Another post written by David~
We are definitely ON THE BUS! After three days of travel, we have been to Carlsbad, NM, Las Cruces, NM and are now in Tucson, AZ. It's a lot of fun seeing people's reaction to the bus. On the highway, they wave and take photos with their phones. A pickup full of workers giggles like a gaggle of schoolgirls as we pass them by and pretty much all kids smile and wave. Burly truckers pass us by and flash a big smile and a peace sign.
When we woke up in Carlsbad, we packed it up and headed for Carlsbad Caverns. This proved to be a most enjoyable side trip, as we got to walk through the caverns 750 feet underground and see the Big Room (which was aptly named), the Bottomless Pit (not so aptly named, as it is only 140 feet deep) and other very otherworldly formations that seem like you're in a Hobbit movie. It also didn't hurt the experience that it is 50 degrees, which was a welcome respite from the bus, which although equipped with a great AC system, still heats up especially in the front with the large windshield.
After the Caverns, we trucked it to Las Cruces where we spent the night and continued our travels to Tucson. In Tucson, we got to see my good friend Joel Tarantal and we got to meet each other's families. It was nice to meet Joel's wife of 45 years, Linda and one of their lovely daughters, Coppelia. We had some Mexican food in the late afternoon and a nice dinner with Joel and his family. Joel and I met 10-15 years ago trading Grateful Dead tapes online and through the mail, and have been friends ever since.
Tomorrow, we get up and head for one of the last big stretches...San Diego. This should take us about 7 hours, although after this, we will be making short jaunts up the coast of California to the next cool town and spend the day and night there. Looking forward to seeing Steve Lenier in Venice Beach. Steve is a drummer and said we can park Sugaree along the beach in Venice, and he will organize a drum circle and a jam around it. That sounds like a blast!