Touring Across the U.S. Part 2: I felt like a feral animal living out of a Honda, and people are amazing

Where do I even start to sum up this tour?  With all of the tragic world events as of late, it feels selfish to even share my experience, because what does it really matter?  I toured, I played my music, I drove A LOT.  But, it was incredible, and during this tour - much like my last one - I was awash with gratitude and awe at the beauty and connectedness of humanity, and so it feels worth writing about.  It gives this somewhat neurotic cynic some faith, and I hope to live by the example of the boundless generosity I encountered on my adventure. 

Clockwise: Boston, MA; Durham, NC; Greeley, CO; Pittsburgh, PA

Clockwise: Boston, MA; Durham, NC; Greeley, CO; Pittsburgh, PA

From east to west, and north to south, I reconnected with countless people who have meant the world to me.  I made new friends and fans in places I never thought I’d visit. I saw incredible sites I didn’t even realize were on my path. From Savannah to Maine, from Idaho to New York and back again, I sang my heart out, and I hope it meant something to some people who were game enough to come to a show. 

Some of the spaces. Clockwise: New Lenox, IL; Portland, ME; Bellmore, NY (aka my parents' house!), Dr. Lulu's Naturopathic Clinic in Asheville, NC; Salt Lake Elevated in Salt Lake City, UT.

Some of the spaces. Clockwise: New Lenox, IL; Portland, ME; Bellmore, NY (aka my parents' house!), Dr. Lulu's Naturopathic Clinic in Asheville, NC; Salt Lake Elevated in Salt Lake City, UT.

My hosts were unbelievably welcoming and generous, and the audiences were so attentive and engaged.  I played in houses, apartments, a garden, a medical office, a fitness club, a nudist resort, at an engagement party, and a house-warming party. Thank you so much to the people who opened up their homes and lives to me - words don't do a great job of expressing just how lucky and grateful I feel.

It's the details that slay me.  Top: My name in a Lite Brite and on a girl-power white board in Downers Grove, IL. Middle: The welcoming room and a specially prepared cocktail called "The Debbie Miller" in Stonington, CT. Bottom: Music pop-up books placed in my room in Oneonta NY, and my name on the cutest chalkboard that ever was in New Lenox, IL.

It's the details that slay me.  Top: My name in a Lite Brite and on a girl-power white board in Downers Grove, IL. Middle: The welcoming room and a specially prepared cocktail called "The Debbie Miller" in Stonington, CT. Bottom: Music pop-up books placed in my room in Oneonta NY, and my name on the cutest chalkboard that ever was in New Lenox, IL.

Now that I’ve gotten all of that touchy-feely mumbo jumbo out of the way (however genuine it was), here’s some lessons from the road:

  • There is no gas station squeegee strong enough to get off layers of highway bug guts from the windshield 
  • The only thing that cleans bug guts off the windshield is a downpour that lasts at least an hour with the wipers on the highest setting
  • My mini-cooler is amazing, and I got to eat something green every once in a while. I got it for free while temping in NYC for a fancy real estate company years ago.  Thanks, Vornado.
  • Turn your front passenger seat into a makeshift kitchen.  What else is it there for?
  • Dr. Bronner’s really is magic soap, and I used it for EVERYTHING.
  • It’s always important to have chips in the car.
  • It’s always important to have more chips in the car, for when you run out of your first bag of chips.
  • PODCASTS, especially Stuff You Should Know. Now, I know more stuff.
  • For when you are falling asleep at the wheel, a good phone call home to mom and dad (of Kickstarter video fame, fast-forward to minute 1:18) does the trick. New Yorkers talk loud and fast!
  • Add at least 1.5 hours to your anticipated driving time. Nature calls. A lot. Especially if you are trying to stay hydrated and/or caffeinated.
  • When a Motel 6 in Wall, South Dakota is your biggest tour splurge, you know you’ve done a decent job of being frugal.
  • Adele’s 21 or anything from Glee are a must for when you (well maybe not you, but me) need to belt something at the top of your lungs.  Because you are by yourself, so let it out baby.
Also, I got to see the country. Clockwise: Badlands National Park, SD in a thunderstorm; Badlands National Park in the sun; Veterans Healing Farm in Hendersonville, NC; Sioux Falls, SD.

Also, I got to see the country. Clockwise: Badlands National Park, SD in a thunderstorm; Badlands National Park in the sun; Veterans Healing Farm in Hendersonville, NC; Sioux Falls, SD.

Pining away for the next time I can hit the road...