As the crew prepares to wrap up the tour tonight at our GPS Mountain-view Party (coordinates here), our own Beervangelist had a moment to reflect on how far the crew has come and what it means to craft…
September 30, 2014 | Fred Bueltmann
As our Road Home to Craftsmanship Tour
schedule came together, we wrestled with the Omaha to Denver leg. For a number of reasons, we had to push Omaha’s event to Monday, thus making a challenging travel leg to get to Denver in time for our Mountain View Cookout, the penultimate stop on this crazy trip.
Our caravan divided into a few smaller groups, each with their mission. The ever capable and tenacious Dixie and EZ would take the RV and support crew, while entertainers, Tim and Pride of Gypsies hung back to hit the Reverb Lounge.
In the way back machine, I had considered taking the train as our final leg, but it didn’t pan out. The idea came back to me, as I considered how we would get to Denver in time, and in any shape to host our industry friends. Driving through the night was possible and would be necessary for some, but I was also interested in keeping my camping merit badge intact. I supposed that if the bed is moving West at a high rate of speed, it’s not lodging – it’s traveling!
We wrapped up the Reverb Lounge, and had a beer with our friends at Nebraska Brewing Company, Angela and Tyson, who took me to the train station and Nicholas to his hotel, as he was flying back to Chicago in the morning. My 11:55 pm departure turned into a 2:15 am departure, but it allowed me to grab a bite in Omaha’s cozy Old Market neighborhood before heading out.
After the sleep of the dead in my roomette, I awoke to sunrise over the plains, and figured out how to navigate the shower/dressing room. I embraced my good fortune to have a hot shower and dry towels – the gymnastic maneuvering of tiny spaces notwithstanding.
Train cars have always been a reflective place for me. The movement, horizon and history all drum up a wistful, imaginative state. It’s hard to believe that we’re getting into our final stretch. We’ll camp near Denver in our Mountain View site tonight, and then join our thousands of brewery friends and fans in Denver for the GABF. I am looking forward to it, while its intensity and size also feels like a strong contrast to the feel of our tight little #CarharttWoodsman tribe that has been moving West together for nine days or so.
I feel the metaphors of this trip growing stronger. Community and creativity have loomed as major connectors for all of the craftspeople we meet, no matter that we have wildly different backgrounds and objectives.
I also find the people we’re connecting with are universally about working hard, for the purpose of giving something beautiful and true to the world. The craftspeople we’ve interviewed have also been a tenacious bunch. Their will and determination to continue giving through their work is quiet, yet immoveable.
In consecutive interviews we asked “What if you couldn’t work with your hands anymore and couldn’t do your work?” None of our last three interviews; a metalworker, a painter and a musician/painter accepted the premise.
“I would figure it out and do it,” mused Tugboat the metalworker, who I later learned is relearning his craft after sustaining a severe loss of vision in one eye.
“If I had to bash my head against the canvas to do it, I would,” replied Kyle without hesitation.
Nicholas quietly, but emphatically stated, “If I couldn’t do this, I wouldn’t be here,” which his eyes told me as, “To stop me, you’d have to kill me.”
I’m encouraged by this tenacity and also impressed how it is balanced with another major theme that has been ringing in my head and falling off my lips since the beginning of this tour. My horsemanship background gives me a deep appreciation for the concept of having soft hands on the reins, which has translated on this trip to the phrase, “It takes a loose grip.”
The idea of giving up some control, and letting paths and ideas develop, while still looking forward, has shown itself as a significant part of our quest to understand craftsmanship. Making things work with online casino
what you have, being resourceful and drawing inspiration from your surroundings, all thrive with a looser grip – soft hands. It’s not letting go, it’s quieting yourself to allow subtleties to be heard and new ideas or directions to develop.
This trip has been a huge example of this. We have four or five different groups, each with their objectives, yet we’re moving across the country as a tribe, as a family. We’re figuring out campsites, meals, launch events, and side trips to find craftspeople, all while filming interesting, compelling people around us. While complex for sure, this group has been remarkable in its soft hands, its ability to guide with a loose grip. Feeling it come together with so much positive attitude and willingness to share space, while supporting one another, has been quite amazing and my solo overnight jaunt in a train car allowed the emotional impact of this bonding to bubble up putting me in a state of awe.
It’s this relationship and context that makes the GABF and its throngs of brewers, fans and industry to not seem in contrast to this trip, like I originally imagined. Instead, America’s greatest stage for beer, is a metaphorical sibling to the Road Home to Craftsmanship Tour
. Our tour reflects the ideals of our craft world, equally but differently presented at the GABF. A group of people with a multitude of objectives, moving forward creatively, working hard to give to our community, with soft hands. Sharing vision gracefully and resourcefully with quiet, immovable tenacity.