I just caught Camp Coulter out of the corner of my eye as we were passing through Victor, Idaho. The town of Victor itself is about 2000 people, and twenty-five miles west of Jackson, Wyoming, where I had a couple of gigs over the weekend. Our challenge was trying to find a place that still had open spots for an RV, and that wouldn’t cost us an arm and a leg in the process (the cheapest RV parks in and around Jackson itself were about $50 per night, and the average was closer to $80 or more).
I parked the RV along a strip of public parking in Victor’s downtown business district and walked about a quarter mile back to Camp Coulter. There were a couple of vacant spaces, with electric/water/sewage hookups. I was looking for an office, or someone to talk with, and managed to chat with a woman who was renting by the month for her fifth wheel. Then a gentleman emerged from an Allegro RV. I told him what I was looking for. He showed me one of the vacant spaces, then walked over to a sign that showed a phone number to use. In all of this exchange, he said not a word, nor even uttered a sound.
We tried calling the phone number, and got a voicemail option. We left a few messages, and at some point I drove the RV into the camp and into the space that “Mr. Allegro” had pointed out to me. We sat there for awhile, with our generator running, hoping to hear back on the phone from someone. After an hour or so, we decided to go ahead and put down the levelers, extend the sliders, and at least plug into the electricity for the night.
The next morning, I met Rick, who was the manager for the camp. He told me that they normally charge on a monthly basis, but I was able to negotiate staying the weekend for $100 and a couple of the new CD’s.
That left me a 25 mile commute in our shuttle car to gigs in Jackson on Friday and Sunday. Friday night was the Rock River Lodge; and assisted living/retirement community. It was another in a long string of hour-long shows where I have come to feel this is just another form of House Concert. And it’s become a very comfortable experience, playing a lot of songs that folks can sing along to, throwing in one or two of my own tunes, and a story, here and there.
The other gig in Jackson was at the Q Roadhouse, on Moose-Wilson Road, on the Sunday. I was a little apprehensive on first arriving and setting up, as the house sound system was playing Madonna, Prince, KC and the Sunshine Band, and various other 70’s and 80’s funk and disco. I don’t have a problem with that music as such, but I was hoping the staff and diners were in no way expecting anything like that from me.
It was a four-hour gig, and it went just fine. I was told at the end of the evening that I should definitely give a shout next time I expect to pass through, as they would definitely like to use me again. Over the last five months or so, we have been building something of a circuit, as nearly every place that I have played has asked me to call about coming back to play. We hope to add more places, as we look to do this big loop through the West again over the next year or so.