Upstate New York: Back to Hamilton!

It’s official:  we can now say that the bus has had its first stab at water travel!  Leaving Burlington, Vermont (which we were only able to explore for a quick hour-bummer!), we decided to check one item off of the Locavaux bus bucket list and take a ferry from Charlotte, Vermont to Essex, New York.  We loaded the bus onto the ferry and enjoyed some beautiful views of Lake Champlain while munching on some homemade organic cookies that a fellow ferry passenger/sweetest older lady ever fed us.  After making landfall in good ol’ New York State, Hallie and I insisted that Chase drive the bus straight to Keane Valley in the Adirondacks, home to the most delicious and tasty pies at NoonMark Diner.  Having tasted the infamous pies four years prior while on our Wilderness Adventure trips during Colgate’s pre-orientation, we two foodies were excited to clue Chase in on how amazing Noon Mark’s baking was.  **Spoiler alert:  the blueberry pie purchased that afternoon at said diner was devoured by approximately ten o’clock p.m. that evening.  No prisoners remained.  We enjoyed spending the afternoon driving through the winding highway roads of New York’s Adirondack State Park, cruising through Lake Placid and the Winter Olympic buildings and taking in the striking scenes of lake and pines. On a whim, we decided to scout out a lake-access road outside of the Tupper Lake area for a potential campsite—we ended up driving right into a spacious parking lot that was home to an AmeriCorp student training center!  We made friends with not only the students (who were all around the same age as ourselves and recently finished with their backcountry training) but also their leaders, all of whom were incredibly welcoming to the Locavaux crew and insistent on giving them gift for the road (Carhart overalls, bug spray, flannels oh my!).  After an evening spent relaxing with our new friends and making dinner on our yet-to-be-used Grill-Cooler, a.k.a the “Grooler” (thank you Frantzen family!), we woke up the next morning for a quick dip in Tupper Lake and an early departure to Hamilton. We made it back to our old stomping ground of Colgate University in Hamilton that afternoon, excited to see some familiar faces and attend our launch party at Good Nature Brewing’s new storefront on Broad Street.  The evening was a major success—by seven o’clock crowds were pouring into the tap room, asking questions left and right of the Locavaux crew regarding our project, the bus and our plans for the future.  Chase managed to parrallel park the bus outside of the storefront, and so bus tours were in high demand during the event.  Needless to say people were extremely impressed with his handiwork so far.  Our three good friends from Colgate, Sam Freccia, Jeff Gordon and Nora Edmunds, proved they are the Locavaux Project’s number one fans by driving all of the way up from Portland, Maine and New York City! The evening was perfect, filled with great beer (I personally recommend the Rabbit in the Rye IPA) and wonderful music provided by the talented “jam machine” from Syracuse, Master Thieves!  The four band members were extremely fun to interview, not to mention excellent providers of some great dancing vibes.  So thank you to Matt and Carrie of Good Nature Brewing for promoting our project and allowing us to use your space to officially celebrate the end of our Kickstarter funding period and thank all of our supporters for their love and support!

At midnight, we celebrated even more great Locavaux related shenanigans with a personalized happy birthday sung by Master Thieves and the entire audience at Good Nature in honor of Locavaux co-founder, Hallie Kohler’s, 22nd birthday!  Happy birthday Hallie!—the Locavaux Project would not be as fun, adventurous nor as artistic in spirit if it weren’t for you!  The remainder of the evening was spent with friends, new and old, at some of our favorite Hamilton late-night hot spots (Hourglass, it had been far too long…).  The rest of our stay in Hamilton was everything a weekend in summer-time central New York should be—a pancake brunch at our good friend Joe Mettler’s picturesque cabin in the woods, some paddle-boating and swimming in Lake Moraine, a late Sunday night BBQ dinner at Joe’s in honor of Hallie’s birthday (with banana bread birthday cake, of course!), and the Locavaux crew’s favorite evening activity:  a bonfire jam session (followed by a quick midnight dip in the lake behind Joe’s cabin!).  We left early Monday morning just a little heartbroken to leave the upstate New York landscape we’ve come to love so much over the past four years but ready and excited for the coming days of filming and travel.  Thank you, all you wonderful friends and family of Hamilton and Colgate, for giving us the best send off we could have asked for!  Next up:  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!


New Hampshire and Vermont

What began as an inconsequential stop to see a few Colgate friends and visit the quaint town of Hanover, New Hampshire (and check out their talked-about farmer’s market) turned into one of the more exciting stops the Locavaux Crew has had so far.  We were fortunate enough to become the focus of a CBS New York intern project thanks to the always-reliant Colgate network of students and alumni-big thanks are in order to Tess Heffernan for reading about our project online and suggesting to her fellow interns to use us for their story!  The seven CBS interns met us in Hanover and proceeded to film the Locavaux Crew perusing the local farmer’s market, giving a tour of the bus, and answering a few questions about the bus renovation, our mission, and ultimate expectations and hopes for the project. The CBS crew was checking out Hanover and stumbled into a local guitar shop, getting a tip from the owner to visit what he considered the ultimate local music venue in the larger New Hampshire-Vermont area—a near-two hundred and fifty-year-old New England tavern in the small town of Hartland, Vermont called Skunk Hallow Tavern.  CBS told the Locavaux Crew about the guitar shop owner’s suggestion, and so the bus traveled to Hartland and arrived at the hole-in-the-wall venue (sans cell phone service) with no idea of what to expect.  The crew agrees that the small, Christmas lights-lit, wood paneled bar (run out of a colonial-style home dating back to the American Revolution) was the most intimate and local scene we have filmed thus far on our journey.  The Skunk, running an open mic night everyWednesday for the last fifteen years, was host to a varied collection of local musicians and singers.  All were extremely talented and passionate to perform with one another, share a few laughs over Long Trail beers, and encourage anyone and everyone to come up and play a few songs or join in on a jam.  The owners, attendees and musicians were all extremely friendly and accommodating to our crew, answering our questions, talking to us about our project, and giving recommendations for local music on our future route.  We were lucky enough to even have a few musicians join us on the bus for (our first!) late night jam session!  Thank you Skunk Hallow for inviting us into your community with open arms-we’ll never forget you!

The next morning, we made our way through Vermont and marveled at the beautiful North East landscape.  The expansive fields butting up to green mountains made for some pretty stellar photo opts and eye oggling.  On a chance exit taken off the highway near Stowe, Vermont, we found ourselves driving up to the house of a fraternity brother of Chase’s, taking in the most incredible views of the town of Stowe and Mount Mansfield.  Thank you to Jimmy Mallon and his family for hosting us at their beautiful home!  Our night off from shooting turned out to be a relaxing evening spent by the bonfire admiring the star-filled Vermont sky.  We woke up refreshed and ready for the drive to camp later that evening in the Adirondacks.  We should add that on our way out of Stowe that morning, we stopped by the local, award-winning brewery, The Alchemist, and tried their infamous IPA, the Heady Topper.  Whoa.  Do yourself a favor and get to Vermont in the near future and try out the Locavaux Crew’s new favorite beer.


Stay tuned--band photos to follow!

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine, what can we say? You introduced us to not only the most vibrant (and eclectic!) styles of music but also fed us the tastiest food we’ve had on the East Coast. Could the Locavaux Crew ask for anything more? We arrived in Portland this past Sunday night and met our gracious host for the next few days, friend and fellow Colgate graduate, Molly Frantzen. That evening, we had the lucky opportunity to attend the exclusively local and popular concert event, Food Fight Portland, which consists of local restaurant staff forming bands of all musical styles in order to compete against one another in a creative and hilarious battle of the bands. Hosted by the incredible Heidi Powell and Spencer Albey, Food Fight Portland was an exciting event to both socialize in and film. We felt like local celebrities as we interviewed talented musician after talented musician, listening to some incredible (and comical) covers and original songs by Portland’s finest in the food industry. The intersection of local music and local food at Food Fight Portland we witnessed and filmed was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Locavaux Crew, and we can’t thank its organizers and participants enough for working with us! Best of luck in the next few rounds to those of you that won! The next few days were spent sampling some of Portland’s finest food (Lobster rolls at Lobster Shack, Ramen at Pai Men Miyake, and fish tacos at La Cantina! We were in foodie heaven) and playing tourist as Molly showed us the beautiful Maine coast in Port Elizabeth and the colorful harbors in her own hometown of Falmouth. On Tuesday night, our last evening in Portland, we were fortunate enough to watch and film the practice session of the talented and crazy cool local marimba band, The Maine Marimba Ensemble. We were so excited to witness a local band with such a different sound than what we had heard earlier. We also met the owner of the carpentry workshop in which they practice, Rick Romano, who was the epitome of support for local music—years earlier, when the group had been performing at a wharf down by the water in Portland with a sign asking passersby for suggestions on free practice space, Rick fell in love with MME’s sound and offered them his studio as a free practice space. If that isn’t community support for local music, then we don’t know what is.


So thank you Portland for feeding our stomachs and filling our ears with only the best food and music that the city has to offer. A big shout out to the hospitable and welcoming Frantzen family for housing us, playing tour guide to the Locavaux Crew and putting up with our rather cumbersome bus in your driveway! And now: hello Hanover, NH!

Onward to Rhode Island

After a great start in Ocean City, MD, we headed north after a spending the night at Chase's house in Hunt Valley, MD.  We decided to take 83N to 81 through Harrisburg instead of trucking it up 95 and spending money on all those tolls.  We stumbled upon Promised Land State Park in eastern Pennsylvania where we spent the night.  The park is beautifully situated around Promised Land Lake with miles of hiking, running and horseback riding trails zig zagging all over which were great to explore in the morning. From there we hopped back on 84 and headed to Providence Rhode Island, stopping briefly to grab lunch with Chase's brothers Sam and Cooper.  Cooper decided at the last minute to join us for the night and we arrived in Providence just in time for a four band set downtown at AS220.  We were also joined by Katie's childhood friend, Oliver Tully, and the Locavaux Crew's friend form Colgate, Nora Edmonds!  The streets were packed with people for the Providence Pride weekend making for quite the lively and enthusiastic crowd.  AS220 is a local community art space that doubles as a venue, bar, and gourmet restaurant serving excellent food.  Check out the pictures below from a few of the acts!  Big thanks to the Tully family for providing a few beds and an amazing breakfast for the Locavaux Crew and friends while in the Providence area.

We've since arrived in Portland, ME and are busy exploring the music and food scenes the city is famous for.   Stay tuned for more pictures and a mini webisode of our first week on the road!

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The Journey Begins

We hit the road on June 12, traveling from Baltimore (where we have been completing the last-minute renovations and stocking up on supplies) to Ocean City. We couldn't have asked for a more stellar, fun band to film as our first stop on the Locavaux tour: Hot Sauce Sandwich, comprised of four Ocean City, MD natives and childhood friends, played at Kirby's Red Onion Grille in Ocean City on Wednesday night, creating a great reggae and rock sound that brought out a dancin' and groovin' local crowd. We were nothing less than thrilled to have these four christen the bus and be the first local band to sign their names on in the inside--we've decided to collect signatures from all artists that we meet! [gallery type="rectangular" ids="102,103,105,99,100,101,104,106,116,107,108,109,110,111,112,113,114"]