Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Well, it's been a crazy few days. If you are following 'A Life Made Simple' on Facebook you may know that our travel day on Sunday did not go as planned. 

I'll have more on that next post - I still have to let you know how the concert and the days leading up to it all went.

We arrived into Las Cruces from Oliver Lee Memorial State Park Thursday evening after an afternoon stop at White Sands - our second visit. LOVE that place.

Friday we were back on the road south - headed for Texas. 

Since we didn't have much to do and it is a short ride from Las Cruces to El Paso, we stopped at the Texas Welcome Center at the State Line. Nice that they had a media room and wifi - it gave us a chance to power up our electronics - we are pretty heavy on the need for electricity these days with 2 computers, 2 dvd players, 1 camera and several e-cig batteries. We are always on the look out for plug ins. Anyway, we had lunch and that is where I worked on the Oliver Lee Memorial State Park post.

A few hours later we carried on to downtown El Paso - we needed to be there by 5. Good that we knew where we were going since we had toured there two weeks ago. 

Picking up the Gordon Lightfoot concert tickets that we won on line from Crysti at the El Paso Convention Centre.

Still hard to believe we won tickets to something and a something as HUGE as this!

Since we now had the afternoon to kill we toured around the downtown a bit more. We missed this area last time up by the Convention Center.

New road work by the Visitor Info office - there is a huge construction project near there - we asked a fellow and he said a new ball park is going in.

With our tour complete we headed back to the van - we had only payed for a few hours. We searched endlessly around downtown El Paso for a place to park for the night. The place is metered to death and all of them said no parking from 2 - 6 am. Darn. We did find a parking lot on the east side that we could pay $4 for the night - for two spots. We stayed for dinner and thought to overnight there but were starting to feel a bit creeped out and so carried on.

We had planned to visit the El Paso Zoo in the morning so we headed there to look for a place to overnight. It wasn't one of our best stealth camping spots but we found a neighbourhood street by a school to park - since it was Friday night we figured we would be good. 

We headed to the Zoo by just before 9 hoping that since it opened at 9:30 am the gates would be open.

I took quite a few pictures at the zoo but I'll just include a few here. Although fun - a zoo is a zoo - right?

The most exciting thing was that it was Cassia's first time to a zoo. 

We thought that the $26 entry for the three of us was worth it. Especially since we didn't have much else to do for the day.

One of my favourites.

We even took the little train ride.

And watched the Asian Elephant - Juno - being exercised and fed.

That took us to mid afternoon.

Then back to the downtown.

Back to trying to find a place to park. We FINALLY found a place just west of the Visitor Center. We weren't sure what to do - there weren't any meters. We looked for signs - nothing. What to do. We decided that we would go look around the town and hope that we didn't return to a ticket or a lock on the wheel. Good news! On our way out we spoke to the security guard at the El Paso Times across the street; he told us it was free to park there because we were in the Entertainment district. Nice.

On our walk around we stopped by the Plaza.

Super excited!

A door was open so we decided to go take a look around.

The location of our original seats. We had asked if Cassia could sit on our laps. The promoter offered to give us three seats on the 2nd level mezzanine if we gave up these tickets. The things we do for our daughter!

Our great parking spot fairly close to the Plaza. We thought about spending the night there but upon our return from the Concert and being in the Entertainment District we decided it wasn't the best place.

Heading back at around 7:00pm through the downtown. Nice to get a chance to see downtown El Paso at night with all the lights.

And what can I say!

We had a phenomenal time at the Concert. I don't even know really how to convey our thoughts. It was an amazing evening!

Mr. Gordon Lightfoot!

Doing very well for 75! He told us that the last time he was in El Paso was 1976! 
"And I was plastered"

For Derek and I it was a trip down memory lane right to our childhoods. We are children of the 70's and grew up with him. Derek says that for him Gordon has been the longest running musician in his life. At the end of the evening driving to the Home Depot we talked about how bittersweet the evening was for us. If Gordon is 75 that just shows how old we are - how life has really moved on.

It only took three songs to knock Cassia out. And she did spend the entire concert on my lap. 

Have you seen Gordon Lightfoot in concert? We were surprised and happy to see that the theatre was full - pretty much. Glad that it isn't just us Canadians that appreciate Gordon. 

If you are in Canada and want to see him check the internet - I see that he has a Canadian tour starting in a few months.

The picture turned out a bit odd. The lighting was great. Gordon and his band played two sets with about a 1/2 hour intermission. In total it was a 2 1/2 hour show. 

One of those times when you wish the end wouldn't come.

My favourite GL songs?

In the Early Morning Rain and Ribbon of Darkness.

Derek's - he has a hard time choosing - most likely The Wreck of the  Edmund Fitzgerald.


We took video with our camera of many of his songs. Here's two of them - the audio actually turned out pretty good considering we were up on the mezzanine.

Amazing - right?!

He's still got it!

The concert is the highlight of our trip this winter and will be hard to beat for the foreseeable future. 

Next up our trip to downtown Tucson…..

We are now in Gila Bend - one our favourite places - I think this is our fourth visit. We stay at a truck stop - I know - a funny place - but we love it here. 

And HOT! We FINALLY found the warmth and are thawing out from the cold winter we have had thus far - it must have been in the mid to high 80's today. 

Not sure how long our wifi will last here - they tend to shut you down after 24 hours or so. We'll either hang here for another night or head north to one of our other favourite parking spots. Once we leave here we won't have wifi for another couple of days so we may be missing in action for a while.


If you are looking for more of Rantin' n Raven we are not hard to find out there in the social media world. We are on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest. See you there!


  1. Sounds like you really enjoy the concert, Love all his songs, my sister is a lifelong fan of his too. I sent you Blog to her.

  2. sounds like a wonderful time! Gordon is The Man! and I'm happy to see you took your little one-even if she fell asleep! - I've put the link to the blog on a couple of Lightfoot FB pages (not the official one) and a site whee there's an active discussion always going on since 1998 about Gordon and his music. He's not 76 until November tho..;) www.corfid.com - Lightfoot site. I am moderator there. safe travels.Char. (Toronto)

  3. Never seen him in concert, but would enjoy hearing him do Edmund Fitzgerald!!

    Safe Travels............

  4. Enjoyed reading about your all seeing Gordon in concert. I see him whenever possible; last time was May 2013 in Grand Rapids, MI. What a fun life you have!

  5. Saw Lightfoot twice in Toronto at Massey Hall. It was quite a treat. It is amazing that he and most of his band have been together for as long as they have. Glad you got to spend an evening with Lightfoot! gordonlightfoot.com is another site run by a fan of his. She does a pretty good job with that site.

    Nice post and nice pictures!


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