Crystal Creek Boys

Playing Hill Country Music since 2008.

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…

One Response to “Yellowstone: The Drive- part 01”

  1. Alice (mama) says:

    Mike and Kelly are trying to feed Ivy mainly food from the Farmer’s Market. Particularly Kevin’s. That ‘s really “influencing the next generation!” as you commented in your blog.

Leave a Reply