Busking to Idaho

The fall came with a rush for Ol' Dutch and Miss Trixie and we soon ,found ourselves on the road again in the big old Conestoga.

Around Christmastime last year my daughter Cricket and her husband Cap bought a house in Pocatello, Idaho, and with youthful vigor hosted a party to celebrate. However, this party was billed as a “demo party” where their guests proceeded to rip out all the walls and ceilings in the house.

As you know, though, “the best laid intentions often go awry.” If you do not know what that means it best can be summed up in this particular situation as, “Dad will come clean up the mess."

Oh they meant well and got in a few loose electrical wires and boxes and actually swept out the floors but that's about it. So some 10 months later, off to Idaho Ol' Dutch and Trixie headed on a bright and shining Saturday morning.

The trip was slow of course pulling the massive RV but the colors were gorgeous across Colorado and into Utah. On Sunday morning, we slowly found our way North from Price, Utah, and up and over the pass there at Helper.

On the down side of that pass we encountered a traffic jam of monumental proportions and after a brief intermission we were told to expect a delay of at least four hours. Most of the cars turned around and headed for new routes but a quick survey of those by Trixie and we could see it would add 200 miles to our trip and take more time to traverse.

We found a pull off on the side of the road and waited for the road to be cleared. Having all your “stuff” along in an RV has certain advantages when traveling as lunch and other amenities are just a short distance away at any one time. Other travelers could be seen climbing the hills to use the “facilities” so we were spared from that at least.

To escape the confines of the truck, Ol' Dutch grabbed his guitar, his harmonica, a chair plus a large ice tea and set up camp alongside the road. A quick survey of the situation and I could see that as soon as the road was clear we would be overwhelmed with a procession of cars that would make the exit of Moses from Egypt pale in comparison.

Now as many of you know, Ol' Dutch is always on the lookout for a good thing and making money in any shape and form is first on that list of many. It didn't take me long to find a bucket to place on the side of the road with the word “Tips” emblazoned in bold black letters on it.

Trixie made the comment that now I was a busker and it took me a while before I could finally look up that word on the Internet.

Here’s what I learned: street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities and “busking” is particularly associated with singing or playing music. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given.

So there I sat by the side of the road and when the road cleared ahead of us an endless stream of cars and truck passed, each waving and smiling at my attempt to make the best out of a bad situation.

I am not sure if it was the speed of traffic or the poor performance on my part but my bucket was lacking at the end of the day. I was hoping for bills of course as any change tossed out of a car at 40 mph might end up causing a black eye on yours truly.

So although I was a tad discouraged one must remember that it takes a while to build up a following and I soon expect to be making gas money anytime a road side delay is experienced.

At least the people who drove by had a smile and a laugh as Ol' Dutch's expense and if that made their wait more bearable, long live Busker Dutch!