Where am I? Do I need my coat? With a little bit of time to kill between our shows in Denver and Las Vegas, we opted for a duff-day in Boulder. When we rolled into Denver on Monday, it was a sunny 60 degrees; by the time we arrived in nearby Boulder the next day, the sun had left us and the temperature had fallen considerably.
The afternoon was cold and gray, which kept us from going out for a hike, but didn’t stop us from walking the town. We stopped by the Mountain Sun, a local brewpub that came highly recommended. A few ales and stouts later, the sun set, and it began to sleet and then to snow. We all went our separate ways to spend time with our respective friends in town. I settled in for a comfortable, quiet night off. Ben’s friend Jim had looked at the weather report and suggested that without chains, our van might have a tough time making it through the mountains. Sure enough, in the morning there was a foot-deep blanket of snow covering everything, and the traffic on I-70 West looked insane. We opted for the southern pass down I-25 through New Mexico. It guaranteed an additional four hours for our already daunting thirteen-hour trip from Boulder to Vegas. But we thought it was better to add four hours and know where we’d sleep, than to take our chances in a storm. The prudent move may not seem very rock’n’roll, but it will get you there.
3:30pm. I just looked up from a magazine, and the snow and mountains have given way to something more temperate. Tan, empty, rolling plains flanked by mountains at the horizon. Ben compared it to the Serengeti Plain in East Africa. I thought it looked like Road Runner territory.
4:18pm. We must have passed below some key elevation because suddenly the terrain shifted again, this time to a deep evergreen. The modest hills have become deeper valleys. We just passed Las Vegas, NM. If only I could have seen it at night. The lights!
We’re going to be in this van until midnight tonight. When we wake up in Flagstaff, AZ tomorrow morning, we’ll discover yet another brand of windy western country. By tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be sound checking at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in the “real” Las Vegas. I can already see myself at the swimming pool, all wet hair and sunglasses. But not yet. I’ve got to go. It’s my turn to drive. – Andy, photos by BT