Day 27: Wava & Rough
Missoula MT to Great Falls MT
Things got wild after the show at Rumors in Great Falls. We stayed at a beautiful cabin right on the Missouri River that the promoter of the show owns. Everyone went back to the cabin fairly soon after the show. But I wanted to hang out more.
I met some friends. Wava and Rough. A fun loving couple, and they took me under their wing for the night. They were awesome and wild. Generous and loveable. Ready for anything. I made a joke about getting tattoos, and they thought that was the best idea in the world. Fuck yeah, we need to get tattoos tonight, they resounded. They asked all around but no one knew of a tattoo parlor open, luckily. So I should've known better when I said something about a strip club. Great Falls' finest strip club was a shithole with very unappealing girls. Wava and Rough loved it. So I loved it, too.
A highlight was popping over to the world famous Sip 'N Dip bar, a super cheesy tropical decorated lounge. The music entertainment was an old lady playing keyboard singing lounge versions of Jimmy Buffet songs. The main attraction to the Sip 'N Dip is the glass pool behind the bar with mermaids swimming around. Much sexier than the strip club.
I'm thankful to have visited Sip 'N Dip. And to have had such crazy evening with unexpected friends. That's one thing I find exciting and wonderful but also a little sad about living on the road. You can tend to feel a lack of closeness with friends sometimes because you are not at home with them. So every now and then you make new friends and you can be best friends for a night. But in the morning you're gone. You've exchanged glimpses into lives, and you may or may not stay in touch. I don't know how to get in touch with Wava or Rough (I'm not even sure what Rough's real name is, maybe Clayton?), but I love those wild fuckers.
Great Falls MT to Bozeman MT
All this Montana driving. I actually wish there was more of it. Montana is country that will not quit. One unbelievable view after another. I cannot describe it. Nor can I seem to get a picture of it that adequately reflects to me what I see in real life. I guess this little digital thing can't fit it in. Or maybe I just don't know how to take good pictures.
There is something crushing about the country here. It can get your emotions stoked. Maybe there's a vulnerability in remaining in awe of something real, but something unknown. In awe of a creation. But who made this? If it was God then God is a lunatic for imagining it. A true artist. Yet some say it made itself, and if so then it's an equal lunacy for something to become that. Neither one seems to make sense when you see it. It makes God and a natural creation congruent with one another. I don't know why or how but that's ok. I don't need to give it meaning. I'll leave that to the antelopes and grizzly bears while I just sit here and let it feel great to see all of this Montana fly by.
Bozeman MT to Billings MT
I love it when we make a scene. It seems like every time we stop in and go some place to eat, heads are turning. We get way too loud, say too many swear words in earshot, and laugh at everything. Hey, there's a family at that table right behind you. Oh fuck, sorry.
It's even like that when we hit up gas stations. I guess we have a desire - or perhaps a need - to make even the most mundane situations exciting and eventful. Or maybe we are just crazy and annoying.
I love it when we make a scene!
Billings MT to Laramie WY
Sometimes the enchantment can pile up everywhere around me. It makes me intense and I go through it on fire. A full fucking blaze - so everyone, watch. I'm feeling the exhale of days and nights in Montana.
Every night in Montana, I hit hard. Hit it all hard. Drums, people, drinks, situations. Maybe it's the country, or maybe it's the the people. But it could just be me. It seemed like every one I met was also ready to get fired up. The crowds at the shows were some of the best on this whole tour.
Montana was a whirlwind of mountains and rivers. Trees and clouds and sky. Friends that I may have already lost and the ones who are still traveling with me. And now this drive to Wyoming is gorgeous. Inescapable beauty. More country that demands reckoning.
Laramie WY to Jackson Hole WY
I don't know how I keep falling in with these wild crowds. Perhaps people up here in the big sky country are prone to party harder? Last night was a continuation of the past few nights before. The show at the Gryphon Theater was great. Rowdy crowd, again. We've been tinkering with the set list the past few shows and have been enjoying the outcomes.
After the show, I set out to bars with people I met at the show. I actually felt famous. That seems so weird to say but it's true. When I walked in the first bar, people made a scene about it. From all over the bar people were shouting “what ya drinkin?” Shots and beers were just handed to me. All night. I never ended up paying for anything the entire night. There was live music there, a few dudes playing guitars and a trumpet player. I sang “Cortez The Killer” with them. It was awesome, but we really lit the place up with “Rockin' In The Free World.” I had the whole bar singing. Fucking righteous.
Afterwards, some nice folks took me to a diner to grab something to eat. I cannot remember their names anymore, but they were great. I got back to the hotel so late, I was locked out of my room. There was supposed to be a key waiting for me at the front desk, but there was not. I was wondering around the hotel hallway, hammered, trying to figure out what to do. The elevator door randomly opened in front of me. A very familiar face from earlier in the evening appeared, and I found a place to sleep.
Jackson Hole WY
Our buddy, who is a radio DJ in Jackson Hole, loaded us up and took us to Grand Teton National Park. A fantastic and unforgettable afternoon. We got sandwiches, got stoned, and got on our way to see some of the most amazing scenic views I've ever seen. And that's saying a lot after Montana.
After eating our little picnic, we explored around the trails of String Lake. Grown men, now wandering children in awe of the sanctuary. Yet for the Tetons it was just another day. Another nanosecond in their ageless boasting.
On the way out of the park, we pulled over by a pond to stand and watch a moose drink. He didn't seem to mind all the people standing around snapping pictures of him. He just went on strolling around the pond, dipping his head in to drink. He also might have been eating something, because every now and then he would blow in the water. It sounded like he was blowing bubbles in the water. Maybe that's just exactly what he was doing. The moose had a sense of humor, and that's how he entertained the crowd? I get it.