Photo: El Morro National Monument
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July 2005

Photo: Beggar at the borderWe drive into Mexico briefly, accidentally, at Fabens, three days out of Kerrville, 40 miles east of El Paso, in search of that wide blue ribbon marked on our Wal-Mart atlas, the Rio Grande. Accidentally, because I thought the shallow, algae-filled ditch we crossed was on the way to that river, briefly because we soon run out of spare change in a town whose major industry and income seem to be derived from washing our windows.

Four weeks later we would cross the Canadian border at Detroit, poor white trash in a beat-up twenty-year-old camper, and be pulled out of line, searched, questioned and detained. At the immigration waiting room in Canada I had the feeling that we were the Mexicans, all of us poorly dressed, or if well-dressed, black. We are eventually released and pointed towards the currency exchange station. Back in Mexico, no exchange is needed, the coin of our realm being the currency of preference for men with rags and buckets the world over.

Photo: Mill Creek, Moab, Utah

In the weeks between these two borders we sandwich some house concerts between time spent on the walking trails of National and State Parks in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.

I will not bore the constant reader with vapid descriptions of the natural beauty of the American West. We have seen rain fall from a New Mexico thundercloud that evaporated before it could reach the ground, and watched satellites cross a star-drunk sky while laying out on the roof of the RV, camped by the Colorado River.

Photo: McVay's House Concert

In Moab, Utah, we play to the packed house of Libby Nance, a former roommate and co-worker of Elizabeth, the LaSal Mountains still in snow filling the picture window stage right. In Kansas we play outdoors at sunset, chairs surround a fire ring in the wide yard of Kent and Lori McVay, coyotes yipping in the flint hills beyond, roasted marshmallows and S'Mores at the set break.