Primal Mates Trio feat. Mark Miller

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Boulder Library, Boulder CO 80302


Poetry in Music, Music in Poetry "Where Words And Music Meet"


"Like As The Waves" Sonnet 60 

As we follow the west coast down from Oregon into California, we've had such great opportunity to see beautiful beaches, headlands, rocky points and coves, wildlife and endless waves crashing on the shore.

All of this is an inspiration for our music.

The waves are particularly inspiring for one of our poetry pieces set to music by our good friend and wonderful musician composer Mark Miller.

Mark set 2 Shakespeare Sonnets to music, Sonnet 60 " Like as the Waves" & Sonnet 130 "My Mistress Eyes".

Those coming to our poetry / music concerts in the libraries often comment on these pieces being their favorites.

Mark has sent along other compositions set to poetry as we travel along, and we had a chance to look at one in Bolinas, CA, "Blue Ophelia".
We look forward to developing this piece and add this to our presentations in the near future.

A message to Mark:  We've "cracked open" Blue Ophelia"!

Northern California - October 15th > November 6th ( Weeks 10, 11, 12 ) 

California >>>>Here We Come"!

We plan to be spending the next several weeks in California until after Thanksgiving.
Our first group of performances were for the Mendocino Libraries in Willits, Covelo & Ukiah, CA.

Covelo, California

Our Mendocino library presentations all went very well, all the librarians were helpful and very friendly.

We would like to focus on Covelo California because it was the most unique area in that it was at the end of the road & in a more remote area with an interesting population mix. This mix of people included Round Valley Indian tribe members, ranchers, farmers including marijuana growers and others drawn to this land and it's ecology.

We were told by some that this town was a bit reminiscent of the old west, sometimes including "Shoot Outs"!

We were not disturbed by this info as we were very well taken care of by our librarian and were given precautions about camping and offered a place to park our van overnight.

We were so lucky to arrive when the Indian tribes had invited the surrounding community to their Salmon Festival, the 1st one in 30 years.
The salmon runs on the Klamath and Eel Rivers were the best in years.

We went over to the beautiful grounds of a park which the tribes managed and saw the long, narrow fire pit, and waited and watched as huge pieces of salmon were skewered on a stick and the bottom end of the stick was driven into the ground like a stake.

It would take about 1 & 1/2 hours for the salmon to bake.

This gave us time to set up at the library community hall and come back to enjoy a wonderful feast, including roasted corn, salads, flat bread and other delicious offerings.

And as you can see, the pieces of salmon were quite large and these were not divided for portions as everyone received a large piece of salmon for themselves, ahhh, delicious fresh, traditionally prepared salmon!

Before sitting down to eat, an Indian Elder gave a blessing and his daughter sang a beautiful song to bless the salmon.

The elder sat down with us while we were eating our dinner and spoke about forgiveness and a need for the Indian Nations to help bridge the gap between all of us, created by the violent and genocidal history provoked by the persistent onslaught of European settlers and later American settlers taking over Indian lands with the help of the US Government.

Our gracious tribal elder spoke of the challenges facing us all on earth given the rapid changes taking place with global warming.

These changes particularly impact those less affluent, especially the poor and poor nations, but will in a short while, impact us all.

He again stressed the need for forgiveness and the need to work together to slow down this change so that we can all come up with a better way to live on this earth and develop understanding of how to protect our precious resources which are needed to sustain all of us.

He spoke of the ancient wisdom almost lost to the Indian Nations by both the take over of their lands, & rounding up their people, but also of  poor choices made by the tribes to make money and bad business decisions which helped to create more problems for the Indian Nations.

He parted with further wise words and the determination of Indian Nations to finally reclaim and share the wisdom of protecting the earth for all on earth.

His wise words are not new to us, but certainly renewed our inspiration to share his message through our travels and in our music.

On to the Covelo's Round Valley Library which was our favorite Library in Mendocino because not only was the community room where we played very beautiful with great acoustics and local art on the wall, but this library is a very important community center, with a kitchen for the community to share.

Whether planning community meals or using the community center / library for special events, all can partake in this wonderful offering in Covelo.
They also have a Covelo Farmers Market on these grounds offering up local fresh produce, baked goods, sauces and more.

Our librarian at Round Valley, Rachel was especially helpful and gracious.

Rachel introduced us to  a professor of sustainable ecology who wrote an important book on sustainable living back in the 70's.
He moved to Round Valley to pursue his dream of sustainable living.
We were generously offered a spot to park our van for the night on his farm / ranch and offered to join him for a glass of wine and in conversation after the concert.
We took him up on his offer and we learned about sustainable living and his concerns regarding our present course on this planet.

Some pics of his place, the surrounding land and his cat Grayson who keeps the mice out of the house.

Grayson waiting for his next meal!

"Nope, not yet!"
More to come!


Oregon Coast, from Bay City to Gold Beach -  

October 5th - 15th ( weeks 8-9 )

We left Bay City on October 5th after enjoying a delicious breakfast of salmon frittata, fruit and lots of hot coffee provided by Charlie at the Bay City Arts Center.

We decided to take a couple days enjoying the coast before starting a 5 day stretch of performances.
We drove about 20 miles, taking a less traveled route along the coast, off 101 to Cape Lookout State Park just west of Tillamook.

Cape Lookout is one of our favorite state parks so far, and a Primal Mates Pick for location, campground and great access to one of the best beaches in Oregon including the forests right above the beach with beautiful creeks, ferns, salal and several other forest floor plants.
After 2 nights of camping, we headed down the coast towards Yachats to play in a very nice seafood restaurant called the Drift Inn.
The place is always full because of the great seafood dishes and ambiance.
The interior is wood, with many cozy booths and a ceiling of colorful open Italian umbrellas strategically placed above the booths reminding us of the French movie, "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg".

From Yachats, we continued down the central and southern Oregon Coast playing at the beautiful Florence and North Bend Libraries.
The people attending these events were most gracious and asking great questions.

From North Bend, we took the road to Charleston, Oregon and stopped to pick up our 1st fresh shucked raw oysters from Qualman Oyster Farms.We took our oysters out to Sunset Bay and enjoyed eating our fill of oysters while looking out over this beautiful bay.

Then onto Langlois Library on the southern Oregon Coast.  A cozy library tucked just off 101.  For the size of this little town, there was a great turn-out for our concert and we met Jo & Roger who offered to be our hosts for the evening & a place to stay overnight.

We always loved this part of the Oregon Coast and intrigued by the cranberry bogs, the lovely rivers, landscape & vegetation which are a change from the northern Oregon Coast.  This area is much less populated than further up north and much nicer travels on 101 given fewer cars.

We were given directions and set off driving east off 101 onto a country road in the dark, and 2 miles up this road, we took a right up quite a steep and windy gravel road to the top of a hill.  We were not able to see the views until the next morning, but their location and sweeping views of the area and ocean were astoundingly beautiful.

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, breakfast and company with this stay and want to thank Jo & Roger for taking these strange wandering minstrels in for the night.
This offered us such wonderful respite from our travels and camping and a much needed good nights sleep!

Then, onto Gold Beach where we performed both at the Gold Beach Library, then we quickly packed up and drove a few blocks on 101 to Mangia Buff to play a dinner set.
This is a nice Italian Restaurant with seafood pasta dishes on the menu, along with more traditional Italian fare.
The mood of this restaurant inspired Colleen to sing one of her favorite Italian songs, "Senza Fine" by Gino Paoli.

We have been coming through Gold Beach for many years now and have made very good friends with a few kind folk.
Many thanks to our friends Tim & Laura for our stay in Gold Beach at their beautiful home in the woods.
Also thanks to our friend Dave for an excellent Italian style dinner!



Bay City Art Center - Oregon Coast 

We left Manzanita to travel a short ways down the coast to Bay City where we performed a concert at the Bay City Art Center, on Saturday night, October 4th.
The acoustics were awesome in this old Masonic Lodge.
We were very impressed by this art center and by the folks who set up the center to benefit the community at large, the under served, children, adults.... everyone with an interest to do a wide range of artistic activities, including stone sculpture using hand chisels.

The center is open during the day and for special events and often dinner is provided prior to these events.
On the night we performed, Leeauna, welcomed us and had made a delicious mushroom / tomato pasta dish which we enjoyed prior to playing.
Folks came from around the area, and a few from the more northern part of the coast.

The next day, we were given a personal tour by Charlie who was one of the main founders of the art center.
Charlie's knowledge of art, of the area & it's history give him a perspective which supports this local community.
He is dedicated to providing access to & the tools / supplies for folks who are interested in learning a new art form and has a keen interest in helping people get started in an artistic process.  All forms of art are welcome & supported here, including painting, drawing, sculpture, making art from found objects, music and more.
How fortunate Bay City is to have this center and the folks involved in the center who offer their expertise, time & effort to make this center possible.

Bay City Arts Center is a Primal Pick for best community art center!

Week 8 - Manzanita, Oregon Coast 

We left Portland on October 3rd and headed down to the Oregon Coast.

We will now be on or near the coast all the way into California and maybe Baja if our plans remain on coarse.

The weather remained sunny and beautiful for the first few days before more fog and then rain greeted us on the southern Oregon Coast.

We met up with our good friends Martha & Bill in Manzanita to help Martha celebrate her birthday.
They are the most gracious of hosts and have a beautiful cabin / home in Manzanita.

Our son Eric met us with his pal Charlie or Chuck as Eric calls him, his trusty friend, companion border collie.
Everyone loves Charlie and he made several new friends on the beach.

Below is our first pic of the Oregon Coast taken from Neahkahnie Mountain.

                                              Charlie aka "Chuck"                     


"On the Road" - October 8th, 2014 

We have been listening to Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" as we travel through the west.

Our travels and music have been inspired by this book as well as becoming a part of our library performances.

A musician friend of ours from Fort Collins, Peter Sommer wrote an inspired composition setting the last paragraph of this book to music. 

To be able to play and sing these words, is like going from black and white, to color.  

The music lifts the words off the page, as if breathing life and motion into the words.

The last paragraph goes like this -

"So, in America
When the sun goes down
and I sit on the old broken down river pier
watching the long, long skies......over New Jersey
and sense all that raw land that rolls
in one unbelievable huge bulge
over to the west coast
and all that road going
all the people dreaming, in the immensity of it
and in Iowa, I know by now
the children must be cryin
in the land where they let the children cry
and tonight, the stars'll be out
and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear?
the evening star must be drooping
and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie
which is just before
the coming of complete night
that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers
cups the peaks, and folds the final shore in
and nobody....nobody knows
what's going to happen, to anybody
besides the forlorn rags of growing old
I think of Dean Moriarty
I even think of old Dean Moriarity
the father we never found
I think of Dean Moriarty"

So in America, we continue our journey, seeing this vast & beautiful land and meeting folks in all the places we stop and play.

Tonight we played at the North Bend Library along the southern Oregon coast.
The librarian, Gary Sharp and the folks who came, made this an extraordinary experience.
We'll catch up on our coastal events and pics soon, all of them have been quite wonderful.

For those who have not had a chance to hear the above piece and our other pieces of writing and poetry set to music, you can listen on this website under the poetry project or under music. 
Best to you all!



Weeks 4 -7, Bend to Portland area and the Northwest - September 11th - October 2nd. 

From Sister's Oregon, we went to visit Colleen's nephew Casey and his family.

Casey took us on a tour of the Good Life Brewing Company in Bend where he manages sales & distribution.
We both agree, without question and without familial favoritism, Good Life Beer is now our favorite beer.
The fact that the Brewery cannot keep up with demand speaks for itself.

So just as we are living the good life - "Good Life"  Descender IPA is a Primal Mates pick for best beer!
Now we are hoping Casey's company may agree to help sponsor our tour.

Then on to Portland, but 1st, another hot springs stop at Belknap Crater Hot Springs on the McKenzie River.
We spent 2 nights next to the river, walking in the old growth woods along the river and walking the superb grounds across the bridge with gardens intermixed with forest.
We were again reminded of Greece within one area of the gardens when we ventured upon what appeared to be an ancient circular wall covered with ivy.
We found the only opening which took us to an inner courtyard garden complete with Grecian Style pillars, fountains & flowers.

These fountains & gardens inspired Colleen's lyrics to Chris' composition "The Fountain" written after the last visit to this other worldly place.
We landed in Portland on September 11th.  Both of us grew up in Portland and lived much of our lives here until our adventures began together taking us up to Homer, Alaska.  More about that later as we are planning to include Alaska in our travels next summer.

We stayed Chris' Aunt Teedy for these 3 plus weeks while coming and going to our performances in the area and visiting many friends and relatives.

Lacy Timberland Library was our first gig in the area, just north of Olympia Washington on Puget Sound.
This library is placed amidst giant Douglas Fir Trees -
We had a very rapt group of listeners who asked great questions and also informed us of other poets and writers to consider.

From Lacy, we traveled north to take a ferry from Tacoma to Vashon Island to visit our good friend Paula before returning to Portland the next day.

                                  Mt. Rainier
Orenco Station Station in Hillsboro was our next gig in the area.
They have very good food and treated us very well and we had a reunion of sorts with Colleen's cousins, and a few family members and friends who drove all the way to Hillsboro.  Very fun night!

The next day, we were off to Stevenson, Washington up the Columbia Gorge to play at their library.
This is a beautiful library with a nice room for music and programs on their ground floor.
This room had a display of colorful and quite artistically designed quilts from local quilt makers.

We presented our poetry music for this event & this time, we added pictures on a screen to display the poems above and behind including some relevant pictures placed next to some of the poems and writings.

Folks were quite taken by this and patient as Colleen was learning to forward the slides remotely while at the same time singing, playing cello and forwarding her own music - it now is becoming effortless as we adapt this piece into our presentation.

Tina Smith is Stevenson's librarian.  She has been involved in the Vancouver, Washington Library system for many years in a range of capacities, including in administration.   Tina has a wealth of knowledge regarding the library system and the communities they serve along with experience presenting a range of programs for diverse communities.

We'd like to thank Tina for inviting us to present our program and for the great feedback!

We'd also like to thank our dear & long-time friend Susan Gordiner for coming up to Stevenson and helping us set up and break down and for camping out with us the night of our performance in a nearby campground.

The next day, we decided to go across the Bridge of the Gods to the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge to hike up Eagle Creek.
Eagle Creek has a special place in our history, it is one of the first hikes we took together back in September of 1980.
Chris was 'hired' by Colleen to be the drummer in a quartet she had just formed.
By the time we took this hike, we had played several gigs together and had been getting together as "friends"
This hike was the beginning of our journey together as 'mates' as we finally told each other about how we felt.
Ahhh, young romance!

Eagle Creek is still one of our favorite hikes as the trail follows the creek on a gentle upwards grade.
There are several falls, bowls, cliffs, old growth woods, canyon views and the clear beautiful deep green color of the water makes this a primal pick for best hike. 

A few more gigs in the area before moving on down the Oregon Coast.

Bijou Cafe in Portland - Great Food!! The Bijou Cafe is known for it's breakfast and is usually only open for breakfast.
They open on weekends in the evening for dinner & music - go to for more info.

Rhododendron House Concert along the beautiful ZigZag River with Jack and Bobbi - former owners of Noah's Wine Bar in McMinnville and folks who have become our friends over many years of playing music for them at Noah's.
We played on their deck overlooking the Zigzag  River  which provided us with a steady soft stream sound to enhance the afternoon's music- the weather was fantastic for this event - and this lovely old historic cabin had a story book quality to it, providing a comfy ambience.
Many thanks to Bobbi & Jack for being such great hosts!

After leaving Jack & Bobbi's, we went on a beautiful hike in old growth forest along the Salmon River - then on to Kahneeta where we stayed the night in their campground.  Kah-nee-ta is on Warm Springs Indian Reservation on the east side of Mt. Hood.
We used to escape the rain in the winter and drive to Kah-nee-ta to swim in their beautiful warm springs pool along the Deschutes river and surrounded by interesting rocks and plateaus.

Ahhh, Timberline Lodge - we were fortunate to arrange a trade for a one night's stay in a beautiful room in the lodge and dinner in exchange for an evening of music on the balcony level of the lodge next to the Rams Head Bar.

The acoustics for music here are superb and this lodge is certainly a Primal Mates pick for best Lodge on a mountain.
Colleen played music here often in the mid-late 70's into the 80's and was happy that folks at the lodge were open to this arrangement.
This lodge is so incredibly beautiful, it takes our breath away.

Timberline Lodge, which opened September 28, 1937, is a hand-made wonder. Just about everything in the building from door hinges to furniture is hand-made, mostly from local materials. In early 1936 as the Great Depression raged, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) undertook what many would call a "make-work" project to build a lodge on the south side of Mt. Hood in Northern Oregon. This lodge is certainly a national treasure and shows a a better side of what our government can do.

The views from the lodge are awe inspiring both in looking up close at beautiful Mt. Hood from 6,000 feet up on her southern flank.
Looking south, you can see Mt. Jefferson and several other cascade peaks, as well as panoramic views east to west.
Many thanks to John Tullis in helping arrange this great trade.

                                  Looking out the window of Timberline Lodge to Mt. Hood

On Saturday, we left Timberline to go back to Portland for our last performance at a house concert hosted by our dear friend Stuart.
We love going to Stuart's house.  He has whimsical art on his walls, he designed his house just the way he wanted it, he's artistic and brings this to life all throughout his house.  And we love playing music for him and his friends because they are such great listeners and participate, in fact, this group made the best bird sounds needed for a particular piece we are doing on this tour,  " I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". What a fun group of people!
Thanks Stuart for your great hospitality and great.... fun spirit!!


Week 3, August 29th- September 4th, Cour D Alene Idaho, to Sisters, Oregon 

Grande Ronde Wine Cellars - Friday, August 29th, Spokane, Washington

Great ambiance with beautiful old wide-plank wood floors and rock walls. Very tasty wines - owner Dave Westfall was a pleasure to work with and the acoustics in this old cellar were superb!

The next day we played our 2nd  home concert of this tour in a lovely backyard setting - like a secret garden, hosted by our friends Jill & Griff.

We really enjoyed playing for and meeting friends, former students and neighbors of Jill & Griff''s.

We also learned that Jill prepares excellent natural potions for skin using essential oils & creams including a natural insect repellent that works great.

Not one mosquito bite since leaving Spokane! 
( )

Next gig - Sisters, OregonWe remember Sisters, Oregon and surrounding area with great fondness for it's natural beauty.
We met up with several of Chris' friends from High School who have relocated to this area, lucky them!

Both of us have hiked and back packed this part of the Cascades in our earlier life together.
Lava flows, lakes, meadows & beautiful peaks make this a great place to take some time to explore.

Old McKenzie Pass Hwy, just west of Sisters, is only open in the summer. 
Not much traffic on this pass, so traveling this road is an even better choice if one is looking for incredible views, a winding road thru the lava flows and places to stop and choose any number of hikes, including connecting with the Pacific Crest Trail.

We played at Cork Cellars in Sisters on September 3rd - it may look like we only played for the wine, but, there was a nice crowd who came out and enjoyed the music, ambience, good food & wine.  Jennifer, the proprietor of Cork Cellars treated us like family.  We look forward to returning to Sisters & Cork Cellars.

"Two for the Road Tour " Week 2, August 21st - 28th, Helena MT - Couer D Alene ID 

Helena, Montana

Ahhh Montana, we love our travels through Montana. 

The folks are kind and there is enough room for everyone!

On to Helena for our performance at the Montana Club in Helena, the oldest private club West of the Mississippi.

This beautiful building was built in 1885, but burned down and was rebuilt in 1905.

The room below is the dining room where we played on August 21st.

Wonderful room to play in with great acoustics, great listeners and great staff!

And yes, we did dress up a bit for this one.

Then, we were escorted by Brinn to the best private campsite anywhere - the rock quarry just south of downtown Helena, up on a hillside, looking over this beautiful small city.

Brinn shared the history of the quarry which had been purchased by his family.

He has a vision of making the quarry into a city park complete with stones from historic Helena arranged as rock sculptures. 

We awakened in the morning to see some of the present rock / stone sculpture in the quarry. 

We thought we might be in ancient Greece. 

Certainly this was the most unique and best overnight stay so far! 

The quarry has functioned as an outdoor amphitheater due to it's impressive acoustics hosting music and theater events. 

We look forward to returning to Helena to explore this beautiful little city further and hope to play in her quarry next time around.

We also discovered that the quarry contained a "graveyard" for old pianos, may they rest in peace.

On to Sandpoint Idaho to play a home concert on a nice sunny day outdoors.

Colleen's cousin Mary and her husband Jeff live in a beautiful home on 5 acres near town.

It was great to spend time with Colleen's cousins and meet neighbors and friends who came to listen to the music.

Thanks to Mary & Jeff for hosting this event and for being such gracious hosts & many thanks to cousin Dian for the above video, the laughs and general all around support for our time in Idaho! ( and for showing us where to pick huckleberries. )

More R & R @ Priest Lake Idaho -

Priest Lake is a Primal Mates Pic for favorite lake.
Located in northern Idaho, just south of the Canadian Border, this lake and it's surroundings were the perfect setting for a few days of swimming, relaxing on the dock, kayaking, picking huckleberries with cousin Dian and our new found activity.....paddle boarding.

Let the pictures speak for themselves.

Time to move on to Spokane WA to play at Grande Ronde Cellars and another home concert hosted by good friends Jill & Griff - next post, Week 3 of our tour!


A little R & R @ the Confluence of Rivers 

Our friends Ann and Nick took us to this most beautiful place to swim and catch the current at this confluence of 3 rivers.
The Jefferson, Madison & Gallatin Rivers join here to become the headwaters of the Missouri River. 
We were gently swept down river while taking in the scenery and enjoying being refreshed by these waters!