Road Trip Adventures: Lost, Ghost Towns and Abandoned Railroads

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In the last 48 hours, I crossed “lying-in-the-gutter-on-Route-66″ off my bucket list.

I also saw a wild coyote for the first time in my life.

The road has been magic.
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Saturday night, we were out on the deserted plains of the Salton Sea near a Heron’s nest.

I took a branch and scrawled a magic symbol in the sand and put a rainbow candle in the middle of it, under the stars, and send out good things for all of you that have been with us in some way or another in our journey.

If you’re reading this…. it was about you.

The Herons called out under the stars.

Burke said, “Why do we want for Heaven so badly, when it can be all around us?”
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The road has been good.

We looked for the abandoned.
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We drove for half a day out into the middle of nowhere.

Places where there was only Burke, me and everyone who had ever been put into the Witness Protection Program.

Speaking of “Ghost Towns”…
.
Today’s blog has a soundtrack to listen to as you read.

This is one of my favorite people on earth, Kim Boekbinder.

photo by JB Knibbs

photo by JB Knibbs

On Facebook, she asked for 2 words from people and she would write a 1-minute song for one.

I submitted the two words: “Ghost Town”.

She wrote this to me – and I got to hear it right before we lost reception….

It broke my heart with its brilliance – and you should listen to it while you read the rest of this blog. (And Danger Diary readers and fellow adventurers can download it for free in the next 24 hours only. Thanks, Kim!).

We pushed further out into the desert.

There was an old abandoned railroad line we needed to find for a chase scene.

We twisted down dirt roads not seeing anyone for hours….

going further and further in.

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The sun beat down.

The dirt roads dead ended on us.

The flooding had made some impassable.

We would take another turn.

Turn back.

Dead end.

Turn back again.

Washed out roads.

Turn back again.

The sun came down harder and mocked us.

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Lost.

No cell reception.

Caught in the middle of abandoned roads and ghosts.

We found our railroad.

Surrounded by cross marker graves dotted along the terrain.

I went out and sang for them in this lonely place.

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Some kind of deep fear took me.

Shook me to the core.

I take chances – I pick up hitchhikers, I roam abandoned places, I trespass regularly, I sleep on stranger’s floors and in parking lots.

But this…

Being in the wide open

in the middle of nowhere

sun beating down

dead ends

washed out roads

nobody for miles but the dead

summoned up this deep rooted panic.

I am certain

certain

that somewhere in this world

there is a bunch of bleached out bones

in the desert

that once belonged

to

me.
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On the Road: Hitchhikers, Crashing on Floors, Utah and BEXICO!

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The Wild Road is laid out before me.
I follow her onward…
and she leads to BEXICO!!!

Yep. You heard me right, Bexico.
These weary travelers hit the oasis that is Bex and Nicholas, fellow travelers and wild hearted adventurers, who opened their home to us.
They fed us delicious plump peaches, fine tea, Godiva chocolates and let us use their shower and crash on their floor.
They also give the best hugs.
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While Burke and Nicholas mapped out possible locations for us to scout out using Google Earth -
Bex, who is a fitness and kickass health goddess guru, shared some awesome tips to keep my body feeling good when I’m behind the wheel for long periods of time and she suggested this. Wanted to share with you guys – because it helped me alot!

Go “like” LOVE her over here – because she is a badass and will make your life even better.

With a magic map of possibilities before us,
we hit the road once again.
Two hippie guys were on the side of the road around a mountain bend, hitchhiking.
So many strangers and travelers have been kind to us…
it was our turn to help others on their adventure.
I squealed the van to the side and yelled, “GET IN!”
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Meet Sean and Jake.
They’ve been traveling for the last 5 years.
They hitchhike, they volunteer at festivals, they make jewelry and trade it.
I’m not going to lie…I am in awe of their whole lifestyle.
It’s inspiring to me.
We drove them to a festival and within moments of pulling up – they already snagged two volunteer spots and free tickets.
Jake gifted me an amethyst stone he found in his travels and a copper wire ring he made to thank me for the ride.
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We continued on to the land where rocks get to be Kings and Queens.
They hold court above us.
I look up in awe.
Time to change the heels into the stolen bowling shoes to hike!
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By sunset, the Utah sign was in view. I danced in the glow of the colors at the end of the day.
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I leave you with the words that Sean gave to me as he hugged me goodbye:
“May you travel as long as you want,
and not want as long as you travel.”

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Adventure Blog: Carhenge, Rainbows and a Magic Stray Cat

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We got there before nightfall.
An abandoned homestead from 1833 whistled
as the wind whipped through its empty windows.
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My black markered finger tips plucked at the strings of my guitar
and the 171 year old house sang.
Two shadows of burros walked into view to listen.
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The sun fell from the sky
and the stars stole its place
and lightning raged in the distance.

We slept across from the little house.
We woke up to the sunrise and I played the abandoned house one more song.
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The little stray followed me everywhere.
Didn’t want me to go.
I didn’t want to either.
I could just stay on that little house on the prairie with the strays
forever.
I asked her if she would meet me much later in the afterlife,
if she’d be there when I arrive one day -
she said yes.

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We will be shooting this house in Revolver.
It’s a good place to hide.
A told the little Stray she could be in in it,
if she wanted to be.

The road called loudly…
we had to move on.
There were more things to find.
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Road Style for the Day:  Little House on The Prairie Realness
Dress found in thrift store while on tour in Georgia = $15
Throw on hair flowers to accessorize and DONE!

AND….good news! Guess who had a meeting with the awesome chamber of commerce for the town of Alliance, Nebraska and scored permission to shoot CARHENGE???
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A crucial scene in the film takes place here.
Pocket and Blue whisper secrets between the cars – and she finally reveals a secret she’s been holding on to for too long.
The people of Alliance are amazing – and they are letting us shoot there when Carhenge is closed for an incredible sunset/night fall scene.

The world of Revolver is coming together.
The signs are everywhere if you look for them.
And I do.
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Like our page on Facebook because we are announcing our cast there in the next week – and you are going to freak out.
FREAK OUT.
Until then…see you tomorrow for another adventure blog!

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Adventures on the Open Road: Ghosts, Fashion and WanderLUST

I woke up like this.
Curled in the back of a rental van in a truck stop parking lot in Wyoming.
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Give me adventure.
Give me this wild life of open roads.
I was born with wanderLUST.
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Day 2: ROAD TRIP STYLE
 Black schoolgirl skirt. Worn yesterday, slept in, why take off?
Super Cute “Kim Boekbinder Believes In Me” Shirt. What else do I need?
Oh. Plastic purple bow barrette that I found in a drug store out here. Hell yes.

Something That I’ve Never Seen Before in My Lifetime:
A field of sunflowers as far as I could see.
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“My afterlife looks something like this,” I told him as I drove.
Once when I was battling sadness, I went on a walk and found a 6 foot tall sunflower. I walked up to it and put my face against its face and kissed it – and somehow…everything seemed better afterwards.
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I drove 400 miles today.
I took the back roads because things get more interesting there.
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We found the hidden, the lost, the abandoned.
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I played my guitar for the ghosts.
They whispered words into my ear and I sang them aloud.
They pointed us further West to find the other places that will make Revolver come alive.
We wandered further.
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Adventures on the Road: Rundown Motels and Strangers.

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You and me…
are going on a road trip this week in the Danger Diary.
Come back every day for my photo diaries as we scout for Revolver.
Give me run down motels,
falling apart road side attractions,
the things we left behind,
the old sirens of the road.
Sleeping in the graveyards of yesteryear.
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…Not to be confused with Bugs Bunny,
Bigs Bunny holds a carrot AND a beer.
Every day on this road trip,
I’ll have my “Stranger Yesterday, Friend Today” Feature.
Today is a man named Cody.
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He likes to be “lost”, so I won’t reveal current location.
He lives in a motel here.
He plays guitar outside.
We sang together.
When I met him, he grabbed my hand and twirled me under his arm and back.
He said that he’s a cowboy and when cowboys meet a pretty lady, that replaces the handshake.
I bought him coffee.
He asked me what his spirit animal is. He said his was a dolphin because he likes to play.
I said giraffe. I’d like to see the world from a totally new perspective.
Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 10.01.49 AM We continued on and road on into the sunset.
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Come with me. Click “Like” on the Revolver page – and I’ll tell you all the secret things.
Ride off
into the sunset
with me.

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Alive.
Alive.
Alive.

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Love Letter From The Road To You.

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The yellow lines streak the gravel.
They point me to you…
wherever
you
are.

The magnets in our souls
that we swallowed and hid in former lifetimes
still work really well.

A van.
A Salvation Army blanket.
A truck stop shower.
Sleeping in the parking lot with the hum of the freeway at night.

Do you know the real reason I crave those truck stops?

Because everyone inside them
is not from there.
Everyone is a stranger.

I will never see a single one of them again.

They will never see me again.

And in this moment….
we can be our selves….
we can be whatever we want
uncensored.

That’s when I love you best.

You never have to
hide
from me.

From the outlaw stolen internets of the road to your wild fucking heart.

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The Debut of Priscilla Bow: How To Choose a Stage Name

In the last 24 hours, the world was introduced to Miss Priscilla Bow, a vintage burlesque beauty with siren allure and pin-up flair.
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I was there for her birth of sorts.
In a sunny window seat of a coffee house, surrounded by my artist barista friends, in a whirlwind of afternoon lattes, black cat eye liner and stolen pens….her name was chosen.
By nightfall, Miss Priscilla Bow took the burlesque stage of the Slipper Room for the very first time as Marilyn Monroe sang over the speakers.
I was standing on the side of the stage – in awe, in near tears, watching this burlesque beauty do what she was born to do….
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Priscilla Bow broke through all of her fears and OWNED the stage like the Queen she is. I feel lucky I got to witness it. People like Priscilla – the ones that dive into their wild adventurous dreams – always have my heart and my respect.
All my greatest heroes, both living and dead, had some kind of massive transformation in their lifetime, where they went from the person they were born to the person they were born to be.

Stage names have almost a mystic quality to them – the sound of the syllables of what you choose to call yourself is one of the most crucial parts to set the mood you want to create around you.

The perfect stage name is in itself a magic spell.
And here’s my tips to help you nail it!

Ask Yourself This Very Important Question First:
If your stage name is on a theater marquee without your photo…
does it still give the “vibe” of what you are about?

Make Your Name Tell Your Story.
Look at the “core” of who you are and who you want to be.

♦  Do you want to evoke a vintage charm to your name?
♦  Is your character playful?
♦  Do you want to rock that bad boy or femme fatale vibe?
♦  Are you looking to create a worldly and adventurous sounding name?

Pack Power Into Your Stage Name.
Make it meaningful to you.
Some ideas are:

♦  Take a name from your ancestors – you can use a first, middle or last name for inspiration.
♦  Take a name that originated from the country your lineage came from.
♦  Take a first or last name from an inspiring name in one of your favorite books, films, works of art or old myths.
♦  Play with names of some of your own inspirations and heroes. Change a letter up and create something special for you.
♦  Look at maps and search for interesting city and street names…there’s beautiful treasures in there for last names.
♦  Take a name from a song that had a huge influence on you.

Make It Unique and Make It Memorable.
There’s certain names that just “stick” in your brain, and certain names that are easily forgotten. Give yourself “sticking” power!

♦  If I google search your name, I want YOU to come up first. Don’t pick something so common that people will have to go through 5 pages of google to find you!
♦  Make your name easy to pronounce for all.   If someone is unsure of the pronunciation of your name, they won’t say it aloud – and you want the WORLD saying your name. Make it easy!

How I Found My Name
I wasn’t born Veronica Varlow, but I was born to be her!

I have always been obsessed with the films of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the classic femme fatales. I wanted my name to represent that and harken that vintage glamour.

I chose Veronica (inspired by the Archie Comics and also by Veronica Lake) and I chose Varlow because I wanted the alliteration of having my first name and last name start with the same letter (like Marilyn Monroe.)

I simply took “Harlow” of Jean Harlow and swapped the H to a V.
My name carries that vintage screen queen sound to it before anyone even sees a photo of me.
AND it subconsciously makes people think they’ve heard my name before….like the first night I performed and a man came up to me and said, “I’ve heard your name everywhere! So glad to see you perform finally!”

Now that’s magic!

Have you picked a stage name for yourself?
How did you come up with it?
From Backstage…
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….to the Gutter -
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the two of us raven-haired burlesque girlies send you our love.

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