July 15, Arriving in Raymond
After many more freeway exits and farms later, we reached our next stop, Raymond, Washington. We stayed in a neighboring town called Southbend, conveniently just a few minutes from the performance venue. The area was quiet and minimal, half of the town was weaving in and out of the deep forest and placed next to glistening lakes and ponds. There comes a feeling so unique and grounding with being in such a secluded place. Life slows down a little bit when the only things accompanying you are the sounds of nature and a wide open sky above you. The school we stayed at lived up to its memory, from the unique dome shape to the red foam on the walls in the gym.
Our hosts graciously afforded us their care and property. This included the big gym and a field for us to play on to expend our built up energy from travelling on the road. After unpacking and grabbing dinner, we all ran around playing basketball and soccer as the sun went down in the crisp air before going to sleep early for our concert the next day.
July 16, Concert Day
We woke up to a brisk and bright morning. The boys bustled around getting their costumes and bags ready for the first show of the tour. It was an early matinee show to an excited and fun crowd. For a few hours today, Raymond was filled with music from the boys, and many in the audience hummed the familiar tunes and tapped their feet to new ones.
Our dinner was a picnic style pot luck, the staff prepared food and fruit for the boys. We all enjoyed it on the field while the sun slowly set behind the mountains. After a successful first concert and more progress towards crossing into Canada, we all fell asleep for the night in the quiet town of Southbend.