For the last couple of decades, I’ve dreamed of touring the country. However, I’ve had some other things I’ve needed to do and a few lessons that I needed to learn. While I’m sure that my tour will evolve as it goes on, I could plan until I’m blue in the face, but in my experience, the only way to do something is to do it.
The last few months have opened up a lot of opportunity for me, and I have seen possibilities that I wasn’t able to consider before. After a decade as a bicyclist, I got my driving rights restored in January and started driving the van for Discover Sarasota Tours, where I have served as a guide for the last few years. More recently, I thought it would be a good idea to get a motorcycle so that I could get some gigs in the area and actually be able to get to them. But after being accepted to perform my new show, Steve McAlphabet Explains ABC Squared Economics at the PlayThink Festival in Harrodsburg, Kentucky in mid-June, I started thinking about all of the places between here and there, and all of the places beyond.
It’s hard to describe the empowerment that comes with riding a motorcycle after ten years of vehicular celibacy, but suffice it to say, it got my mind working. After purchasing my first motorcycle in 2002, the year my current motorcycle was built, I rode from Reno, Nevada to Santa Cruz, California, up to Eugene, Oregon, and down to Los Angeles, California, where I lived as a motorcyclist for 16 months. Since I have a bit more time to plan this time, and a cell phone, and since I love the idea of getting out of Sarasota for the summer, my intention is to celebrate my fiftieth birthday in Los Angeles on August 4 and to visit all 49 continental US states before returning to Sarasota in November.
Along the way, I’ll be seeking opportunities to perform my new show and sharing my journey through my website and social media. I’ll be traveling with my guitar and a 150 watt PA system, which allows me to set up quickly and easily in living rooms, backyards, or anywhere people are able to safely gather. In addition to any money I may make as a performer and by selling copies of the Steve McAlphabet Explains ABC Squared Economics book, The What If Journal, and my recent debut CD, Be Here Now, I’ll also be starting a Patreon account for people who want to support me along the way and follow my journey more closely.
For the first leg of this trip, I intend to leave Sarasota on June 4th to ride the coast of the Atlantic Ocean before heading toward the Pacific coast. My hope is to get some performances and visit friends and family in Athens, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee, and Fort Wayne, Indiana (and whatever else opens up) before attending the PlayThink Festival in Kentucky from June 17-20. After that, I’ll be heading to Cherokee, North Carolina, where I’ll start riding the Blue Ridge Parkway before performing at Ashejam in Asheville, North Carolina from June 25-27. Then I’ll finish riding the entirety of the Blue Ridge Parkway before visiting my sisters in Stauton, Virginia and celebrating the Fourth of July by riding from Washington DC to Philadephia, Pennsylvania.
I will then have a month to get from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. I am open to any performances I can offer along the way and any experiences that will help me better understand and appreciate this land known as America. Perhaps in the Spring, I’ll go explore the southern continent and find my way down to Argentina, but one thing at a time. Autumn back on the east coast is going to be beautiful.
I wish you the best of luck Steve. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and a real disappointment we were unable to get together this year for some poetry reading, music, Will, and chats. When you are in the Philly area, you’re a few hours from us in CT… I’ll put out feelers and let you know if it is worth your while to head to CT and New England for a performance or two. Safe travels my friend, and stay well.
Thank you, Allen. I’m actually planning my tour now. I’ve got about 55 cities I want to ride to and busk in, and I’m planning to visit all of the national forests and parks along the way. If I can get some actual gigs along the way, that will be great, but I will be just as happy doing pop-up performances as a busker. Mystic, Connecticut is on the list. Word from the Oval Office is that we can now go outside without masks, so I’m thinking the roads will be clear when I head out in June.