On the road… Again.

On the road… Again.


Most people spend a day or two at festivals or art fairs each year. We spend between three and four months each year on the road. That equates to 90 days of festivals each year.

I suspect we are nearing our twentieth year on the road.

Each day we meet perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 people. We could multiply that times ninety days = 180,000 each year.

After twenty years that equates to 1 million and eight hundred thousand people.

Sometimes when we arrive at our home base…..we cocoon and decompress, seeking solice and usually within a few weeks we are once again “stir crazy”.

I like visiting with people, I like understanding their concerns, professions and interests. I like understanding how and why they are different than myself.

I’ve had the good fortune to visit with politicians, emissaries from far flung places. I’ve sold our products to your heroes and movie stars.

I’ve had the experience of speaking on the topic of community/event building and engaging with some of the largest land holders in North America. Our nation is a receptive place with multitudes of people wanting to do good things.

My time spent on the road has been most often a very positive experience. My travels have been relatively unscripted and yet navigable.

Each year I often follow a predictable route. This allows me to witness the phenology of that region at the exact same time each year. I witness the emergence of cicadas each year at the same time in a city park in Eastern South Dakota. I witness the reddening and coloration of willow trees in the bosque of the Santa Rosa River in Southern Arizona. I witness what happens to my favorite snow fed trout stream (at 10,000 ft.) in the matter of a few weeks… it becomes an arroyo.

Our profession and work affords us small adventures in travel. None of which is outside the comfort of our visa card. Occasionally we find ourselves in very fancy places and glamorous confines. The following day we might find ourselves in a make shift campground only to realize that we are the only ones that have all four wheels on our RV.

In the dark shadows of the evening, people have approached us faced with the hardships of life. They have not asked us for money, but for nothing more than food and water. After which we question their circumstance and realize that whatever it might be that it is kinder to fault on the side of generosity. It is at times like this that we realize we have more than enough.

The hot summer 100 degree heat has finally relented though we are still recovering from one to many art fairs.

A fair 68 degrees, 20 knot breeze from the south crosses my patio, It is dark outside and the computer screen is the only light besides the stars.

I’ve spent the week preparing for our final expeditionary tour. A Buffalo Round Up in Western South Dakota and then on to Albuquerque, New Mexico for two weeks at the Balloon Fiesta. The largest Balloon Festival in the world.

We’ve spent our lives , always, with great uncertainty, we have always been self employed. We have always looked over our shoulders wondering if we are pursuing a valid profession. A profession that should have been pursued 150 years ago as a saddle maker.

As the summer comes to an end and fall approaches, we realize that our efforts have not been ill spent. Our shows have been bountiful.

We are grateful to have friends that are trained professionals working at our shop and taking great care to making sure our efforts are made credible. At long last, it allows us to realize that most all of our needs have been met. We have never gone hungry and we recognize that mostly the world is a very good place.

We appreciate that our journey continues… with you on board.

Bill and Lauri Buffalo Billfold Company Road Notes 2018

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