When we last heard from our summer correspondents Randi Somers and her 11-year-old grandson Jesse, they had driven and camped their way across the country, from Homer, Alaska to the East Coast... and they'd just come from the top of the Empire State Building. During their journey, Randi and Jesse have taken in everything from the glitz of Las Vegas to thunderous Niagara Falls, and after stopping by our nation's capital, they turned around to head west through the prairies. They've met quite a few characters along the way, including a new friend in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho named Mike Oehler. He's the author of The Hippy Guide to Survival in Y2K and he lives in seclusion in an underground home he built on a woodsy homestead. Mike talked a little philosophy with Randi as he led her through the hills to his home.
I think I'd rather have 40,000 friends. Well, on their way home, Randi and Jesse searched for the real American West. And they found it in the Black Hills, where a a four-man band called The Cowboys played authentic Western music.
Randi and Jesse took in a performance and talked to singer Jim Lovell, from Hot Springs, South Dakota..
Lovell: "Western music is basically about nature...the hills...and some about the hereafter. The cowboy wondered a lot about the hereafter and sang about it.
Randi: "What's the difference between Western music and the country western music of today?"
Well, after two and a half months on the road, Randi and Jesse have made it safely back to Homer, Alaska. Randi's already back at work and Jesse's just started the sixth grade. I talked with them about their cross-country journey.
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