We started our zero with a leisurely breakfast in the hotel sharing our table with Bumerang and a lovely couple, Kurt and Sandy from California. They were out for a few weeks driving holiday in New Mexico. We sat there for about 2 hours chatting with them and this set the tone for our whole day.
Our first stop was the visitors Center to check the hiker box for stove fuel. On the way we were pulled over by a guy working outside the visitors Center and he chatted to us and then introduced us to all the other volunteers including the local councillor. Great greeting from a very special town. The woman in the visitors Center was no less welcoming and filled us in on the happenings on the trail, the great spots coming up and other people that had been through.
We then walked up to the grocery store and stocked up for the next few days.
As we were walking across the road we saw a hiker going up the street with a koala on the back of his pack. It’s the other Australian so I hobble/run up the street to say G’Day. Micheal is his name and he started the day after us. He also tells us that there is another Australian the day after him. We Australians are taking over.
After chatting with Micheal we went for a stroll around town. We passed a bar and this guy dressed all in black with a long flowing black floor length jacket, lots of silver jewellery and long black hair walked past us. We thought that was unusual, then we walked around the corner and saw a scooter and knew it had to be his. It was fitted with a trailer full of musical instruments, lots of decorations and all black. I just had to take a photo and as I was circling the rig the black coated guy walks over and we strike up a conversation.
Raven Wolf, he is part Cherokee and has traveled and lived all around the world. When he finds out I am Australian he does the most perfect Australian accent I have heard anyone other than an Australian do. He tells us he will be playing at the pub at about 3 and so we put that into our busy schedule for the day.
Yeti wants to have a sleep in the afternoon and so I head out to take the extra stove fuel back to the hiker box at the visitors Center. It is about 3 so I head back around to the pub to see if Raven Wolf is playing. The pub is running a seniors olympics open mic day so there are all these old musicians of various talent levels performing. Raven wolf is the professional act they put on in between.
When I arrive Raven Wolf is just setting up his equipment. The court yard is full of locals and they all know each other as there is lots of greetings and joking going on between the various tables. All up the crowd numbers about 20 and I soon find out that almost half that number are the performers.
Raven Wolf launches into his first number, Folosom Prison by Johnny Cash but he has made it his own with a heavier rock feel to it rather than country. He then goes on to do some Doors, Stills and Brian Adams all done in his distinctive style. Yeti has got to come and see this, the atmosphere in this place is just great. A friendly group of people out to have a good time listening to music and willing to support anyone who will give it a go. This positive and supportive attitude is one of the things the US does better than anywhere else in the world and I love it. I send Yeti a text, no reply, she must be still sleeping.
Raven Wolf plays for about 40 minutes and then the talent completion starts again. A trio take the stage. The singer is a woman dressed nicely in a black dress and matching sunglasses. The two guitarist look like they could be her father and uncle, blue jeans, western shirts greying hair. They start playing and she is singing in Spanish, a real crowd favourite as everyone soon joins in and are clapping in time. An older couple get up and starts dancing, two old guys join them and they all dance away to the songs for the next 20 minutes. Each time she reaches the end of a song the band gets a rousing clap from the crowd.
By this time Yeti has responded so I tell her she should come down and listen to the music. She says she will but gets waylaided by all the little Art stores in and around the Main Street.
The Spanish trio finish to another round of clapping, hoots, hollers and lots of hugs from the crowd. The atmosphere is like one big family gathering and in the end I think it may have been, for now that the trio have finished 3/4 of the crowd say their goodbyes to each other and leave.
Yeti arrives and Raven Wolf comes over to say hello. I tell him I loved his version of Folsom Prison and this brings a smile to his face. We are treated to two more open mic performers and then Raven Wolf comes back on to perform the last set of the day. We are treated to more Brian Adams and a one of his own songs.
The performers for the afternoon may not have been the most professional. One guy stopped mid song to warm up his fingers on the borrowed guitar after he missed halfadozen notes. We were treated to several ear splitting feedback sessions as the guy mixing got the levels wrong. Some of the performers were just that bit off key but they all performed with a lot of heart and feeling. It was one of the best live performances I had experienced for a long time.
Silver City is a great town and Yeti and I finished the day off just strolling around the now closed shops looking in the windows and at the buildings.