We were headed south by southeast, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs, and by that I mean lack-there-of, began to take hold. It was hotter than a gay biker pulp novel and no one showed up to the show in Phoenix that nobody knew about. Nice guy, but left me in charge to find bands to play with us in a town none of us had ever been. And central Arizona bands got their nose up higher than Teddy Roosevelt’s on Mt. Rushmore. Or something. No one got back to us. So Gypsyhawk had to close an open mic at the Big Fish Pub with three people at that bar annoyed we were interrupting the anecdotes the bartender was regaling them with regarding how much Jameson he can drink. And we had no weed and no booze. At least we didn’t get cattle prodded. (see: Landmine Marathon, and why no one goes to the Big Fish Pub)
Ever sleep in a van at a Wal-Mart parking lot in the middle of the desert? Don’t. Just go to an old Navajo sweat lodge. Scotty was down with disease and sweated it out into the interior of his bench so that the germs can now incubate patiently, waiting to infest a future host. And watching meth addicts up close trying to peer into your tinted van puts even tough guys on edge.
The drive from Phoenix to Las Cruces was a restful and uneventful one. Desert everywhere in every direction spread rocky and solemn, unyielding to life’s need for hydration. And Las Cruces is a dump. Sorry, kids, but your college experience at New Mexico State is one you’re going to regret. We drove around looking for a party to crash. Hurricane Alley gave us the finger. When we asked a nice young gal for a suggestion she said, The Hurricane. Sho’ ‘nuff. Onward to Love’s Truck Stop about 90 miles east of El Paso in Van Horn. That’s when we saw the tail of Hurricane Earl manifested as a massive lightning storm in the center of a black cloud system. It looked like bright white mushroom clouds spread across the night disappearing as soon as they arrived over and over again forever. The winds were classifiable on your insurance forms as Act Of God. All night long the van was a rockin’, not in a good way, as we slept at the truck stop.
Beautiful landscape on the way to San Angelo, Texas. Bright green grass blanketed round hills, shallow crevices, and towering mesas like a Celtic desert. Above it was a light shade of gray as remnants of Earl’s wake remained stretched above us ushering our way through central Texas. San Angelo is a cool town. Most of it looks like an Old West boom town slightly refurbished with all the latest conveniences such as regular paint jobs and a CVS. A cool community with outdoor public theater (Twilight, but it’s Texas, so maybe they don’t know better), a fat dude grilling up sausage sandwiches and quesadillas for cheap from his trailer, and an Eskimo Hut serving drive thru Daiquiris and draft beer. Draconian prices on their Four Loko, however ($4.32??). Anyway, the venue, the Deadhorse, was rad and everyone loved our shtick. We even met a nice lady that let us sleep on her floor and eat her pizza, and didn’t get mad when Andrew spray painted “Gypsyhawk Was Here” in her living room.
Our travels continue to Oklahoma City where we hope to make some Oklahomies, then back down Texas through Dallas, then Houston, then Big Bayou’s home turf.