Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 06😄24😄17

Shinybass journal entry 06😄24😄17



That’s probably the best place you can ever be. Extreme temperatures may hinder a little of this activity, but if the needle falls between 32 degrees and 99 degrees, one should be outside at some point during the day. It’s amazing how little of our time is actually spent outdoors, however. You wake up, shuffle off to work, maybe to lunch, back home, then go to bed. Your total outside time is like 4 minutes, and that’s the walk from your car to the office door then back again. It’s very sad. And that’s for people that have ‘no choice’ but to be inside. Lots of folks that are retired stay inside for days. Shame.

Then there’s Nevada. I’m getting ahead of myself on our little recap here, but just keep that first paragraph in your back pocket for a second.

I believe last time we talked we were about to hit the madness that is CMA Fest. It’s madness because we usually have a lot going on, traffic and parking are snarled, and it’s hotter outside than a limited edition fidget spinner. Phil had a packed week of activities, and I was only on the hook for a few of them. The first show was a live broadcast for Wrangler (who knew jeans had their own radio station?) at ACME on Tuesday night. Thursday Phil played the stadium, and then we got on the bus at midnight for Nebraska.

Milligan, Nebraska is a small town (Pop. 232) with a big heart and an even bigger Jubilee. The main street is quaint; it still looks like 1955, and with my bike, I was able to scan the whole town in about 10 minutes. Our hosts did have a pond-side cabin for us, which was a welcome respite. They also loaned us their ATV’s, so our afternoon was pretty dusty, but a nice change from just hanging on the bus.

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The next morning I woke up in Omaha, and almost immediately unfolded the electric bike for a few miles of Midwest exploration. I found a long trail along the Missouri river, so I biked that for a while, and found a beautiful bridge over the river, as well as some great views of the city. I also explored downtown and landed in the middle of an art festival, so I sat streetside for a bit, had lunch and soaked in the day. The show that night was a private show for the Red Cross with the governor of Nebraska in attendance. We’re so fancy.

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Very early the next morning we were on a Southwest flight back to Nashville to play a pep rally for the Nashville Predators as they took on the Penguins for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup. As some of you may know, my boy Henry made his stage debut that Sunday, which was a pretty special moment for me. The crowd soaked it up, as did I. And as for that whole Miss Tennessee thing; you’ll learn son.

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36 hours at home and I was back on SWA for a 6PM flight out to Spokane, WA. When you fly for 4.5 hours, then drive for another hour, it’s a bit hazy, especially when the time change kicks in. Our destination was Coeud d’ Alene, a beautiful resort town nestled in the mountains beside a beautiful lake. We checked in and stumbled to our rooms, which overlooked the water. It was 1:30 when my head hit the pillow, which was 3:30 Nashville time. With my Daddy duty I had been up for almost 24 hours.

I woke up relatively early and made my way out to see the town. I found a great local spot for breakfast, then proceeded to hike Tubbs Point, which was a 2 mile trek that ended up being 4 when I missed the return trail. I went to the room to put my feet up for a minute, then Jeff called and said ‘Hey man, have you seen these trails over here?’ Of course it was the same place I just hiked, but…

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We were delayed in our setup process, so I unfolded the bike again, and hit the riverside bike path for a few scenic miles, exploring where Fort Sherman used to stand 100 years ago. I came back and told Jake of my finds, and he was off and pedaling for a while as well.

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We then drove to Salt Lake City for a day off. I am happy to say I had a shower, did some shopping, ate local all day, and took in a bike ride at 9PM (with it still light outside), then handed the bike off to Jake who did the same. Every city in the US should take note from Salt Lake. Their downtown bike lanes allowed us to bike for miles without issue, and if I lived there, I would figure out how to bike commute to work every day. Until it snows.

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Remember that whole ‘Be outside if it’s between this temp and this temp’ thing I talked about earlier? Well, here we go. Laughlin, NV. When we arrived, it was already 94 degrees. At 9AM. Sure it’s on the Colorado River. Sure there’s a pool. That doesn’t matter. At noon it was 110. The next day 112. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So with the midday calisthenics off the schedule, Jeff and I borrowed a truck from a friend and went exploring. Kingman was a scant 29 miles away, and it’s a famous stop on Route 66, so we became tourists for an afternoon. There was a Route 66 museum and a WWII museum, so we had a lot to tackle. The first stop was the war museum. We drove in circles for a little while, then found out the museum closed a year prior. We noticed a bunch of airplanes parked off to the side of the main airport, and as fate would have it, we found a commercial airplane boneyard. Jackpot. We grabbed some great pictures until we were, um, asked to leave.

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The Route 66 museum was eye-opening for sure, and for many reasons. First, they described life in the mid 1800’s when Route 66 was just a wagon trail. Rough. Then they talked about the Midwest migrations of the 20’s and 30’s. Rougher. (Grapes of Wrath for all you literary types). Crossing the plains in a wagon is one thing. You probably have provisions and a homestead waiting on you. The migration of thousands of people looking for work – anything – was a lot harder. I can’t even imagine.

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Jeff and I then totally destroyed any chance of healthy eating, and we hit a 50’s diner for lunch. It was a great afternoon, for sure, and I am glad we got out of the rooms for a while. I can only watch 2 hours of the Keno channel then my feet lose circulation and I start to hallucinate. I think I could live out in the desert. The sunrises and sunsets are like no other, and the rattlesnakes cook up nice and tender.


We played two shows to packed houses in Laughlin, and I left the desert with more money than I showed up with, so that’s a win, right? All in all it was a great week. A long week, for sure. I put a lot miles on the bike and my sneakers, and visited even more places off the beaten path that I wouldn’t normally see. I look forward to being home for a couple of days before we head back out for more points on the map.

So back to my original point. We need to get outside more. I know you work in an office. I know you are tired. I know it’s hot. Go for a walk after dinner, or get up and walk when the sun comes up. We need more outside in our lives, and the saddest part is that we can control it, we just choose not to. So get out and enjoy this beautiful summer!


See you on the road!




2 thoughts on “Shinybass journal entry 06😄24😄17”

  • You make a great point. We do spend too much time indoors. The less we do, the less we want to do, right? I’m lucky enough to work from home now and I have two dogs that ask for nothing except a little trekking adventure each day. Walking during a commute is basically mindless and trying to avoid other pedestrians. Walking with dogs is pure bliss. Watching them have fun and to actually have time to breathe and look around something other than four confining walls is the high point of my day. Sometimes, we’re gone for an hour and it just flies by. And even with this, I still feel like I spend too much time indoors… You’ve provided food for thought and great advice!!

  • What a great read- and terrific point! I’m lucky enough to live in an ‘outdoorsy’ state (and state of mind) – get to it while you can enjoy it, right? 🙂 and thanks for the instaLive you did! That was fun!!!

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