Had a great time in Dutch Harbor, but it's always good to get back home to Anchorage. My brother Lars was there to greet us, and get some snapshots.
Okay, he was actually taking pictures of the plane and we were in the frame, but at least he was happy to share with us.
When last we were here, earlier this winter, I had tried to find a chance to get together with the only other hurdy gurdy player I knew of in Anchorage - Arle - who I only knew from online forums. It didn't happen then, mainly because neither of us had a place where we could play. Little did I know that our friend Lucy actually had a gurdy on loan for a stage production for which she had recently produced the music. She was eager to learn more about this intriguing instrument before she had to return it to its owner.
So we invited Arle over to Lucy & John's place. I gave Lucy a quick and basic introduction (and fine tuned her borrowed gurdy) while we were waiting for Arle. We all got to see and play on instruments we hadn't come across before.
^ Arle's trying out my Chinook while I play his French-style guitar body gurdy >
And then, of course, came the real challenge: coming up with something we could all jam together. We got there eventually.
Early music turned out to be our best common ground.
Mike was there too, by the way, taking these pictures and playing along on John's beautiful handmade guitar.
As much fun as that was, this trip wasn't about playing hurdy gurdies; it was about spending more time with my parents. The snow banks in front of the house hadn't gotten any smaller while we were away, but the path had been kept excavated. Good thing Mom is such a champion shoveller.
Back at the house, many games were played. It would have been nice to win one. Just one. Oh well.
We also got one more chance to see cousin Mary, stopping through Anchorage on her way from Dutch Harbor to Hawaii. Having just enjoyed a couple of weeks with her out in the Aleutian Islands, Mike borrowed Mom's kitchen to treat Mary to one of his fantastic apple pies.