Tour Itinerary can be found HERE
Day 8 – July 21, 2018 – Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Back in the USA. I think the best part about this is our phones now work like we expect them to. Not to say that most of us would not have loved to have stayed in the Lodge Homes a few more days though. Crossing the border was a fun and new experience. When we got there we got a visit by Officer Murphy. She was great, funny, and really was having a bunch of fun with us. There was a time that Carol and Emily were talking back and forth on the radio, and to our surprise Officer Murphy decided to talk back to us. She gave Carol some fun grief. Lots of laughs.
Now to a church that we have been in before. Again, it is always great to be in a familiar place, and love how gracious our hosts are. You can tell the kids are wearing down now, but that has not changed the way they perform. On top of great performances we had our first round of spaghetti on tour. I think they are all looking forward to our morning and evening performances tomorrow. A sense of routine helps us all!
Day 7 – July 20, 2018 – Banff National Park / Jasper National Park – Alberta, Canada
Today was a super fun experience day for almost all the singers, being the first time in this part of the country. It was a lot to see in one day for most. Our first stop was in Banff National Park to see one of the wonders of the world, Lake Louise. If you ask any singer that has been there before, it is truly awe inspiring to witness this lake. The kids had just a little bit to enjoy the experience then off to lunch to try a new thing with New G – a glacier.
Our next stop was to the Columbia Ice Fields, or what many in New G simply refer to as the glacier. Located in Jasper National Park, it has grown in popularity over the years, and the glacier has been in what only feels like a rapid retreat from this world. So while New G has been there several times, we have never hired the company to drive us on the super large bus. What an awesome experience. It was so cold, and we had an opportunity to get some fresh glacier water, and enjoy our ride. You might ask some of your singers about how fun our drivers were!!
Day 6 – July 19, 2018 – Golden BC, Canada
We journeyed into Canada today. It is always exciting to provide an opportunity for us to get all these kids from one country to another. While I know that it is a lot of logistical work, they get to see what the process looks like, and how to do it. The border was interesting with our current political climate, and while I think we are always welcome, there was a bit of a feeling that they were going to do extra work to do their job.
However with that said, we made it in, and made it to another familiar church that we have sung in before. It was a super hot day in a church with no air. The kids still gave it their all, and delivered yet another amazing performance. Of course one of the most awe inspiring parts of this trip is just being in the Canadian Rockies, the views are just breath taking. Now to one of my favorite spots on earth, Banff National Park, and Lake Louise!!! Should be back on cell service in just a few days.
Day 5 – July 18, 2018 – Glacier National Park, Montana
One of my favorite parts of this trip is this day. This is some of the most beautiful parts of the United States Rocky’s, and seeing some of the last glaciers in this area is so awe inspiring. The Glacier fed lakes, are a beautiful emerald green, and the water is a refreshingly cool temp.
New G Reserved 6 of the old 1930’s i believe Jammer Busses. If you do not know what those are, please feel free to check out the pictures of them. They are an old bus that has a rag top that pulls back to be a convertible, with windows that roll down for the open air feel. We crossed the continental divide, and rode the whole trip this year. The kids got to play in the snow, and enjoy the sights that only one can see from this trip. I am hoping to edit my time lapse of the trip so that some of you that have been here can see what we saw. Enjoy!!
Day 4 – July 17, 2018 – Kalispell, Montana – Performance Day
Today was a great drive day, we got to load at 8:30 to depart at 8:45 again today, which I think is starting to spoil us with some extra sleep. Nonetheless, we got rolling on what was going to be a bit lighter day of driving but ran into some traffic for the buses. The plus to the traffic was we drove through – what Sam Porter said – was one of the largest natural glacier fed lakes in Montana. It was so beautiful. I am trying to upload a time lapse of the drive to our YouTube page, so watch here, or Facebook for that video.
We arrived at a very familiar church for all of us. Emily and I remember singing here in 1999, and the church remembers all the performances in the 2000’s. The pictures will help most of you that have been on this tour to remember the church. It is always a very welcoming, and responsive church, and with the extra lights we have really found ways to light up the front of the church. The kids are still singing great. We are pretty excited because tomorrow is the Red Jammer buses at Glacier National Park, one of my favorite places on this tour.
Seven minutes of time lapse video with no sound of us driving through the mountains in Montana: https://youtu.be/5s1adIMxBsQ
Day 3 – July 16, 2018 – Livingston, Montana – Drive Day
Today was a great drive day. After another early start time, and a short stop to get some breakfast, we were off on our long drive for the day. The kids still have some great energy, and are managing themselves well. The talk amongst the sponsors was how responsible they were at the first hotel. We get another shot tonight to see if they are all still so well behaved again.
On our trip today we were driving through Montana and started to look for a lunch stop. It is not as easy in this part of Montana to find a place. So as we rolled into a small town we found a diner that could seat around 125 people, and called them to see if they wanted to give it a shot…they said YES! It was a great experience for their staff, and us. Back on the bus for our daily worship, and for our first movie of the trip, The Greatest Showman, what a great movie. Next, the local pizza shop, and hotel to handle us for the evening. Now let’s get some sleep to prepare for our next performance!
Day 2 – July 15, 2018 – Huron, South Dakota – Mount Rushmore
For a Sunday morning I think we got some extra sleep right off the bat. We moved to another church this Sunday rather than singing at the same church we were in the night before. A lot of those families were with us again though. It was great to hear how well each of the singers did, and how much the host families loved them.
The second church was just as fantastic as the first, and we had a really good sized morning crowd. The kids are really singing well right now. I am not sure what is happening so early, but they are really beginning to connect to the music, and deliver the message well.
After a great lunch we were off to our next stop, Mount Rushmore. When I asked my bus how many had not been there before I was surprised to see that it was more than half the bus. Needless to say it was a great stop, and they got to enjoy dinner in the super small town of Keystone. I think they enjoyed the culture and the feel of the day. Another travel day tomorrow, so we should be able to get some rest early! Best of all, the rest of our family that is participating in the RRT show Legally Blonde arrives tomorrow evening as well.
Day 1 – July 14, 2018 – Huron, South Dakota
Today was a super early start. I know that my family was up at 5AM, and we all woke up to a nice rain that the area had not had in a long time. We asked each singer to arrive at 7AM, and most got there on time, some ran a little bit late. The best part, is the rain did not stop any of the work crews getting their job done. As Byron always says, stick with the plan. The worship service was fantastic with great words from our send off speaker Paul Hart, and from Ashland’s Pastor, Doug Walter. Before we left, the good Lord gave us some clear weather to say good bye to our families for two weeks, and take a great group picture.
We journeyed further on this first day than I can remember we ever have on the first day. All the way to Huron, South Dakota. The church was fantastic, and very welcoming at Riverview UMC. The kids did a great job setting up, and started their summer tour with a great bang. We received lots of great praise from the patrons and the Pastor. One of the best compliments of the night was they were comparing us to some main stream artist that have been in their church, and said that we were the best they have seen or heard in a long time. Some were still emotional while talking about it. Great start to day 1…Now here we come Mt. Rushmore.