and the sole reason the state-of-the-art museum exists in a town of only 600 people). I was so busy preparing for the show, I forgot my camera, and I also forgot the extra money I needed to buy things at the gift shop there.

So I return for a few minutes.

Every kid loved dinosaurs at one time in their lives, and I was one of them. I used to draw them all of the time. Many of my friends have kids now, and they love dinosaurs too! It would be a shame if I did not take a bunch of pictures, and buy some gifts here and there.


I have brought a banjo with me out here to Eastend to record music I have written for the record for "Return To Big Rock Candy Mountain", and many of those songs I played at the concert for the first time. It would be a crime, if I did not record the folk song that got me going on the concept - the same song that inspired the book by Stegner. I got a crazy idea of using some of Stegner's voice off of the video tape here in the house. On it - he recites a spoken word verse of the song. It's supposed to be a happy song about a hobo, but when he delivers it... it sounds like a eulogy.

I think he got it right actually. I tape the song off of the television, and then transfer it to my lap top recording studio... and then play the music over it.


I started cleaning the house last night, so that part wont take long. Same with the the laundry. But then I am in the basement using the washer and dryer - I come across all kinds of things, and my imagination starts to run wild!

I get my camera, and take pictures of the reset of the house I have not photographed yet.


At the far end of the house, behind the kitchen, there is a tiny guest bedroom. I don't recall anybody in the book sleeping here, since Chet and Bruce (fictitious names for Wallace and his brother) shared the room upstairs that was my study for the week. But I take a quick shot of that as well.

See why I am up at 4AM?

It was 18 degrees below zero when I woke up. It is now around the balmy temperature of -2 degrees! The sun is shining, the wind is low... a good day to travel. I was thinking of staying overnight one last time, but I would have to leave around 8AM (just after dawn) and a snow squall is coming in overnight, so I decide to leave today.

I call Ethel on the phone, and tell her goodbye, and thank her for taking me out to dinner when i arrived last week. She sounds sad to not see me one last time, and I confess that i feel the same. I assure her I will be coming back soon with my wife, to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in less than 2 years.

I take out the garbage in the back yard, and I snap a picture of the water pump that has been restored. The car is packed, and idling, and I take a few pictures of the porch, and the front entrance. I make one last idiot check, and decide one more picture needs to be taken.

(sigh...) Check.

I slowly drive away, and say goodbye to Big Rock Candy Mountain.

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