Crystal Creek Boys

Playing Hill Country Music since 2008.
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Crystal Creek Boys, Lonesome Heroes, The Black – Oct. 20th 2011 – Triple Crown

This is gonna be fun.  We haven’t seen or played with the Lonesome Heroes since our Wyoming, Montana, Idaho excursions.  Their new album has been the most played record in my car since I obtained it several months ago.  It’s awesome.  If you haven’t heard it yet than come on out and give it a listen LIVE!  Plus, The Black?  It’s gonna be a dance yer ass off kinda evening.

 

October 20th, 2011 – Triple Crown – 10pm – $5.00



Grebe Lake

After the grueling hike to Heart Lake, we thought we would do something a bit shorter when the gals arrived.  Grebe Lake is a short three mile hike, but takes you to one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been.  The lake has Arctic Grayling, Rainbow Trout, Trumpeter Swans, Mosquitoes, Caddis Flies and hosts Bald Eagles and Osprey.  The fishing was quite good, we caught many fish although they were pretty small.  At one point we actually witnessed an Osprey diving into the lake and successfully catching a fish, awesome.  Here is some of what we found out there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Hard Drive was closer to my heart than I thought.

When one broke, the other followed.  I lost a lot of stuff I wish I still had- song lyrics, photos, music, etc.  It set me  back for a while, as now I’m back to a slow computer, and a bitter attitude toward posting.  I’ll try to get over it.

The Hike: Heart Lake

It all started as most things do, as an idea.  Matt and I had been in Yellowstone National Park for about three weeks at this point and had yet to make an adventure inside the park itself.  In preparation for the arrival of two friends, Nikkye Reanne and Cindy Jacoby, we decided we would do some back country camping as a learning experience for ourselves.  We went down to the Ranger Station to get our permits and reserve a campsite near Heart Lake.  The kind young lady we spoke to informed us that most sites at Heart Lake were already taken except one on the far side just twelve miles down the trail.  In her sweet kind way she said quite simply ” Well it’s only twelve miles, not a bad hike at all…” to which we said, “Oh, well if it’s just twelve miles we should be fine.”  In hind sight, twelve miles is really not that bad at all.  Three hours in and three out, right?  Not when you have an eighty pound pack strapped to your back and the trail is straight up hill both ways.  We hiked about six miles when the lake first came into view and we thought we must be getting close and as we stepped out of a young forest burned in the Great Fires of 1988, we paused just above a geyser basin to peer out across the lake and what a view we had.  We trudged on and came to the lake shore where a Ranger Station was with a map clearly showing us that we were in fact just over half-way to the campsite.  I should say by this point we were pretty tuckered out practically cursing the young Ranger mocking her in a sweet tone, “Well it’s only twelve miles…”  We hiked on.  About one mile down the sandy shore we get back on a more traditional trail with three or four miles to go.  We begin passing campsites, the ones we couldn’t reserve, and start to feel like we’re finally getting close.  We pass the first site, then the second and figure just around the corner will be the trail head to take us to our campsite.  After many corners and no campsite we really start to question the advice of that sweet little Ranger we spoke to because by our calculations we’d passed the twelve mile mark a couple miles back.  We pause for a moment and ask ourselves, ” Could we really have missed our campsite?  No way, the Ranger must be mistaken.”  Finally after the most grueling hike I’ve ever been on, we arrive at the trailhead for our campsite.  We’re getting close.  We head off down the trail and it’s looking like a really nice spot to spend the night.  Two creeks come together before flowing into Heart Lake and our site is right where they come together.  But before we get there we came to a creek crossing, which normally would be no problem but nobody had been to this site since the year before and high water had washed out the trail markers on the far side of the creek.  We scanned the area and found the normal river ford to be way too deep for us to cross but we hiked upstream a ways and found a log jam that got us about half way across the creek.  We then tossed stones into the water until we could cross the creek and rejoin the trail.  It was then we found the most beautiful place we had seen since being on the trail, our campsite.  Although the mosquitoes were out in numbers and large enough to carry you off, we made camp and lifted our bags out of reach of bears.  That night dinner was crackers, tuna salad and a sandwich that Morgan had made us the day before.  It was the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten.  The next morning we awoke and got ready to go fly fishing on the Heart River that flows out of Heart Lake.  It was about a two mile hike to the spot but in no time we were hooking up on fish although not in great numbers but great in size.  A four pound Cutthroat Trout is large and especially on a fly rod.  As quickly as we began to fish we had to wrap it up knowing full well the long hike that awaited us but not before running into a back country Ranger who checked our permits and followed us to our campsite to check if we had properly stored our food and reserved the site.  So we brought him down to the creek crossing and he wondered how we made it across the creek the first time.  We smiled and said we’d be glad to show him and across the log jam we went.  He must have been surprised to see that we had in fact done everything correctly because he explained to us that we weren’t like most Xanterra employees who come to get wasted and abuse the park’s trails and campsites.  He hung around for a bit telling Ranger jokes and stories relentlessly until he apologized explaining that back country Rangers are not used to seeing people and to excuse his onslaught of words.  It was then time to pack

up and hike out.  We set out after lunch past all the campsites, through the geyser basin and up a steep two mile hill to the edge of the forest where we came across two hikers sprinting down the trail in our direction.  They explained that two miles ahead they had been just ten yards from a huge male Grizzly Bear and had almost shot the bear with the pistol they were carrying.  We talked them out of hiking back to the Ranger Station and into hiking out with us altogether because there are no documented cases of bears attacking groups of four or more.  They calmed down and agreed that was the best plan and we set off together down the trail and almost immediately starting seeing bear tracks coming directly toward us.  The bear had been following them for the two miles they had backtracked.  Let me tell you it’s an unnerving feeling to head straight down a trail with bear tracks and fresh scat everywhere you look and we made as much noise as we could to let the bear know we were coming down the trail.  We had four hikers, one pistol, two cans of bear spray and about seven miles to go.  Obviously the hike out took just a fraction of the time as the hike in!  It’s very difficult to describe the feeling we had when we saw the car parked at the foot of the trail, and all the smiles and handshakes turned to agony from the sore muscles we never knew we had.  We could barely walk for the next few days and that is not an exaggeration.  The next day we limped into the Ranger Station to report to the Ranger that we had lived and filled her in on the bear encounter.  When she asked us how it went we simply replied, “Oh not bad for just twelve miles.”

Crystal Creek Boys, Lonesome Heroes and Old Faithful

From the natural wonderland that is Yellowstone National Park, two bands come together for a day filled with sights and sounds of nature and humanity.  Enjoy.

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We found the Heroes in the parking lot of Old Faithful, we decided we’d go and see the sights before playing the Parkwide Talent show later that night.

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This is Old Faithful, just before eruption.  It was pretty awesome, the best time to see it though is late at night under a full moon.

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The Heroes on a boardwalk on the way to Grand Prismatic.

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Matt trying to catch some dinner.  Upstream Grant Cross was bathing in the Madison River and probably drove away the fish.

 

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The Lonesome Heroes closing out the Talent Show at Old Faithful Lodge.  Crystal Creek Boys took 2nd place in the show but the best part was getting the Heroes in on the fun.

 

After sleeping in the car, Jackson Hole, Wy

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We are here on Jackson Hole- recovering from a night at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. We have stumbled into a little coffeehouse called Jackson Hole Roasters (which is a far cry from Redbud Roasters, but it’ll do 🙂 ) this is our first time out of the Lake Area in Yellowstone since we arrived on the 4th of June. We plan to hike around Jenny lake this afternoon. nicks up here reppin D’blaZios. check in later

Yellowstone: The Drive- part 01

Entry 02:

As promised, I am trying diligently to keep up with the blog, but the lagging internet connection makes it a pretty slow process… The last post I made took three days to upload- hopefully this one will be better.

So… First things first- BYE BYE! (said uncle Matt to Ivy Alice Lochman, the cutest little girly on the planet.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We left our dear hometown on June 4th, in pursuit of bears and bison, thermal features, songs, and other things.  Our final launch pad was Wake the Dead Coffeehouse, as it was the last source of fuel (awesome coffee…) before heading out Ranch Road 12 into the great unknown.  (did you know that for at least two thirds of the trip from San Marcos, TX to Gardiner, WY there is nothing but gas station coffee to drink? Interesting/depressing factoid…) We left town around 5 pm so coffee was going to be essential to the success of our mission (our mission being nothing less than traveling 1600 miles to work in Yellowstone National Park for 4.5 months)

It seemed almost poetic that our route took us directly through the Devil’s Backbone, considering that it has been such an inspiration to our songs. We are very hopeful that the beauty of Yellowstone will be as effective a muse.

San Marcos is right around 620 ft above sea level and we had heard that acclimating is an important thing at higher elevation.  We were hired to work and live at Lake Lodge which is just along the northwest shoreline of Yellowstone Lake, at approximately 8,000 feet above sea level, (definitely not 620 ft…)  Anyway, I have this phone app that has an altimeter which we found really fun to watch along our journey. I think we were approaching Amarillo when I snapped this screenshot… As you can see it is a compass and gives your coordinates (which I’m too lazy to look up on google maps right now), and it gives your altitude along with some other groovy little bits of info.  I took readings all the way up to Yellowstone. As you all know, Texas is big.  So being born and raised in Texas, Nick and I are no strangers to long drives, and ever changing scenery.  Hell, San Marcos lies directly along Edwards Plateau with half the town on flat black land prairie, and the other sitting in rolling hill country terrain…  So on we ventured through this great state.  I was a little disappointed to pass through Lubbock at night.  There was a period of several months where Lubbock was a big reoccurring theme in my life, so it would have been nice to see it… Maybe on the ride back to Texas we’ will time it better.  I hear that you can visit Buddy Holly’s childhood home and stuff… We did catch a couple of The Beaumont’s highway references while passing through…  I love The Beaumont’s.  I can’t wait to see ’em upon my return at the old Triple Crown.  We were starting to get pretty tired and so we decided that since we got such a late start and because we had given ourselves plenty of time to travel we would stop somewhere around Amarillo and crash in the van, and cross into New Mexico in the morning.  When we finally arived at our randomly selected “Parking Area”, we stepped out to relieve the bladder and were both surprised to smell a strange and pungent odor.  We got back in the van and compared notes.  Yup, It stunk out there.  With windows tightly sealed we passed out and slept one of the most uncomfortable nights of our lives.  We awoke to this:

 

 

 

 

 

We drove out of the “Parking Area” and noticed that to our left was a giant landfill.  What a way to welcome our out of state guests! Endless horizon and the odor of acres an acres of buried garbage. “Where the rabbits rush, around the… trash…”

On to Day Two of our Adventure.  We awoke sitting beside that highway in the Panhandle of Texas with crooked necks, and no coffee for miles.  Drive.  Then Around 10:30 I received a text message from Ms. Molly Molinowski, saying that she had learned Blaze Foley’s “Big Cadillac” and had just finished a new song as well.  She was one of our favorite songwriters that came to the doc screening the night before. Inspired. Awesome.  I replied: “Sweet! We’re in a little town called Dalhart up in the pan handle…” It was just past Dalhart that we noticed this little opportunity to express our views on Big Farm (not to be confused with Big Pharm, though the expression would be about the same…): We were one of the first bands to be asked to play at the Saturday Farmers Market in San Marcos.  We have since played several times since then and it is always an honor to do so.  This photo is dedicated to all the hardworking farmers that put so much effort into providing delicious, healthy, organic produce to us in San Marcos.  I am proud to call you my friends, and even more proud of the contribution you make in San Marcos.  It might seem like the odds are stacked against you, but just remember that beyond the quality food and other products you make available, your biggest contribution is the inspiration you provide to the next generation of consumers and farmers and San Marcians.  There is a better way.  Just to be clear: the Crystal Creek Boys will support you any way we can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, off the soap box, back in the van: here are some pics of old Dalhart, TX:

Dalhart’s a dusty old town with a population of 2,000 or so, on Hwy 87 just bfore the Rita Blanca National Grassland and the border of Texas.  It definitely qualifies for our upcoming Tiny Towns in Texas Tour. It had that oldschool Grapes of Wrath type charm, whatever that means.  I’ll bet that somewhere in Dalhart is a tiny cafe with checkered table cloths and the world’s best coffee and apple pie- or at least I’ll bet that there used to be one.  Not far past Dalhart we saw a couple of important signs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finally arrive in New Mexico, and the scenery changed almost immediately.

Stay tuned for part 02…

Yellowstone: The Pre-Adventure

Entry 01:

Nick and I have taken jobs at Yellowstone National Park for the summer 2011.  We are hoping to have some time to write new songs, see some animals, go fishing, etc. but so far I haven’t had a single day to do any of that stuff… I’m just now getting around to posting in the blog-

It is hard to leave a place as awesome as San Marcos even to go to a legendary place like Yellowstone, but sometimes you’ve gotta vacate just to make room in the old noggin…  Before we left we had a bunch of stuff to take care of…  One thing that we were lucky enough to squeeze in was a recording session with our good friend and fellow San Marcian, Ben Worley-

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It was a blast and I cant wait to hear the tracks.  If you haven’t heard Ben’s stuff than you really should when you get the chance.  He is one hell of a song writer.  And a hell of a performer to boot….

We also had a last CCB show at Tantra Coffeehouse and a Lochman Bro’s Send Off Party the following weekend (also at Tantra Coffeehouse). It was one of the most amazing nights I’ve ever had…  Whistle and Fish played and there was a mustache cake made by our good friends (also fellow San Marcians) Becky and Sara.

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 Oh and a first for both the Crystal Creek Boys and for Tantra:  Cody Proposed on stage!  Crazy!

It was a great night.  Followed by another great day during which I (Matt) got to put a couple banjo tracks down on Whistle and Fish’s new record- Can’t wait to hear that Album as well!

As if our last weekend wasn’t busy enough, we were privileged to attend a songwriting workshop by Kevin Welch.  A great way to oil up the old inspiration machine before taking it 1600 miles into the wilderness.  It was such a great time, and we met some awesome folks to boot.

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 Kevin really helped to jump start what I hope is a creatively productive summer. Thanks man!

Oh yeah AND I had to get a root canal the day before we left 🙁 

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We said goodbye to all our favorite people- and for our last night in Texas we invited all of our favorite songwriters over to watch a documentary about the late great Blaze Foley which was loaned to us by our friend Gigi.

 

We just got internet hooked up here in Yellowstone and its pretty slow but I will try to catch up with all these posts…. Next up- Driving to Yellowstone.