Reading Time: < 1 minute

I broke camp and was on the road by 6:35 am. The morning was again cold, the sky was overcast, and I had a tailwind pushing me along.

At 9:30 I saw flashing lights up ahead, never a good sign; but this happened to be a surveying crew. Two of the guys came over to chat and I found out they worked for NMDOT (Dept. of Transportation). I gave them cards and they wished me luck.

I only had to walk 12 miles to get to my motel in Carrizozo, where I had a reservation. Because of the early start, I arrived in town at 11 am. But before checking in I stopped at the Dollar General and replenished supplies, including soup, tortillas, tuna packs, Swiss cheese, Wheat Thins, Snickers, and Hostess Donettes. It’s really dry here so I also got some lip balm.

When I’d reserved the room at the Four Winds Motel, I explained to Jubin, the owner, that I was walking through New Mexico in honor of my Dad, a WW2 veteran who died last year. Jubin insisted on giving me the Veteran’s discount. Like many small motels, this one is family-owned, and my room is clean, up-to-date, and comfortable.

Of all the jazz pianists whom I admire and love to listen to, you may be surprised to learn that if I could play like just one of them, my choice would not be Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Thelonius Monk, or any of the other greats. I would choose Gerald Wiggins.

Album of the Day: Gerry Wiggins Live at Maybeck Recital Hall. I first heard Wiggins (1922-2008) on a CD featuring Scott Hamilton (one of my favorite tenor sax players). He worked with everyone from Stepin Fetchit to Louis Armstrong to Lena Horn. But this solo album, recorded in Berkeley, shows jazz solo piano at its finest. He plays with sensitivity, richness, and humor.

It started raining this afternoon (and later, hailed). Glad I’m inside tonight!

@ Carrizozo, New Mexico

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