Day 39: Seattle


Yesterday we crossed the border back into the USA and played our last headline show of the tour. We also bidded farewell to Ariel View and Girl Friday and had a few quiet drinks to celebrate.

I caught up with my wonderful cousin Ani de Graaf for breakfast and we went to Noodlebox (it was lunchtime for her). I had a Black Bean & Garlic Box. Thanks for taking the time Ani, even though you had a really important work presentation you should have been preparing for.

This is maybe my worst selfie I’ve ever taken. Sorry Ani, there was so much pressure I just choked up.

I caught a lift to Seattle with Girl Friday because The Beths had left early to check into our accommodation. I had a great time listening to music at a volume much louder than is allowed in the Beths van.

Vera (Girl friday, guitar and vocals) been suffering from low blood sugar and come close to fainting the previous night, so she earned a point for self-care by drinking a huge variety of beverages to recover.

She followed up with another point for holding her bladder for an extraordinary length of time when we couldn’t stop or we would be late for soundcheck.

Things didn’t go so well in the Beths van. Although Jono did score a strong point for his lunch of instant ramen, coffee, and a beer, they got held up at customs for several hours because they didn’t have the right paperwork for the merch.

📸 Tristan Deck.

Despite this setback and the catastrophic Seattle traffic, the gig started on time and it was a juicer of a show. Ariel View and Girl Friday rocked even harder than in any of their previous extremely-hard-rocking performances and it was impossible not to feel inspired after watching them.

Here is a clip of Girl Friday absolutely caning it last night.

🎥 Tristan Deck

We celebrated our last night together with a few drinks at the venue bar which generously stayed open for us. Liz and Vera both earned points for ordering a hamburger which in this case was a tequila shot followed by a shot of Bloody Mary mix and some pickle brine.

Vera Ellen, Nadine Parra (Ariel View), Liz Stokes, and Sierra Scott enjoy a wholesome moment together.

Beth of the day goes to Vera. There were some very strong points earned throughout the day such as Tristan making takeaway breakfasts for everyone from the previous night’s leftover curries, and Ben replacing two strings on Vera’s guitar and paying for Girl Friday’s parking, but it in the end it was all for nothing.

Vera’s multi-beverage self-care regimen, bladder holding, and hamburger shot were all outstanding points, and to top it off she made it through the whole night without any dizzy spells which was a great effort.

Congratulations Vera on your first Beth of the day award. We are sad to leave you but at least we have a better chance of winning again.

Day 38: Vancouver


Yesterday we drove eleven hours to Vancouver and played a show at Biltmore Cabaret.

For breakfast I had the Days Inn house blend Granola, served mostly dry because the milk ran out.

It was an unexciting drive but I have to write something so here are the journey highlights.

I spent all of my small change at a gas station.

I captilised on a couple of multi-buy deals and saved Jono two dollars.

Liz drank a 32oz diet Dr Pepper.

I scored a point for getting us across the border without getting stopped.

Tristan did an amazing job of navigating us to the venue after none of our phones’ internet worked in Canada.

My wonderful cousin Katie J left work early to come and watch the show and we managed a quick catch-up afterwards.

After the show Tristan organised some delicious Ethiopian takeout and put together a big spread on the tailgate of the van.

Beth of the day goes to Ben for good DJing, talking through the border crossing, multi-buying, and getting rid of a lot of pennies.

Thanks for to everyone for providing much-needed content.

Day 37: Bend, pt 2.


Yesterday we went for a hike to the Green Lakes and played a show at the Volcanic Theatre Pub.

Tristan had thoroughly planned out our day which started with a breakfast stop at Nancy P’s Cafe and Bakery. I had a turkey and pesto sandwhich.

We made it out to the Green Lakes Trailhead (4.8 stars from 45 reviews) nice and early and spent the next few hours enjoying the tranquil forest and happy dogs with backpacks.

The Green Lakes (5 stars from 8 reviews) and the surrounding landscape were spectacular and some of us braved the frigid water for a refreshing swim.

Here are a couple of panoramas for those of you with ultra-wide monitors or VR headsets.

And a few of the beautiful photos that Tristan took.

The show at the Volcanic was surprisingly well attended for a Tuesday night in Bend and a surprising number of the attendees were fairly juiced (this is a new adjective I learnt last night, I hope I’m using it correctly).

Beth of the day goes to Tristan. He woke up early and unloaded all of the gear from the van so we could drive it out to the forest. He scouted a breakfast spot and chose a hike of with an appropriate level of difficulty. He carried my water bottle to the lake so I could run the trail and meet everyone there. To top it off he made a trail friend who lent us their bug spray and even ended up coming the show.

If that isn’t a clean sweep I don’t know what is.

Day 36: Bend


Yesterday we did an eight hour drive to Bend, Oregon, taking the I5 up through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and then Highway 97 past the Crater Lake and Winema National Forest.

Tristan took a plus one for the breakfast recommendation which was Granella’s Deli in the town of Williams. I ordered a Clubhouse sandwich.

We ticked two items off the tour photo bingo list which were evidence of forest fire and snowy mountain.

The scorched remains left by the Delta Fire in September 2018.

Mount Shasta.

Not quite a faucet of the day but still a well labelled piece of equipment.

In the evening we finished watching Stranger Things 3 and I also joined Girl Friday in viewing a couple of episodes of the reality series Rock Of Love.

Warning, this contains spoilers and graphic violence.

Brett Michaels searches for his Rock of Love

Tristan effortlessly took out Beth of the day with his breakast stop and for folding my washing. Simple but effective, nice work mate.

Day 35: Sacramento


Yesterday we did a very short drive to Sacramento, I saw some trains, and we played an intimate gig at Harlow’s

We ate breakfast at Nancy’s Airport Cafe, next to the bustling Willows Airport. I ordered steak and eggs with a side of hash.

We arrived in Sacramento nice and early so I had time for a hot run along the banks of the Sacramento River.

I passed through the old waterfront district and saw a few nice locomotives.

I also passed by the Tower Bridge, my bridge of the day. Completed in 1935, it is a steel truss design with a vertical lift section in the middle that when raised provides a 30m vertical clearance above the high tide mark. It has a total length of 225m and a longest span of 64m and is currently configured for four automobile lanes.

The lift span weighs 1,040 tonnes but through the use of counterweights located in each tower is able to be raised with two 75kw electric motors.

The bridge was originally painted with a silver aluminium paint but complaints about the glare it created led to it being repainted a yellow-ochre colour in 1976. In 2001 all residents who lived within 56km of the capitol were allowed to vote on a new colour scheme and it was repainted all gold (the other choices were green, gold and silver, or burgandy, silver and gold). Some people complained that the paint was not as gilded as advertised.

My deepest condolences go to the I Street Bridge which is a magnificent structure but didn’t quite make the cut.

To be honest I couldn’t say it better than Demeatric Lewis.

The I Street Bridge. Five stars from one review.

Our show at Harlow’s was one of the best of the tour. Girl Friday delivered perhaps their most screaming performance and we had a heap of fun playing to a wonderful audience in a very intimate space.

Beth of the day goes to Ben. He started off with a minus 1 for a post-checkout shave but quickly recovered by remembering Tristan’s coffee mug which he left in the motel room. This was soon followed up with a great breakfast spot at which he placed a mean order of steak and eggs. He took a great video of a squirrel eating a soft serve and then later on remembered to bring Tristan’s can of seltzer water to the park when we played cricket. To top it off he babysat Sierra’s water bottle all day after she left it at the show in Chico.

What a list Ben, save some for the rest of us.

Day 34: Chico


Yesterday we had an early start and drove to Chico for our show at the Sierra Nevada brewery.

For breakfast I had the hotel classic, toast with jam and peanut butter.

It gets so hot in Chico that we had to get all of the soundchecks out of the way before the heat safety break at 2pm, which meant us leaving at 8am and arriving in a fairly grumpy state.

We couldn’t stay grumpy for long after we met Mahina and the rest of the great team at Sierra Nevada who gave us the royal treatment for the entire day.

Our green room had coffee and cold drinks, actual fresh pastries, and a proper fruit selection. I immediately regretted my meagre hotel fare.

After soundcheck we had a very nice lunch at the brewery restaurant and then were taken on an informative and generously-thorough tour of the brewing facilities.

Freeze-dried hops are baled and stored in this freezer.

We found some New Zealand hops!

The un-baled hops are stored ready to be added to a brew.

Malt is being crushed and fed into this Mash Tun where it is mixed with water to create a sugar-rich liquid called wort, which is then strained through the bottom of the vessel.

The wort is fed into these kettles where it is boiled and flavoured with hops.

It is then cooled and fed into fermentation tanks where yeast is added and the sugars can be converted various components such as alcohol and CO2.

This sheet filter removes the last unwanted particles.

After the brewery tour we went for a swim at the Sycamore Pool.

The stage was set right in front of the on-site hop field where they grow hops for the Chico Estate Annual Harvest Ale.

Luckily all of the gear got to wear silver cloaks to keep out the blistering afternoon sun.

It was a unique and beautiful location to experience a show. Ariel View had the prime time-slot, playing a great set as the sun went down.

Beth of the day goes to Mahina for going way and beyond the call of duty in taking care of us yesterday.

The food and beverage selection in the green room was first class and included properly salted tortilla chips – a rare find.

She gave us two green rooms – one indoors and air conditioned and the other outdoors but with a water mister.

She let us use the staff showers and gave us a great swim recommendation, and organised the excellent brewery tour.

Thanks Mahina for being so nice and such an absolute pro – we are so happy to have met you and made a wonderful new friend.

Day 33: San Francisco


Yesterday we fearlessly continued up the 101 to San Francisco and played a sold-out show at The Independent.

The motel owner really exaggerated the freshness of the pastries and muffins in the breakfast spread.

It was a nice long drive with plenty of time for Jono to score points by putting on some great podcasts and giving us an excellent lunch recommendation.

Sadly we didn’t get time to experience San Francisco to the fullest but we did enjoy the abundance of four-way stops, something we don’t get to enjoy nearly enough in New Zealand.

Beth of the day was hotly contested yesterday. Liz gained a strong consolation point when she endured an embarassing scenario with grace.

She then followed it up with another scorcher while trying to discover if she had drawn blood after biting her tongue.

Jono fought back with the two points I mentioned earlier.

Our booking agent Brian took us out to dinner and Liz and Jono each added another point to the board.

Jono pulled ahead at the last moment though by giving our unused dinner buyout money to Ariel View when they didn’t get given a buyout by the venue.

Congratulations to both of you for such a thrilling contest. You are both winners in my eyes.