TLFB Tours The West! – Serendipity and Seattle

 In the morning we left Bellingham for Antecortes to catch a ferry over to the San Juan Islands. Buoyancy is an amazing phenomenon: this massive steel vessel weighing hundreds of tons by itself carrying hundreds of tons of vehicles and people…floating. Almost as mind blowing as watching the wheels of an enormous cargo airplane leave the earth and climb into the sky. The weather was beautiful; sunny, with a cool breeze, and no humidity. There was a low fog at the base of the mountains off in the distance making the mountains appear to be floating above the water.



We drove onto the island from the ferry, stopped for a bite then drove to Lime Kiln State Park at the opposite end of the island to try our luck at whale spotting. We didn’t have much luck so we ventured along the coastal trails exploring beaches and tidal pools, discovering washed up jellies, and we skipped smooth stones out into the ocean.

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Where the trail ended, we pressed on, climbing over rocks using all four limbs for stability…

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TLFB Tours The West! – A Hike to Remember

IMG_2902On the way to Mount Baker, we stopped at mile marker 44 and ventured into an immense old growth forest where we were humbled by the presence of the biggest trees any of us had ever seen. Alongside the trail there lie fallen giants. Even as they lie on their sides, they were nearly taller than our heads! We ventured deeper into the forest. TIMG_2927 (1)he further in, it seemed, the bigger the trees became. There was an unspoken air of reverence and admiration for these trees. They had lived through hundreds of years – if only we could hear the story of DCIM107GOPROtheir lives. Eventually the trail thinned and we knew we could spend way too much time admiring these old beauties so we darted back to the car to continue up the mountain.




As we climbed, the air cooled, the trees became sparser alongside the road, and the views grew more expansive with each twist and turn…..

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TLFB Tours The West! – The Wild Buffalo


We rose early to travel to Bellingham for an early afternoon sound check at Wild Buffalo. We had but a teasing glimpse of Seattle as we passed through.


There was time to kill when we arrived in Bellingham so we stopped for a bite then went scouting for a beach.









The beach we found was rocky with groups of people staggered down the coast, huddled up under the overhanging branches of trees or in hastily crafted tree forts beneath. Kyla napped to recover from the festivities of the previous night, Jake worked on his Instagram headstand project and I climbed my way up into a tree fort, started some music, and took some pictures to send to friends and family. Just as we were getting comfortable we got news that it was time to go sound check a bit early…….

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TLFB Tours The West! – It Seems Like Only Yesterday…

We arrived in the town of Rhododendron at the base of Mt. Hood just after the first dress rehearsal ended. The Meyers and Peeble families were in the midst of heated games of corn hole. We decided which tunes to play for the wedding ceremony then performed them for the bride.

There were two fantastic high-ceiling wood cabins on the property. We were told that the construction of the impressive buildings was funded by drug trafficking money, and the original owner was eventually caught by the feds. The houses were seized and eventually repurchased and renovated by a fella from New York. No matter the history of the homes, they were absolutely stunning.



Jake and I formed as Team Dominance representing the Peeble family and absolutely destroyed the competition in corn hole. After some scrumptious shish kabobs, we joined the families for a challenging trivia session under the stars. The wine and scotch flowed fast, the sparklers shimmered in mesmerizing patterns through the dark, the smell of s’mores over the campfire, and the sounds of happiness filled the forest. Eventually each dispersed to their beds.

Bright rays of the sun and women with hair drawn into contorted shapes and designs busily darting this way and that woke us from our slumber. We were in the living room of the main house with near floor-to-ceiling windows facing the outside deck and lawn. The breakfast spread was amazing; fresh fruits, soft pastries, savory quiche, and endless mimosas to curb the adventures of the previous night. Outside, white tables and chairs were set in place for the reception, the bar was erected, and flower arrangements appeared. Inside, tantalizing cheesecakes were placed on tree ring coasters, the women’s hair and makeup began to make sense, and the men cleaned up a bit.

We headed into a garage on the property to go over some tunes and work on a set list for our show in Bellingham, Washington opening for Greg the next night. The instruction was given to migrate to the wedding ceremony location. We got into position and played instrumentally until we were queued to play our song for the bridal party procession, then, as the last couple made their way to the front we changed to our song Ocean Blue. The slanted sunlight through the trees accompanied by the soothing sounds of our instruments as the bride and groom gracefully floated to the front – it was magic.


The wedding was beautiful. We all walked back to the main house guided by the smell of garlic bread. After dinner, touching speeches, drinks, insanely delicious cheesecakes, dancing, more drinks, more dancing, and a small house concert by our band, all retired – a successful day; a happy wedding.

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TLFB Tours The West! – A Little Visit with Peter the Chair LeClair

It’s Sunday August 3rd. The last few days have been a blur. We are currently on the road again driving from Rhododendron, Oregon to Bellingham, Washington to load in and sound check at Wild Buffalo where we will be opening for our friend Gregory Alan Isakov – so these next two posts will serve as a quick recap of the last few days:


We left the Oregon Trail Interpretative Museum on Thursday to stay with our friend and fellow musician Peter The Chair LeClair *queue thunderclaps* in Portland. On the way, we navigated through a scenic bypass along the Columbia River Gorge and briefly visited the majestic Horestail and Multnomah Falls – the tallest falls in Oregon.



Upon arrival in Portland, we were introduced to two beautiful longhaired tabby cats Etta James and Aretha Franklin. We were given a quick tour of the artsy three-level home strewn with instruments in every corner, bookshelves a plenty, and Marüshka-adorned walls. We made it down to his basement that he had retrofitted to be a recording studio.

After catching up with Peter, we loaded in our valuables then headed down to the basement for a “quick” recording session. The thing about these “quick” recording sessions that we often get ourselves into is that they are never quite as quick as we hope. From deciding which tunes to play, how they will be played, setting up the audio, cameras, and lighting, to nailing an acceptable take amongst a room full of our own critical, perfectionist, OCD ears – it takes time, but the music that comes as a result is generally quite beautiful. Check out Peter’s write up on his blog of our stay: TLFB Visits Peter the Chair Studios!

We were….exhausted by the time we arrived at Peter’s, so eventually we hit our limit in his studio. Kyla headed up to bed and Jacob, Peter and I jammed on each other’s tunes for a bit before turning in. Etta J the cat made her way around the house tucking each of us in making sure we were all safe and comfy.
In the morning, we showered, packed up, planned out our day, and drove to Jam for a delicious breakfast. Kyla mentioned to Peter that she wanted to check out the Portland vintage scene a bit before leaving for the wedding rehearsal in a cabin near the base of the majestic Mt. Hood.


He took us to a place called House of Vintage. It seemed innocent enough from the outside, but as we ventured in, we soon discovered an endlessly winding labyrinth of vintage treasures. It was tempting to just throw out all of our instruments and load up Patty the Patriot with armfuls of vintage delights. Kyla found a beautiful white dress in perfect condition, Jake found a nice button-up, and I found an old electric keyboard called a Magnus.

Time vanished in the House of Vintage. We rushed back to Peter’s, loaded the car, said farewell and hurried out to putt around in Portland rush-hour traffic…But when times get tough, Kyla gets tougher. Exhibit A to the right: Industrial strength tweazers. Keep Portland Weird!



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And There's More!

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