Stay tuned as we get ready for the Soul Pattern Project Summer's End West Tour Sept 9 - Oct 5, 2013 including Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho & Utah!

Come here to read the tour adventures and follow us as we travel and play!  You can email us on the road at mailmags1@gmail.com 

10/29/13 UPDATE: You might already know how this one ends...with us flipping our rig over on the highway just past Dillon, Montana on the night of October 3 in a very early blizzard ominously named "Atlas." We hit ice on a bridge and that was all she wrote! By the grace of God in 40 to 50 mile and hour winds and snow, we dug our amps and guitars out of the wreckage and walked away without a scratch. This is how it all began...

BEGIN

We’ve been on the road 9 days now, (Sep 17) we’ve played two gigs within the first 7 days already and I am sitting in a loft office in West Seattle right now with a cup of coffee and it’s about 8:30am. This will be the first time I’m able to upload a blog entry so I will start at the beginning. I'll add photos when I can.

Love, Maggie

Here we go…

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Departure

It’s now August 28, 2013 and we are getting ready to leave on our Summer’s End West Tour. First will be Anacortes and La Conner WA. We have a radio interview on Thursday Sept 12 on KWLE when we arrive. We will head over to the International Port of Anacortes and get the rig set-up, we will be dry docked for a few days while we play La Conner and Arlington.

Sept 7 & 9 Preparations

When we are called to get out and share the music live preparations start months in advance originally we thought that we would be touring in July or August, but plans must be fluid and placed us on the road in September. We book, map and coordinate every aspect of the physical aspect of the tour and run on supernatural power for the rest relying on God’s broader plan. So we operate not in this time, but in eternal time which is a whole other thing entirely! It makes our plans nonsensical  and the bigger picture clear.

We were slated to leave on Sept 8, but the loading and last gear checks and preps took a little longer than anticipated. We got a little sleep and departed on Sept 9 at 12:30pm. We left in the midst of the hot and muggy California Mojave Desert monsoon season and arrived in Redding, CA at 1am ready for a bit more of sleep. We pulled into a Wal-mart parking lot to catch some zzz’s and the next morning I made some calls and we were off.

Sept 10

Heading out after making calls to our first stops to let them know we were on the road and were on schedule. We decided to stop for breakfast rather than heating up the trailer because it was already warming up. There is a place in Redding we were told about year called Joe’s Giant Orange which we like to return to for some good grub. Last night when we were driving there was carnage on the roads as we approached Sacramento first by Ripon where a car was wrapped around pole and then in highway traffic where a car was embedded into the back if a big rig truck . Everything looked so eerie in the dark, the flashing colored lights and less sleep.  We prayed. Life can change so suddenly and dramatically. Right before the airport we were alerted by some other travelers that our running lights were out so we pulled off immediately to check it out (later we found messages in our email to the same effect as we have our website across the back of the travel trailer!). Nice that people would alert us.  After some quick fuse changes, lights back on we hit the road again. Right as we entered the highway there was a CHP there, so it was good that we stopped quickly.  We were checking phone messages on the road and family had called to tell Nathan (Guitar) that his Grandmother in Burlington, WA was very ill and was preparing to go HOME. That was right where we were headed.  The family kept us informed as we travelled. We thought that if we kept pushing we could make it to her before she passed. We stopped at a rest area to get some sleep in Santiam, OR and at 3am family called to say that Grandma Mae had passed, it was Sept 11.

In the morning in that rest area I observed some people sitting on a bench having their coffee in the morning sun. I grabbed my guitar and offered a song for the day. It was how all of this got started. The message to  share the music and the impulse to do it. The lady whose name was Charlotte said thank you and we parted they were headed back to Gig Harbor, WA. I went back to the trailer and heard my name being called – the woman had came back to give us four dollars as a thank you for the song, she said here, take it four gas! We told her it wasn’t necessary, that the song was a gift, she insisted and we thanked her. It was “Charlotte’s Santiam Four Dollars”. People are kind hearted. We can’t wait to play our first gig. When we get to Anacortes, WA we will unhitch and immediately head over to visit family in Burlington where Grandma Mae was and where everyone is gathering.

 

 

 

September 11

 

So, last I blogged it was September 11 and we were in a rest area in Santiam, Oregon. We headed out that morning for Burlington, Washington to meet-up with family. We will be docked at the International Port of Anacortes on the Island of Anacortes in Washington. We pulled in and We docked the trailer in the RV parking lot at Cap Sante Marina

 

    

it was a beautiful late afternoon and have a good view of all the vessels, sunrises and sunsets, it would be the last that we would see of the sun for a while. On the way in we had called KWLE the radio station that we were to interview on the next afternoon, just to say we made it and we were on schedule; the interview got moved to Friday morning so we unhitched and went to go see family, share love and pay our respects to Grandma Mae. When we left family that night it was about 10:30pm and rainy. We got back to our trailer to get some sleep and be ready for the next day.

 

September 12

 

The radio interview got moved to tomorrow in the morning so we went to town to see if we could connect with a coffee house Wifi somewhere. My computer that I use on the road has not been cooperating loading the internet anywhere along the way. It’s the most frustrating thing ever! No blog updates happening now. If this keeps up I will have to wait and borrow a line in Seattle. We spent the rest of the day dodging the rain and getting our equipment to go for our first gig in La Conner, WA at Washington Sips. Mike and Kathy have been supporters of ours since our debut here two years ago! They and other merchants like Tom always have a warm greeting when we arrive. Still no luck with the internet connection,  so I won’t be checking in probably until we arrive in Seattle. We have to play La Conner tomorrow night and then we are due over in Arlington, WA which is about 40 miles away on Saturday night at a place called the Mirkwood Shire Cafe, I just call it the Mirkwood.

 

September13

KWLE broadcasting to all of the San Juan Islands

 

Johnny “Train Wreck” Hiles over at KWLE is expecting us at 9am for the morning-drive show with the whole crew. It’s early and I’m not quite awake, but we got great coffee in hand. The crew at KWLE is so inviting and funny. The radio station is located in Anacortes neighborhood in a restored house, very nice. We finished the interview and left our host with a SPP t-shirt and CDs for giveaway. Tonight we play at Washington Sips a nice little wine boutique that sits right on the Swinomish Channel in downtown La Conner.

 

  
"Train Wreck" Johnny

   

 

It’s 6pm and we just finished setting up for tonight’s gig. We start at 7pm so we have time to take a short breath and catch up. Our hosts offer us wine, but to be honest I’m too tired from the road and the early morning to drink or eat just yet. Tonight we met Amara Grace www.amargracemusic.net a local recording artist who will actually be in our neck of the woods on Oct 12 over in Topanga Canyon. She came in during our last set and we hit it off talking about touring and recording. She’s a free spirit and I enjoyed talking with her, hope we all run into each other again. After visiting with guests we get our gear together and pack it up to head back to base camp. We play tomorrow night in Arlington, WA and want to get in grab something to eat and hit the sack!

 
View from the Sips deck / Mike, Tom & guest 

 

September 14

 

I get to sleep in for the first time on the trip and the morning is foggy and drizzly. Just because the raod is so exciting I get to do laundry today! Lol. After we’ll try and catch up with family today , as they are all off to Browning, Montana to Grandma Mae’s burial. We will play tonight and as always, keeping plans fluid, decide that we will head off to Browning ourselves when we are through to visit the gravesite. How we are to get there is yet to be determined, but we just wait and see. Tonight we play at the Mirkwood. It’s an old Presbyterian Church built in the late 1800’s now turned into a music venue, art studio, tattoo parlor, café and bar…WHAT! Yea I can’t wait to see it. Sounds pretty neat. I never get tried of surprises on the road, always something different around every turn.

   

 

When getting ready for the road I try to print directions from one location to another so we know where we are going. We knew approx how long it would take us to get there and how far it was, but on the way we hit traffic – traffic in the SkagitValley! Seems that someone hit and collapsed the only bridge bypass over the Columbia River and they are just finishing construction on it getting to reopen in the next few days. We are delayed, but as it always happens on the road we are never late! This gig is different as we are part of a three band night; Soul Pattern Project, *** and Valley Green. We thought it apropos to be playing in an old church!  We parked next door and borrowed a hand truck form the green room to go up and down the longest wood ramp I’ve ever seen. Crammed our gear into the green room and got ready for sound check. The crew was friendly and the sound guy was really helpful. It’s always a challenge to get a good stage mix quickly and an added plus if you can hear it. Lol. We played our set and sat back with some sweet potato fries and water to check out the other bands especially fond of Valley Green you can check them out at Reverbnation or FB.


The Mirkwood stage / Valley Green

 

Packing it up now and heading back to base camp. It’s late and I’m looking forward to sleeping in for the second time! Tomorrow we’ll see where we end up we have some time before our gig in Spokane, WA and Logan, UT.  We will probably head over to Seattle and camp at the “Funky Lil’ Garden On Holly St.” that’s code name for the place we stay in West Seattle when we’re in town.

 

September 15

 

It absolutely poured rain over night and the place we have the rig parked is sopping, muddy puddles. The trailer leaked. We were looking forward to riding our bicycles that we bring along for pleasure, but always helps to have them to run errands or when we don’t want to keep taking the truck out. It saves on gas and gives us exercise! We always try to stay located by grocery and services. In the marina all that is located a bike ride away. We decide to stay an extra day here in port. Maybe the weather will break and give us an opportunity to re-pack for the next leg of our journey.

 

September 16

 

Plans that we had to see family before we leave aren't going to happen. It poured rain over night the trailer continued to leak and this being departure day we need to check the rig. Pacific Northwest rain and Mojave silt don’t mix! It turns into fine sticky mud that seeps into everything and plays havoc with the electrical systems. We may need to stay another extra day we’ll see.

 

September 17

 

Another day in port and the rain has eased somewhat. We decide to move the rig to a higher ground away from the puddles to be able to get underneath of it. It is drizzling now and we haven’t been inside for hours. I’ve been riding back and forth to town on my bike to the auto parts store for fuses and contact spray while Nathan has been underneath the rig changing fuses and checking wiring both under the trailer and in the truck. We have been at it now for 5 hours and with a prayer finally she gives us a sign that she’s ready to hit the road. All systems go and as it ends up because of the on-the-road maintenance we are leaving with more running lights than when we came in. We have learned to trust in not pushing our schedule, everything in God’s time – not ours. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s off to Seattle soaking wet, we go to “plan” the next part of our adventure. We ended up leaving way later than anticipated and because of it we hit Seattle in after rush-hour traffic (traffic none-the-less) the one thing we try to avoid by traveling very later or very early (Usually very late and in the middle of the night), but this could not be avoided so we pressed on until we reached our destination. I must say I’m missing the Cali sun right now! It seems as if we will be going deeper into the looking glass as talk has crept up about heading off to Browning, MT to catch up with family. Truly curious things always happen there. If we do we’ll be going by way of Missoula, MT., but more of that in a bit.

   

 

 

We have arrived at our destination a place I call The Funky Lil’Garden on Holly and are greeted by our four legged friend, a German Sheppard named Jory. This family place in West Seattle is our home-away-from-home. It’s a place to catch-up on yes, paperwork and be able to use a reliable computer connection! We park the rig on the narrow street, I always joke that Nathan can put this 46 foot rig into a 26 foot space! It’s time to take a breather, do some housecleaning too. When we are on the road we like to collect little food items that are local to the areas we visit, in this case when we were in the Skagit Valley we got some local cream and cheese from a produce stand and some Bosch pears, which will make for a nice dinner tonight. The family has headed out to Browning, MT for Grandma Mae’s burial. And we have kept in touch with the preparations. It looks as if the service will be on Saturday the 21st and we have a gig in Spokane, WA that night. After praying about the situation it was evident that we would play the gig on Saturday in Spokane then head to Montana the following day.

We spend the next day on the phone, computer, housekeeping, eating, sleeping and preparing to hit the road again! We made reservations in Spokane for arrival Friday night.

 

 

September 18

 

Stayed over night outside of Ellensburg. We are traveling by nightfall and have seen the moon over the Columbia River Gorge. Traveling through the Columbia River Basin. We decided to detour off to see the Coulee Dam area before we hit Spokane.

 

 
Columbia River Basin  

   
Me diving at Coulee Dam 

September 19

 

The Columbia River Basin: I have never been in a place like this. So remote so indescribably and oddly beautiful. As we drive I feel like I am in some kinda dreamland.

 

September 20

We get into Spokane Friday the 20th in the afternoon and we are trying to find our way to any place to camp out. We canceled our reservations that we had and are now trying to find this State Park that’s on the map with no success and it’s getting later and later. I think map makers gave up on mapping Spokane accurately the roads here are so crazy the maps just get you in a general area then you just have to figure it out. We pulled over near a DOT yard as a traffic sign truck made its way in. We asked for directions and they were kind enough to jump out and command our maps too! After several minutes they could not tell us with any accuracy where to go, but it was better than what we had so we headed off again. This time, wrong turning into the mountains down some biking trail head, when we got to the top a woman came over obviously seeing we were not in the right place and asked us if we were looking for a place to camp. It turns out she was a park ranger and directed us to one of her favorite spots and even got on the phone to call ahead to make sure there was still spaced available! Wow! What a blessing, another angel in our estimation. She informed us that the RiversideState Park we were looking for actually occupies 70 miles of shoreline and that there are different areas to camp. She sent us on our way and after getting our bearings we found our destination at dusk. We would have never been able to find this place on our own it was so hidden. The woman at check-in waited for us after the phone call and because it was after season there were spaces and at a discounted rate. Man, we are tired and ready for some rest. We can’t wait to see this place in the morning light.

   

September 21

This is amazing! I swear a slice of heaven on the shore of the Spokane River. This morning we’ll get the trailer set and get our equipment ready to go for tonight. We ended up rehearsing a bit and got some curious listeners which is always a good opportunity to invite people to the gig.Tonight we play the Luxe Coffee House in Spokane it’s in the historic district of downtown and right across the street is the Opera House home of the Washington Symphony. A real gritty area with a twist of metro sheik still in its revitalization beginnings. The building we are playing in, the Odd Girls Building, all red brick,  is a old Odd Fellows hall meeting place, then it was a popular well known Jazz club called Ella’s Supper Club up on the third floor, but the ground floor contains a bona-fide ballroom “Metronome Ballroom”and now the whole thing is in a book and on a tour called Haunted Spokane. We got to the venue and found parking right in front -street parking only and unloaded our gear. It’s probably the smallest venue I’ve ever played, but I really do prefer the intimacy ad being able to talk right to people sitting enjoying their beverages. 

 

 

 

September 22

Heading for Missoula, MT from another second home in Missoula we head out for yet another second home Browning, MT (That's 3 second homes Seattle/Missoula/Browning) each one of these stops is like wonderland for us. So much inspiration for the next gig. The sights the sounds the people - each experience as unique as the last. Family throughout these states keep us going as we never know what's around the next bend. We leave the friends, family and peace of this place heading out to Utah to play on Oct 6

  

 

  

We leave the friends, family and peace of this place heading out to play in Logan, Utah on Oct 6

October 3 (FATEFUL NIGHT, FULL OF AWE)

We are finally packed and loaded heading out of Missoula, MT today the weather has been rainy and we hear reports of snow storms. The weather changes fast , we know, so we are trying to leave as soon as we have all of our business taken care of. We leave Missoula by late morning and take to the road. We are on the State Hwy 15 heading towards Dillion, MT. The weather is getting progressively worse and rain has turned to snow and day to night. Visibility is low and we find ourselves hugging the big rig tracks in the snow and their tail lights. It's getting harder, but we decided to press on. Once you make the decision to pass a town or off-ramp there is always a ways to go before the next one and we are convinced that we are getting on front of this storm. The storm is early for the season. In these parts folks expect the big snow and ice to hit the end of October. We press on further and now find ourselves in a shallow canyon entrance to the Beaverhead River right at Clark Canyon Reservoir area. We can see we are going over a bridge and the big-rig that we were following has disappeared into no visibility snow drifts. It's quiet. As we come to the other side of the highway bridge the truck rolls over ice - we can feel it, but when the trailer starts over the ice it starts to list ever so slightly to the right, then returns left, then back again to the right then left. With each list of the trailer it starts to steer the truck and push it over the fast lane and as we slide the trailer is now coming around the passenger side of the truck and the truck spins backwards.

I remember saying everything is going to be alright - it's alright as we spun around! Nathan sees a bright light fill the cab and I'm in a surreal calmness as the trailer crunching and cracking jumps the hitch and flips over and drags the truck around backwards to hit the guard rail just feet past the span of the bridge. The force of the trailer going over pulled the truck up into the air and then as we both braced for the last flip of the truck over the rail - the truck came back down and bounced upright into place stuck against the guard rail - then silence.

We both looked at each other asked are you ok? As we searched our bodies for any injury, simultaneously reached for our seat belts and got out of the truck right into 40 to 50 mile an hour winds and snow. It was dark and at first we couldn't find the flashlight because things had gotten thrown around in the crash. We couldn't hear each other because of the wind. Our trailer was taking up all the lanes of the highway except for the shoulder one small car stopped having witnessed the mess and asked if they could do anything. My cel phone was not getting reception in this canyon and we asked them to call 911 and then to get out of the way quickly because way off in the distance I could see headlights coming down the grade with no way of letting oncoming traffic know about the danger ahead. In the dark past the wreckage I could see the glow of a cel phone  and a voice saying it's 911 they are on the way.

  

This blizzard, unknown to us at the time, had emergency services stretched beyond the limits. The time between knowing help was on the way and arrival seemed like an eternity as we could do nothing but watch sporadic on-coming traffic brake slide and graze the wreckage. Most of the headlights were big-rigs and truckers who were pushing on through the storm some as we would find out later were not...MORE TO COME - miracles happen!

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