kART Comes Home!

kART Across America returns home to Denver this Friday, September 5 after 108 days on the road, covering more than 6,000 miles, and setting a Guiness Book world record. Festivities at Translations Gallery begin at 7:00pm (855 Inca Street) after a short parade for Santa Fe's First Friday Art Walk. Meet live painter Laurie Maves, Translations Gallery recycled art exhibiters, and dozens of other local artists.

Blogs will continue, of course, after our return.

Happy trails to you...

August 30 - Des Moines
Its time to leave Phil's family. Without them, without a doubt we would be cold, hungry, smelly, and doing pow boom bang (crack). We are on our way to Omaha, Somewhere in the middle of America.

Des Moines is Des Bomb!

8/29 – Des Moines
There is a great building in Des Moines that houses 25 artists! So we are there in a flash. David Dahlquist makes large scale public art. Among his favorites, stands a glass mosaic that towers above the corn and buildings of Des Moines. We also find a cartoonist in the building, Ron Wagner. So Awesome. He loves the fact that his art allows him to take a script and turn it into a visual adventure for his readers. We try our hand at drawing Batman. Mine is way better than Jeremy’s.

Photos tomorrow

8/28 – Davenport
Driving to Des Moines we have no idea where we are staying. A Couchsurfer calls and says we can stay at a friend of a friends. Now that's America. We show up at Phil's and head to a pub for a pitcher sized boot of beer - that we share. There are rules to drinking this boot, so don’t let it touch the table!

Who steals a flasher?

8/27 – Chicago
We head to Davenport without turn signals. So we call Kyle’s Auto Repair and discover the actual flasher part is missing. Why would someone take that! We manage to order it and get it installed, only using 2 of the 5 hanging wires. We find a lake just west of davenport at 12:30 am. To our relief there are people camping! Squeezing through a pedestrian walkway we spot a campfire. Parking, we hear laughs and a, “want a beer?” Luckily Ron and Gerald are getting away from their wives tonight!

Fall is coming, I need a hat. Bam!

8/26 – Chicago
Shibuy Hada is a clothing boutique in Chicago where Kate Jacobson and Anna design and create different works of art. Together, we make some wool hats for our journey home. Kate says she always knew her art but finally committed to it full time 3 years ago by opening her shop.

In the afternoon we get a tap dance lesson from Kristi Burris. She dances with BAM!, part of the Chicago based Human Rhythm Project. This art is loud with rhythm. Just the way I like it.

He's Dreamy

8/25 – Chicago
Randy leaves for grad school at Georgetown, but not before an interview with him. He is one of the most unique and best talents on the guitar. Although he stands about 6'4", he sings in mostly falsetto and has a passion for his words that is visible in every inch of his body. And luckily we can still stay at his place.
In the evening we check out a fashion designer, Lucas Cowan. He uses sequins to make his work more daring.

8/24 – Chicago
We take a drive downtown and to Wrigley Field. There is a game today! Obviously we won’t pass on some bleacher seats. The field is small with a great community feel. There is a lot of excitement this year due to the Cubbies #1 rank and the 100 year streak... of losing. We are rooting for you cubs.

Randy to the Rescue

8/23 – Chicago
My friend Justin is leaving for a baby shower today. Yea!!! So we need to find a new place to stay. Luckily, my good friend Randy Nogel calls to tell me he just landed from Lebanon and is in Chicago for the weekend! Bam. Done. So we go kayaking on the lake and bbq with his family. Randy passes out early after promises of hitting the town. What, jet lagged big guy?

I'm just gonna do it right!

8/22 – South Bend
Back at Kyle’s Auto Repair, “Start ripping the duct tape and wires out, I’m just going to do it right!” Wow we needed this about…5,000 miles ago! 4 hours later we all crack a beer for a job well done. The lights are grounded correctly and 2x as bright. Kyle is the best and most talented mechanic we have witnessed yet. Chicago is 100 miles. Jeremy gets a call from a random girl who saw our cart and invites us to a party and late night swimming in the lake. Yea right we would pass on that… Although returning to our cart we find some vandalism – and our turn lights don’t work. I'll bite my tongue.

A day for what?

8/21 – South Bend
Ok, its about time we fix our lights. Kyle at Kyle’s Auto Repair in South Bend laughs when he sees the lamp and speaker wire George used to build Christine. A few real wires get the lights on but still nothing is grounded properly – that would require revamping the whole system! We then purchase a new Fuel Pump and clean our carburetor at Lazy Ks Golf Carts. Night falls after a day at the mechanics, and on the way home our engine starts screeching and our lights flicker. Grrr, Ill bite my tongue.

Stop holding up traffic!

8/20 - Ann Arbor
We drive to South Bend, IN today. Its Amish country. And we are moving quicker than they are!

Performance and Rak who?

8/19 – Ann Arbor
We start the day with a performance artist, Amanda Krugliak. Amanda believes that finding her art has made her more grounded and, in effect, made her life much richer. Her latest work shows her inner monologue while jogging. The Potters Guild is a local group of local ceramic artists that share a common facility. They are very welcoming, but it takes passing a panel to join. Robert Piepenburg is a Raku ceramic artist and author. Instead of a normal firing period, Raku artists take their pottery out of the kiln early and place it in a container where flames explode around it.

Thats a big Photo

8/18 –
We are on the road at 9:30 because our lights still don't work! The cops pull us over outside Ann Arbor, which is #6, and still no tickets. My cousin Ellen greets us in Ann Arbor and we immediately head to interview her favorite local photographer, Richard Hackel. He specializes in panoramic scenes, sometime showing the same area twice in different time periods.

The Real Deal

8/17 – Cleveland
Last night we stayed at The Language Foundry in Tremont, thanks to Joshua. It is a place for artists to live, work and showcase their talents to a loyal audience. We visit a Capoerra instructor, Dentista, to learn the art of this ancient fighting technique. It is a very spiritual form of expression, combining music, dance, and martial arts. Afterwards, our dream comes true as a red 1957 Chevy Bellaire convertible drives by! We flag the man down and are able to hop a ride. Then its back to the Language Foundry to see Jose’s drumming. Using contact mics and synthesizers he creates an ambient and sometimes violent song. He thinks art in Cleveland is dark because it is a deteriorating city. Its midnight and we are sleeping only 4 miles away. Despite the short distance, our head lights go out. After an hour of twisting and banging we still can’t get them on, so we take back roads and will deal with them later. Stepping into a strangers home, there are branches covering the ceiling and bugs in mason jars. I hope I live through the night.

Fast cars and red rockets

8/16 – Buffalo
We have 200 miles to drive today, but pulling out of Andrews we see some drag racing. We try to get Christine signed up, but this is the annual fireman’s challenge; firemen from all over New York compete in races only firemen would do. It’s a teenage girls dream. This turns out to be the worst driving day yet. Every 30 miles we lose power and have no idea why. It may be the end. Although out of nowhere a rocket ship drives by us and gives us hope. It is an old amusement ride converted into a limo! Everyone all day has warned us about East Cleveland and we drive through at 12:30. At a stoplight, a man approaches, “Where’s your protection?” he asks, “From weather??” I say. “No, from people.” Drive drive drive!

The Art of Booze

8/15 – Buffalo
We wake up early for a trip to Chateau Buffalo to meet Carl Schmitter. His art is making hard ciders and wines. We help bottle a few for distribution, and Carl lets us taste a few of his masterpieces. Its OK to drink hard apple cider in the morning because it has apples in it. Right?

Niagra Falls

8/14 – Buffalo
Christine wanted to see Niagara falls, so we take a day trip. She is so excited that on the way she throws her tire off the roof. Maybe its time for new bungee ropes. She meets some nice Jewish boys at the falls. But on the way back, she is so sad that she refuses to move forward. After a conversation, a new clamp for the oil leak, and an adjust to her fuel pump, she agrees to take us back to Andrew's (Jeremy's buddy).

How far would you run for someone?

8/13 - Rochester
Driving to Buffalo, I give the wheel over to Jeremy and, like clockwork, the Christine stops running. I’m pretty sure she hates him. We bang on the carb, put some cleaner in and hope it doesn’t happen again. In Leroy we meet Nick Warner who is running 62 miles in 3 days to raise money and awareness for kids with disabilities at Genesee Valley Rotary Camp @ Camp Samwood. His art is helping these kids, any way he can. There is a lot of love there and it is amazing to see it.

The art of water skiing: pinch your cheeks when you fall

8/12 - Rochester
My cousins, the Edgcombs, mention a trampoline on the water at their lake house 1/2 hour away. And, um, yea that sounds AMAZING! So we head out for some water skiing, salmon, wine, and a sunset boat ride on the beautiful Canandaigua Lake. Did I mention I’m sleeping in a king size tempurpedic again!?

The Art of Baseball

8/11 - Cooperstown
Jeremy interviews Jeff Idelson, the President of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is very nice, but kicks us into the rain after the interview! When it rains, water continually drips down from our windshield into whatever electrical system George used to keep our lights on. So...Duct tape! Arriving at my cousins in Rochester, we find a garage for Christine, and 2 king size tempurpedic beds for us!

Tough day for Christine

8/10 – Ashley Falls, MA
So things are good… until I swear our motor drops out in Albany. But its just the hood falling off the front of our kart, being run over by our front tires and dragged to a full stop under our chassis. The screw holes are completely stripped, so… duct tape. As dark clouds begin to swell, we find an ice cream shop with an awning for Christine and free ice cream for us! It rains like hell and then back on the road to Cooperstown and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We are staying with the president tonight!

George used a sock when building Christine

8/9 – Ashley Falls, MA
We intend on leaving today, but it would appear that our sock is leaking (and yes, George tied one of his tube socks under the kart – and it is drenched in oil). Fortunately, Steve Catsos not only fixes the sock leak, but also welds the broken roof beam and cleans the carburetor. A sock? Honestly George. Jenna paints our cart with our website.

Dance to Dancing

8/8 – Becket, MA
We check out Jacobs Pillow (it is not a string game). It is one of the premier dance facilities in the nation. They let the audience interact with performers to better understand the thought and emotion that goes into dance. Elka Rindfleisch shares with us her dance about love. Unlike my love, she moves with humility and grace. She also doesn’t smell like whisky.
We then see a local band at Helsinki, the Blues Boys. They keep the audience dancing with their down home beat and their country sound.

Hey, Nice Wood

8/7 – Ashley Falls, MA
We talk to Steve Catsos about his ability to work with trees. He takes a standing black ash tree and preps it so his wife, Joann, can weave award winning baskets. He considers it a craft rather than an art. After a visit with the farm animals, we grill freshly picked vegetables and eat. His daughter, Jenna, then shows us how to make felt. She considers her art crafts. I’m starting to see a trend here.

Ashley Falls and Jeremy's ex

8/6 - Boston, MA
It was raining all day on the 5th so we pushed our leave date back 1 day. The 6th still brings some showers, but we were interviewed for the Boston Nightly News! We arrive at Jeremy's ex-girlfriend's family's house in Ashley Falls around 9pm. She is not there, is that weird? Not for me!

Liberty Clipper

August 4 - Boston, MA
We interview the crew of the Liberty Clipper. It is a Schooner in the Boston Port. Some crew members have been living and working on these types of boats their whole lives. The art here is in the life style. Wind in your hair, the sea salt grit in your teeth, and a slight sunburn at all times. We head over for some fresh oysters, clam chowder, and a sunset over the boats.

Bruce Almighty

August 3 - Boston, MA
Meet Bruce Almighty. We see him riding down the street on perhaps the tallest bike ever. Naturally we want to try whatever this guys art is. Bruce builds and creates with his hands. Anything, he says. With a little help, we are able to go for a ride ourselves. The only trouble is starting, stopping, and riding. He mentions how crazy it is that all our lives can cross at this very moment. The REAL crazy thing is when he rides by us 4 hours later clear across town. CRAZY! So we invite him to dinner.

Its summer, Santa is bored.

August 2 - Boston, MA
We see Counting Crows and Maroon 5 at night and finish off with some drinks at TGI Fridays. Not too productive. But we do find proof that Santa is bored out of his mind this time of year. Getting drunk at Fridays. Its a new low.