There was a long drive after Denver. Mountains most of the way until Salt Lake City, it would be too dangerous to do after a show, we’d have to get up early.
Denver: Altitude or attitude?
Maybe it was the neighborhood. The venue? The woman who snapped in my face at the merch table, the long drive up from Kansas City? Maybe it was tour exhaustion or combination of events stringing us all a little under the mile high city… or maybe it was Easter Sunday and, as a Jew, the thought of Jesus re-animating himself behind a rock — whatever it was, it set off my acute Kinemortophobia? That’s right, Phishead zombies, scruffy bearded, slitty-eyed dudes in wool that looked like ZOMBIE JESUS! The welcome wagon at rocky mountain high.
There we were, drunk on two Jameson’s sitting beneath the worlds most awkward mural with nothing to eat, talking shit.
By the time the Wendy’s drive-thru in the Steel Train van moment emerged it was too late for a dry baked potato. Around 6am, I would have one of my famous cramping episodes and instead of going into detail, just watch this.
We lost an hour because of my break dancing uterus. Another hour getting an oil change, about 15 minutes looking for not truck stop food to eat… and 5 minutes smoking. I’m still in my Old Navy hot pink sleep pants when we enter Wyoming and pass Laramie. The Steel Train van is 90 minutes in front of us; there is snow up ahead. 10 miles an hour. 3 hours into a six-hour drive. When we lost the light the snow picked up, it was so thick turning on the brights resembled something like traveling through a space time continuum, its density was otherworldly. We stowed our distractions and watched the road. David making sure that you turn into the swerve should that happen. Holly and I sat with crystals clenched in our right hands, our left hands clenched to one another. We had to get off that road. I was holding crystals and talking to my dead grandfathers.
We pulled off just after Park City, one exit past any hotel. We needed chains to go forward and chains to go back. Our unchained situation keeping us chained to a gas station. We parked in the first one we found. Still in pink pants and slippers, knee deep in snow. We had ten minutes, grabbed whatever we could and for the first time the entire trip felt thankful we were packed in like sardines. The body heat and the gear kept the car warm for the nine hours we kind of slept.
Nedra, our gas station mother, working her morning shift gave us cinnamon sticks and solace. Her friend was driving up from Salt Lake; the snow was easing up down the mountain. We (everyone else NOT in pink pajamas) dug ourselves out, thanked Nedra and started crawling again. Then, a clearing about 15 minutes away from the gas station. No snow. Clear skies, it was 7 in the morning.
We finally checked into our hotel and went back to sleep.
Salt Lake City would wind up being the best show of tour, rumblings of Machines, an old Jealous Girlfriends tune would get played during sound check, and the love would spread around like a stoned rose. One more show of tour and we were happy to be alive.