Raggin' Piano Boogie


HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010

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October 31, 2011

Bellingham, Washington

The day started out with a walk in an urban forrest with a huge beautiful waterfall. Mo and I walked along the water line. Tonight... Mo and I experienced our first halloween Michael Jackson thriller video act out in a downtown parking lot by bunches of normal everyday people? Ha. At first it was ridiculous and then it turned kind of hilarious and then it ended way to soon. Apparently it is something that happens in towns and cities everywhere all night long. Earlier, I took it easy doing some errands and also ended up riding down an industrial road to a dock at sunset. It was a perfect Traveling Piano experience as people wandered into the space. We all watched nature with a musical soundtrack. One lady a dancer, started expressing herself naturally with her body. The time was significant for everyone including myself.

October 30, 2011

Ferndale, Washington

Was it raining when I woke up this morning? I think so, and then it stopped. Reminding myself of where I am on the world map is a daily exercise in reality. Did I really just finish a full Alaskan journey? I am really glad to be coming back into urban culture slowly... I think thats whats happening. Brenda took me to meet her friend Mary who is in her seventies. Yikes, Mary wins the energetic, productive, sweet hearted woman in her seventies award. Friends used to know me as a sort of Mr. Christmas when I had a house with my Christmas decorating and parities and such. Well, this Mary woman beat me out ten times over. Ha, she started decorating her house last month and has over forty Christmas trees to do. She has big and small Christmas trees in her bathroom, garage, kitchen and every other room or her two hundred foot long house. After the house tour while driving away I thought, "did that just happen?"

Being with Brenda has given me a shot of the past as she's always playing music from my partying years in the twenties and also my sophisticated thirties as a society pianist. She was ushering for the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the at the Mount Baker Theatre tonight (an amazingly beautiful restored theatre in downtown Bellingham) and I lucked out at the last minute with one of the house seats. I thought I was seeing The Little House of Horrors. I always got those two shows mixed up. Tonight I was wondering, "where's the man eating plant?" Ha, afterwards I left that show from the audience screaming and acting out the movie parts thinking, "did that just happen?"

While waiting for Brenda to finish her work and after the crowd left on the street I felt inspired to create music. More and more often I am becoming curious... "I wonder what it feels like to create music after this experience, I wonder what the music will sound like with this feeling, I wonder what will come out of me after being stimulated from that, etc..." The night ended outside a Mexican restaurant with local people and students from the university who were hanging out after the show. Tomorrow being halloween I thought about all the halloween parades and events I used to perform for as a career back east for twenty years with the piano in the truck. Actually I was remembering how much I enjoyed the communities that I had established relationships with.

October 29, 2011

Blaine, Washington

Sleeping until almost noon was mighty fine! In the afternoon Brenda took me to a fishing dock in Blaine, a perfect spot by the water for the Traveling Piano. I kept looking around for seals, it felt they were everywhere. A few people found us, one lady with her dachshund left and came back with some dungeness crab as a present. Brenda was thrilled and after eating them I found out why. Fresh Washington State crab... I've really enjoyed the specialties each place I visit offers and how people share their food. Brenda is a live wire with her spirit, she is a super event goer of every kind and has been her entire life. She has seen all kinds of concerts and still goes all the time to many of them by ushering or volunteering to work for them. Last night she was part of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in town, tonight she's ushering a Miles Davis tribute show. God, the flower children of my younger days (I guess I'm in that bracket) are now grown up and at an age where I would expect everyone to act like old fogies. Ha, I am so glad that does not have to be the case in life where when you are older you have to act like your dropping dead.

October 28, 2011

Bellingham, Washington

Processing the fact that I have left Alaska and now Mo and I are in Washington state... wow as time goes on with this journey I lose a sense of reality more and more. Neither good nor bad, it is what it is. If anything it is wondrous. Surprisingly, why I have no idea because I am always doing it... I began to acclimate almost immediately to my new present surroundings. Back to freeways luckily without a traffic jam I made my way to Brenda! Brenda is the journeys 100th host!!! I feel like she should get a prize. Bellingham feels progressive and relaxed. As soon as we got off the ship people we had met hooked up with us on the piano. Once in town it was still morning and I knew I would have been there all day if it didn't rain. Luckily, the rain began just after my energy level began to give up. I was concerned that I would miss the beauty of Alaska. Washington holds its own!

October 27, 2011

The Open Sea off the Coast of Alaska

I've become a little celebrity here on the ship heading into Washington State. It cost a large chunk of what is left in finances for the journey but totally worth it. Meeting people has been easier on a ship than anywhere else I have been. The day was spent hanging out with people and playing piano, all day. What an amazing experience to watch nature pass while sitting on a piano creating music on a boat as it moves through mountain passages and open sea. Everyone connected the music with the nature they were viewing. About half day an announcement was made on the ship, "Danny Kean the Traveling Piano man please come to the Pursers desk." Like a kid I thought, "what did I do?" She wanted to show me from online that the Traveling Piano had made the Ketchikan daily newspapers front page from our jaunt there yesterday. The whole front page top half, very much fun for everyone.

Mo finally peed on the ships car deck. He's been holding it all in with the hope of finding a patch of grass. I was talking to a guy from the area saying out of the last twenty days here in Alaska I saw the sun no more than three total hours. He jumped in without a beat saying, "wow, you got it good!" As in... I was especially lucky to see that much sun. People waking up together from sleeping on a ferry floor after a few days... its not a pretty sight. I scared myself when In looked into the bathroom mirror. There has been a middle aged couple sleeping together on the floor across from me like two love birds. I got a little jealous, ha. In the afternoon we all experienced some ocean motion on the high seas. The crashing of everything falling over in the cafeteria was fun... Tomorrow we will be in Washington State. We have enjoyed Alaksa for almost three months. Gratitude out the ass for the life experience it has been!!!

October 26, 2011

Ketchikan, Alaska

Heading south, leaving Alaska... it reminds me a little of my experience when I left Mississippi after Katrina. I am not alone. The experience is trailing off nice and easy. I've been constantly running into people I met throughout the journey here. Also, friends of people I have interacted for example in Denali or Fairbanks come up to say hello and extend a hand in friendship. Second day and I'm still eating food Tess gave me for the ride. I remember having some of my mom's raspberry jelly years after she passed and how comforting that was. The ferry I am riding has a piano and I've been giving instructions on how to' play around' on the piano. I cannot remember having so many deep and sincere compliments. For example a guy saying his wife threw him out and was feeling funky but my music brought him around to feeling good. There must be ten other different types of compliments I've been getting from people.

I went to the head guy on the car deck to ask if I could take the truck off the boat because we were docked for two and a half hours. He was going to ask me to move the truck anyway. I had no thought of possibility that I would get a chance to see and play in Ketchikan. I just drove to random places. People would drive by and give thumbs up signals and there was a lot of waving from above through glass office windows. After about a half hour the newspaper guy appeared. One mom jumped onto the piano and then her son appeared in a wheelchair. They danced as I played. That created a big smile on my face. Just like the truck breaking down in the best of all possible places, the second I got back to the boat loading ramp, rain began. I had a lucky break from the rain. The travel by ferry culture is something to experience. Living with a bunch of strangers, its easy to get to know people and everyone passes by each other all the time while going somewhere or doing something. My body is not getting much rest because I am sleeping on chairs which is a little better than the floor. Everything vibrates all the time. It has all been a grand time!

October 25, 2011

On the Ferry South, Alaska

Gary was able to get the Traveling Piano truck working even though once again the part sent did not match. The problem was a bearing in the tension pulley or something like that. The tension pulley needed to get replaced. Onward... I know this is not the last problem the truck will have. Bottom line, we made the ferry ontime. The day began with Gary cooking up a salmon omelet with sourdough bread. Tess took me out for lunch and then loaded me up with food and desserts for the ferry ride which will be for three nights before heading into Bellingham, Washington State. She really has been wonderful to me. Everyone I met in Sitka was wonderful and down to earth. I found a hundred dollar bill in the corner of Mo's bed when I left, it came from one of my friends, I think it may have been Gary. I'm glad I am taking a slow ferry down to the lower forty eight because I must process my leaving this most beautiful place in the world which is Alaska.

The weather is to be super rough tonight, the rain is smashing against the ferry windows and I am feeling it even though I have my seasick patch on. There are no rooms open on the ferry so I am sleeping on the floor in the lounge. I'm really glad I purchased a sleeping bag while in the Yukon. I also have my yoga mat. As soon as I parked the truck on the car deck ferry people began to swirl around and also jump onboard to play some piano. I left the area at one point because I was afraid the crowd would get too large and create a delay for the rest of the cars to be loaded. The ship has a piano in its lounge. The first thing I did was sit down to play it. What fun to create music with the sway of the boat. Several people stopped in, one an excellent musician. For hours people gave me heartfelt praise and descriptions of what they saw, heard and felt through my improvisation. When they tell me their stories of discovering my playing I feel total gratitude.

October 24, 2011

Sitka, Alaska

The Traveling Piano truck part arrived via San Diego from several pickups and different planes but the airline office closed before the part got off the plane here in Sitka. There is a small window of time tomorrow morning to get the part and then repair the truck before the ferry leaves. In the meantime I woke at five in the morning to go commercial fishing with Gary. It was way too early for me but I was not going to miss the opportunity. I put my seasick patch on last night still... I was flat on my back for more than ninety percent of the day. We were out twelve hours. Mo was great. Now he is zonked out next to me. Gary (ha, I'd like to say we) caught King Salmon, Rock Fish, Halibut and something else I can't remember.

Most all I can remember was the deep and high sea swells. I'd feel ok, then see one, then I'd be out dead on the bench over and over again. There is no description that can convey how horrible being sea sick can be. If I had not had the medicinal patch on I would have probably jumped overboard, ha! Gary's been a fisherman more than half his life. I really enjoyed being part of his experience and learning how it all happens. Today we trolled for fish (hooks and baits) verses trawling (using a net). One of the salmon he caught sold for about a hundred bucks but it cost more than that to run the boat today. If there is no blog for a few days that means I made the ferry with the Traveling Piano truck. There is no internet on the ferry. Heading down to the lower forty eight... to Washington State.

October 23, 2011

Sitka, Alaska

I created a lot of stress for myself today and accept responsibility, big deal. I would like to stop torturing myself when it comes to decisions and choices and I would like to get more real, more truthful about what I want... because I do know deep inside. Sometimes I create my life as a set up so it looks like I do not create the outcomes. That is very convenient for when I am choice or decision conflicted. It is so much easier to put all responsibility for whatever happens on God or the Universe or something other than myself. The "Let Go and Let God" way of looking at life is very tricky. The day was spent dealing with getting a new computer because both the one I have and a spare are about dead while negotiating who's fault it is with the computer company while wondering if a truck part needed to get the Traveling Piano working will get delivered tomorrow, if it will be in fact the part needed, if I can get it put into the truck correctly so it will once again run and I can catch the ferry out on Tuesday, while wondering if in fact I want to catch the ferry out on tuesday, where I would stay if I did not catch the ferry, when could I catch another ferry because I was told this was the last of the season, etc... Also, while it rained on and off all day I intensely backed up data with my dyslexia in full swing, took Mo for a walk, went to a woman's ninety sixth birthday party at a local cafe where the whole town was invited so it seemed while I thought about how much fun it would have been to have the Traveling Piano there and how I am going to get to bed after eating ten people's worth of carbohydrates when I must get up at five in the morning to go fishing with my new friend Gary on his commercial fishing boat.

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner picked up the Traveling Piano newspaper article from Juneau and put it in their Sunday paper today. Wow, a lot of people are seeing it and I'm glad it was a great article. Read it here: Man explores Alaska with only piano, truck and dog

October 22, 2011

Sitka, Alaska

Choas! The needed Traveling Piano truck part Gold Streaked down from Anchorage for today... it was too good to be true. They sent the wrong part. Thank God for friends and the help Gary and Phyllis gave to me. We were on the internet and phone most of the day trying to find the part. Not only are the parts becoming very scarce for my twenty five year old vehicle, people who know anything about them or how to service them are also... becoming scarce. Two places in the US, one in Colorado, the other in Southern California have the part. On Monday a courier has an hour and a half to pickup the part from the parts store in San Diego and deliver it to the airline company by hand then the airline has to ship it to Seattle where it will change hands and Gold Streak it to Sika where I will have twenty minutes to pick it up from the airport here before it closes for the night and then in the dark do the repair job before the ferry takes off the next day. The cost went from $48.50 yesterday to $300 today. If everything does not play out perfectly I'll lose an additional $600 cost of the ferry and the last ride of the season across the gulf. I'll need to stay here in Sitka, get a motel room, get the truck fixed, take a ferry back to Juneau $$$ and then down to Washington $$$. That would be a great big ugh.

I took Mo for a walk in the rain through a park that had tall ancient totem poles. We walked along a beach full of dead Salmon. (died of old age) Mo looked at me like he really wanted to go onto the beach to explore and roll around in it all. I looked back at Mo like... "over my dead body." The walk created conflicting desire to stay here through the winter which would drain the journey of funds and cost mucho bucks. At night Gary and Phyllis made a dinner of salad, rice, king salmon and black cod collars. (pectoral meat of codfish) The taste of both fish topped anything I had ever eaten before. Moist and buttery, I asked if the cod had been marinating in butter. No butter at all it was all omega oils from the fish, a most healthy dinner!

October 21, 2011

Sitka, Alaska

The day started out with a visit to Linda's place of work to wish her a happy birthday. Tess is staying with Linda who is letting me stay with Tess! Linda works in a fishery that purchases fish. The rain held out, the manager of the dock let us pull in and we all had a short bit of fun chaos. Afterwards Tess took me to a peninsula where I wanted to get some pictures of waves splashing over water and see a view of Mount Edgecumbe a dormant volcano and then I took the truck over to a garage because its noises were really getting loud. The guy said he would look at it Monday and I am planning to leave by ferry on Tuesday which is a whole other issue because I am not sure I want to leave. The ticket has already been purchased and it will be the ferry's last crossing of the season to the lower forty eight states.

I pulled the truck into the driveway where I am staying and the noise changed to a different loud noise and then the truck began to squeal and smell not good. This was when Gary who I had not yet met came outside to greet me. He is a fisherman and his wife's name is Phyllis. They are staying in a small house next to Linda while getting there new boat ready to live on. Gary who is not an expert with autos figured out where the problem was coming from. The tension whatever and bearing had done gone kaput and the belts would no longer turn. We went to a car parts store and was able to "Gold Streak" the part from Anchorage for tomorrow seconds before it would have been too late. It cost only twelve bucks verses fifty four for shipping because they tacked my delivery onto another. To Gold Streak is when they literally hand a rush package to the plane pilot.

I decided to play some music for Gary and a kid passed by delivering papers. He walked by the truck without looking so I yelled, "you delivering papers"? He said, "yea" and I asked him if he wanted to play some piano thinking never in a million years would he do it. He did. Gary and Phyllis pounded out a few notes also. I played while Gary went to listen by the water. He said the music sounded like praise. I had been feeling total gratitude.

October 20, 2011

Sitka, Alaska

There was no rain this morning so I jumped up for a hike with Tess. We walked Mosquito Cove and an Estuary. It rained and was messy and the hike was still worth it. Mo found a nice big piece of dead salmon to roll around in. Wet dog and dead fish... what a smell! Later I hooked up with Mary who I had met on the ferry way back. She was going to drive us to the top of Harbor Mountain because it was too steep for the Traveling Piano. After about two and a half miles up we found the road closed for repair. We were half way up, Mary headed back with her van and I continued onward with Mo on foot. I was at the highest peak in Sitka and it wasn't raining, and I came here to see as much beauty as possible. I felt so graced throughout the walk. I also felt like if I had stopped Mo and I would have been sleeping with the bears for the night. There are no black bears here in Sitka. They are all big and brown. We both heard one in the woods following us. I began to shout very loud, put Mo on the leash and moved a lot faster than I was originally going. After all was said and done... ten miles of hiking today. You can be sure I will be feeling this one. Oh, it hurts so good! Tess made me a T-bone steak for dinner. Women dominate my life, my buddies are almost always women! Ha, it would be nice to hang out with some men once in a while too. Where's all the nice, non-threatening, giving, fun men for my life? Ha. ..

October 19, 2011

Sitka, Alaska

I spent the day in more heaven. God, I love heaven! Tess took Mo and I for a walk along a waterfall. Those pictures of huge long waterfalls coming down a mountainside? I never before walked up... alongside of one. We were walking in a rain forrest. People told me that this area of the world was a rain forrest and that is partly why I wanted to come here. I couldn't understand how Alaska and a Rain Forrest could fit together. Now I understand there are different types of rain forests. I had put the "T"'s together but not the rest of the words. I am in a "temperate" rain forrest not a "tropical" rain forrest. The operative word had not sunk in until now and that word is "Rain"! While walking through the lush forrest and soft mossy ground I thought about how I would not be having the visual I was having if everything was sunny and dry. It gave me an appreciation for all the rain and colds.

After the hike I took the Traveling Piano out and found a delicious spot by the water where I was able to pull under a bridge if it started to rain. Rain did not begin until my day ended. In the meantime it seemed especially interesting that as soon as I appeared a mom and her little girl of about three or four years old appeared. The little girl looked at me and asked if I was going to play. I told her I would play if she would play and then she immediately got up to come over. Then other people began to appear, a nice steady stream until it started to get too cold and dark.

October 18, 2011

Sitka, Alaska

Happy Alaska Day! I mean it, really... Happy Alaska Day. Everyone here in Sitka has been walking around saying that. At first it sounded a little odd but now I get it. This day celebrates the formal transfer of Alaska from Russia to the Untied States. This area of the world used to be called Russian America. The United States purchased it from Russia in 1867, an area twice as large as Texas for two cents per square acre or about seven point two million dollars. The formal transfer ceremony happened here in Sitka so today is the biggest holiday of the year. I had no idea what to expect. There was a parade. it was raining. Originally I was conflicted about participating because I thought it might be a typical big pretentious show parade but I was wrong. It didn't matter because I would not have been able to do it anyway with the rain but... wow, I was jonsin' to participate because it was a wonderful home town people parade... intimate, everyone was happy, down to earth, friendly, it was all just complete fun.

Most people know each other here in Sitka, the fishing season is basically over, everyone comes home, every gets a chance to connect with community. The kids all have a half day from school. Tess my host took me around to the towns pie sale, then to the parade, then to the local hospice center, senior home, coffee shop, etc... everyone just goes around visiting places and visiting with neighbors. Tess introduced me to everyone we came across. That felt really good and I really got to feel the sense of easy going friendship and community. By mid afternoon I could not take it anymore I had to share the Traveling Piano. I drove it to a dock area that had a covering and parked it out of the rain, turned on the piano to see if it would work and it did and for the next two hours I had fun with locals. The day ended with Tess taking me to a friends house for some fish chowder. Fun, friendship and respect all around...

October 17, 2011

Sitka, Alaska

I like Sitka. Mo and I simply hung out with different local people all day and the rain held out until we were finished. I made use of every moment. People passing in cars would wave hello and yell how they thought the piano in the truck was cool. This is a community of around eight thousand people so by half day word was traveling fast about the piano man with his dog. First, we stopped in the center of town and then went to see a friend of Tess my host and met at the friends school with her kids. I hooked up with a family I met on the ferry and then Mary a friend I met on the first ferry who moved here a few weeks ago. For a long time Mo and I hung out at the skateboard park. It is also a dog park but no dogs were around to play with. One guy came over from around the harbor to tell me in detail his experience of hearing the music from far away and then seeking it out to find us. My host Tess is a massage therapist and also an aid at the local health center. Four years ago a plane crashed into her house and she has been staying with a friend ever since.

October 16, 2011

Ferry to Sitka, Alaska

There was some time available while waiting for the ferry today. It was not raining so I felt a need to take advantage of the opportunity to create music. One of the guys working on the boat was interested so he got on the Traveling Piano to play and then a mom with her daughter too. People waiting in their cars were all really happy about it. The Juneau Empire newspaper put a big Traveling Piano picture in their Sunday edition with a terrific article. Check it out... Man Explores Alaska, World, with Piano, Truck and Dog

Once on the ferry I ordered a huge breakfast. The guy in front of me offered to buy it for me. His wife gave Mo a new dog bed. It was a twelve hour ferry ride and during it a very unusual happening occurred. Everyone on the boat had a three hundred and sixty degree view of hump back wales happening all at once. There must have been fifty of them as huge as school buses. One almost rubbed against the ship.

I was blessed with the sounds of whales, the water blowing through the air holes, whales swimming with each other in and out of the water. I watched a huge whale take a dive and the tail going into the water was the most graceful act I have ever seen. I was too excited to get the camera working right. At one point I had the camera focused in one direction while in the other a huge whale jumped completely out of the water did a spin and back dive. I only got to see the splash. To have missed that and a picture of it for you... was painful. Coming off the ferry I met my new host Tess and a guy who was also on the ferry named Daniel from Australia. He jumped onto the Traveling Piano. I think I am really going to enjoy this last stay in Alaska. I hope I can leave feeling satisfied because to date I want more, more, more. The nature, the bigness, the beauty of this place... I want time once I leave to process it all.

October 15, 2011

Juneau, Alaska

Rain... all day and I enjoyed laying in bed with Mo doing one of my most enjoyed activities... creating pictures for the website even though I'm guessing what they will look like when posted because I'm working with my spare inferior computer. I would have preferred to have been out in the city with the Traveling Piano or hiking in the mountains but hanging out in my own space has been great! I've really enjoyed having a hotel room for a few days. It is not easy to always be staying with different people as I usually feel that must I be hyper conscious and responsible for other peoples space. I very much respect what is shared with us. There are now over a thousand amazing pictures on Click on the Alaska Link at Boner The Dog and I have not even finished August!

October 14, 2011

Juneau, Alaska

The local newspaper writer and photographer pulled me out of my cocoon today (warm comfortable motel room) to have a Traveling Piano moment. We would have liked to have some people around but it was mighty cold, dark and dreary so we had some time just by ourselves. Afterwards, I was about to drive out of town and a bunch of people waved. Of course I had to turn around and go back. Even though it began to rain a girl got onto the truck and played in the rain. Everything got wet and thats what happens. More experiences ensued until night and then Mo and I cuddled back into our cocoon. Its like we are hiding from the world. Everyday I see the snow line creeping down the mountains. Now, snow is beginning to cover the evergreen trees not too far up in the sky. Winter is just about here. I would not be surprised if it snow hits the ground before I leave Alaska. The nature loving part of me so much does not want to leave Alaska, ever.

October 13, 2011

Juneau, Alaska

The rain stopped. I was like, "quick, quick get outside!" I packed my stuff from Stephanie's place, ran to the motel where I am staying, dropped it all off and began with the Traveling Piano immediately outside the front door. The first woman I met really got what I am about. Interestingly enough she ended our exchange talking about attitude (see yesterdays blog) and how sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. She said when someone asks how she is doing she always says great no matter what. By the third time she's feeling great. It is all about attitude. I thought that was so crazy for me to hear first thing after yesterday and unsolicited. Also, concerning the neediness I was talking about yesterday, several friends came out of nowhere by phone and via internet to connect with and validate my spirit.

I drove to several spots and met with people until the rain began once again. I decided to drive north to the end of the road. I love driving to the ends of the earth. (paved) Ha! It was phenomenal as always here in Alaska even with the clouds. I was driving with a high wall of mountains in front of me full of evergreen trees and I looked up to the sky as far as I could to find a small break in the clouds. I saw even more mountains covered with snow. My journey comes so amazingly alive when I am having fun interacting with people on the Traveling Piano and enjoying nature with no people.

Mo and I sat by the water watching the sun set behind the mountain ranges and clouds. Always, when we do something like this a random sea otter will poke his head out of the water just a few times and then swim off. Today I caught one with a picture. Getting a hotel room was way overdue. Sometimes I really need a place to stay completely alone by myself. A hotel room for a few days is generic enough to give me the feeling of having a place all to myself. Mo's charismatic personality develops more everyday. As we were leaving Stephanie's neighborhood I heard a bunch of kids yell, "we love you dog!"

October 12, 2011

Auke Bay, Alaska

My friend Stephanie says everyone seems in a funky mood today. I was thinking, huh? I know I am. How can a person not feel funky when it rains all the time. I've seen the sun for no more than three hours in two weeks. Plus, I've been feeling needy. The neediness has not taken control but it wants to. Also, Apple computer has screwed me concerning my warranty wanting to charge me over twelve hundred dollars to repair a computer that I've been trying to get repaired for over a half year. Changing the way I do things once I am in a groove has always been difficult. My internet habits, computer usage, the journey itself concerning the rain, the feeling of need to settle down a bit (I've never been constantly on the move for this long) ...it all means doing different things differently. Change never comes easy for me.

I was reminded the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is a matter of attitude... I keep telling myself that, because... I am an adventurer and I am on an adventure. Also, everything passes and... I'm ok and... nothing matters but fun, friendship and respect and... I found a good deal for a few days on a motel room that has an overhang so if it continues to rain the truck will have a little protection. My dog is great even if he doesn't always listen... I still have the ability to post this blog... I'm in frigin' Alaska, how great that is... and I spent the day cooking for the first time in a long time in Stephanie's kitchen !

October 11, 2011

Auke Bay, Alaska

Temperatures are now in the twenties at night, winter is coming. It rained all day. I went to a local Fred Myers superstore because a cashier I met there last night was celebrating his twenty first birthday today. There was a little overhang on the side next to the front doors so with the rain I went to check with the store manager to see if it would be a problem to back the Traveling Piano under it for five minutes while I gave him a Traveling Piano experience when he came into work and the manager said corporate approval would be needed, it would be dangerous, we would draw crowds not something the store would want without all the other stores wanting some, it would be illegal parking, the police would come, it would be troublesome for security... but he wished he knew who the employee was because he would give him a gift card. When the kid arrived I told him the store was a bit uptight and to go get a gift card from the manager, ha!

October 10, 2011

Juneau, Alaska

First, dealing with where I will stay tonight... Stephanie texted me a message to say staying with her would be ok. Next, I sent my computer off for repair. Finally and most importantly I found and electrical shop with two easy going guys who spent a little time troubleshooting with me and the Traveling Piano is working once again. This is a major relief. Not only that, the sun came out!!! The mountain tops are covered with fresh snow. They gave me the feeling of waking up to look out my window to find a winter wonderland.

All day long I spent playing music in random spots wanting to make use of every moment before rain begins one again. Can we talk relief? At last the Traveling Piano has truly landed in Juneau, Alaska! Seeing the full range of mountains and water here, it is awesome. At one spot a fun woman found me by the beach, "I was collecting seaweed for my garden as I have done for the last thirty years and to find this is just wonderful!" Hahaha, we had fun and as I began to play orca killer whales appeared. There was one large daddy and then mom swam a short distance away with three or four babies playing around.

October 09, 2011

Juneau, Alaska

Every night when I let Mo out to go to the bathroom before bed I must try to remember that there are porcupines everywhere. At the start of a hike today Mo saw his first bear. We were with John and his dog Maddy who went off to chase the bear. Luckily Mo was on his leash. We hiked the East Mendenhall glacier trail and it was through a forest blanketed with moss and ferns. We were in a tropical like forest in Alaska. I messed up for the second time in a week concerning my stay over days with different people. I thought I'd be staying with John for the rest of my stay in Juneau but he's leaving town tomorrow so now I need to find a place for the next six days and its looking like motel time. John cooked another fantastic meal tonight and invited over some new friends to join in. He has a partner, Scott who is out of town so unfortunately I won't be meeting him. For almost twenty years John has been working as a dentist for Alaska's tribal clinics. The piano is not working because of the cold and wetness but also it rains all the time so there can be no playing anyway, still... I need to address the issue. I very much do not want to leave Juneau, Alaska without playing on the Traveling Piano!

October 08, 2011

Juneau, Alaska

It is the rainy season here in Juneau. It has been raining all the time. I really wanted to be depressed today. What a situation I have found myself in where I cannot allow myself to get depressed. I met John who is hosting me for tonight and I am going to meet him depressed? Ha, can that be done? I suppose if I wanted to be completely self absorbed but... with a stranger who is inviting me into his home, contributing to my journey as a new friend... I just cannot be selfish in that way. I took a long drive hoping to find the end of the road north but began to run out of gas so I turned around. I am thinking of solutions for the piano. Presently it does not work, the equipment might be destroyed. The cold and wetness has finally taken its toll. I can't play it in the rain anyway and I am still going to enjoy the nature of this amazingly beautiful area of the world even if I cannot see a lot of it because of the clouds and rain. I will hike in the rain if need be.

Last night I created Traveling Piano experiences indoors for a short while. Stephanie who I was staying with manages the University of Alaska housing and had a student event. There was a piano. Before the kids got too rowdy with their party-ing Mo jumped up on top of the piano and we had some Traveling Piano fun minus the truck :( Tonight my new host John cooked an amazing dinner of fried polenta (corn meal) topped with fried tomatoes, sauteed red onions, Alaskan shrimp, goat cheese, pine nuts and basil and then for dessert a fresh baked apple cherry pie. I'll be staying here until I leave next Sunday. What a gift to not have to think about where we will stay for a week and then... I talked with someone who is setting up a place for us to stay in Sitka for our stay there next week. How can I be depressed with people like this in my life? I must do my part and... flow. John has a small keyboard. While he cooked dinner I sat down and created some music. I realized that when I create music I release whatever is in me that wants to depress or suppress anything.

October 07, 2011

Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

It stopped raining for the first time since I arrived off the ferry and the sky had some blue going so I took a ride to Mendenhall Glacier. The rain started again and continued into the night. Then it stopped so I took the tarp off the Traveling Piano truck to see if the piano would work. No luck. The cold and wetness... well, lets just hope it dries out one of these days or the journey could be over for now.

October 06, 2011

Auke Bay, Alaska

With the rain all day I have been hiding out in a very comfortable townhouse. Mo has been playing non-stop all day with Eilley, Stephanie's dog. They play tug of war, chase me, wrestling has been popular and... can you top this with anything that can be topped. I cooked dinner for the first time in a long, long time and sat watching television at night. I kinda miss the domesticated life.

October 05, 2011

Auke Bay, Alaska

It felt good to get some cell phone service and internet today. We are staying outside Juneau in Auke Bay with a new friend named Stephanie who lives a short distance from Mendenhall Glacier. Before we met I drove through the center of Juneau. There are tall evergreen trees growing up the sides of very tall mountains. I wonder how they do not fall down. Even though it is getting colder everyday, lush tropical foliage can be found everywhere. I am having a problem leaving the Alaskan experiences of last month. I never had a month on this journey where I keep going back over the link to enjoy the pictures and people I met.

There is no way to process the fact that i am in Juneau, Alaska! The landscape by sea was the same as Denali in that it was so beautiful that unless I saw it with my own eyes up front and center... I would not have believed it was real. There are some very hilly streets In Juneau. Stephanie's dog Eilley and Mo hit it off and played for hours today. I am very tired. It is very difficult to process pictures on the computer I am using. (the other one is not working) I am guessing at what they will look like on the web. We are staying in the university housing complex. Before it got dark a few students came buy to mess around on the Traveling Piano.

October 04, 2011

Ferry to Yakutat, Alaska

There were some amazing natural sites I missed this morning because I was sleeping. Tonight I want to get up to see the Northern Lights at 4am and then I need to get up again at 7:30am to see some whales. Danny boy has not been getting much sleep and i am really missing Mo. We get to see each other for only a few minutes three times a day because he must stay in the truck. I've been meeting interesting people on the ship. Tomorrow we will reach Juneau and I have no idea what will be in store for this next part of the journey.

October 03, 2011

Ferry to Chenega Bay, Whittier Alaska

The mountains and glacier view from the boat today as always here in AlaskaÉ astounding! I really feel like I am on a journey. I spent a lot of time talking to a woman in her early sixties named Mary. I was thinking about how my life is becoming more conventional as I meet more people living by choice in their own creative ways with their own out of any box lifestyle. I am experiencing anxiety separation from Mo. I see him a couple times a day for short periods of time and that is it. He must stay in the truck while we are on the boat. At night while docked in Whittier, Mo and I took a walk in the dark to a huge mountain with waterfalls and rapids. Even though it was difficult to see anything is was still fun. When I got back to my private space on the ferry I found it had been invaded. People have caught on to my private spot and so far three have taken up space with me. I will now be sleeping dorm style. Yuk!

October 02, 2011

Ferry to Kodiak, Alaska

Last night while the ship was docked I played some piano on the car deck. Mo sat with me for awhile, several ship staff came over to have a Traveling Piano experience... Today the second in command to the ship purser took me down so Mo could relieve himself. He couldn't do his duty because his duty is not to pee or poop inside someones house and in this case the ferry deck was a house for him. The lady who took me down had a Traveling Piano moment.

October 01, 2011

On a Ferry off the Coast of Alaska

I thought the ferry would leave for Juneau at 6:30pm tomorrow but the listing is military time which is really 6:30am and of course I am glad I called to check because now it is leaving at 4am. The ferry times constantly change without notice. This means I need to get to the dock at 3am but will call again because they might change the departure to 1am and I won't know unless I call. Nothing could be worse, ahh drama. Then again yes it can get worse. I spilled a cup of coffee into my computer this morning so the track pad is now dead. There are no stores to service it where I am going so I will need to ship it somewhere and then find a place for them to ship it back and hopefully they will ship it to he right place. So, it looks like there will not be an update for awhile. I'll be on the ferry for four days! Mo will be in the truck cab. Wish Us Luck! ...that Mo does not go crazy, I don't get sea sick, we stay safe, have as comfortable as can be ride and I get to see more of this beautiful earth so I can share it with you!