Tuesday, June 12, 2012

F.F.F (Fast F*%ing Fauna)*


“Because you’re nuts, I hate your guts.” Chuck (to the tune of “Walk the Line)

“Is that Father Christmas?”  Little girl walking by Chuck in the hallway at the hotel in Grand Junction. .... Oh but that doesn’t do the scene justice. I will try again. When I was out for my morning walk I came across this beautiful family throwing rocks into the canal. The kind of family that looks as if they like each other and should have pictures taken of them to let everyone else know that they’re doing it wrong. And then I heard the mother say in an affectionate lilt with an accent that sounded a bit like British via India or Africa, “Naughty naughty off the rocks now dear.”  When I returned to the hotel Lisa instantly said, “Tell him Chuck!” He then says, “Well I was walking down the hallway when this family walks by me and after they pass I hear this little girl ask , “Is that Father Christmas” and then her Dad tried to shush her.”  “Did she have an accent?” “Yeah, British or something.” So, just picture the sound of a tiny little girl’s voice asking in awe with that lovely accent, knowing full well it’s Chuck, who had just come back from making the lobby restroom unusable for future generations.

Today we travelled from Grand Junction, CO to Butte, Montana, all on the back of Lisa’s heroic 12.5 hour driving shift. Not much to tell in the way of rocknroll adventures except to say what a pleasure it was to watch these stunning landscapes evolve and change as we travelled north. So if you prefer the former kind of tale you might want to skip this post as I’m going to write about the animals I saw. It was a good day for fauna.

I got up first, and knowing it takes five people a long time to get the hell out of a hotel room I grabbed my binoculars to go see if I could find any good birds. Didn’t see much beyond a few Magpie and some Barn Swallows but as I was walking across this scrubby, hard packed field I noticed several animals standing on their back legs watching my every move. Prairie Dogs! So fluffy I wanted to die. Needless to say, they’re about the cutest animals on the planet. Like dry otters; one of the few animals where it’s appropriate to use the word gambol.

From the road I saw antelope. (also cute – with their little marriage licenses) and I also saw this little animal near the road that was whitish with a Frank Burns-ish face and I shouted, “Did you see that? I think I just saw a weasel or something.” So I looked it up and there are short and long-tailed weasels in Utah. Their coats turn brown in the warm months so I just need to find out when they change from their white winter coats into brown. Still, I’m pretty sure it was a weasel.

We decided that even though we had a really long way to go we would stop to see the Great Salt Lake. I’ve wanted to see it ever since my Dad sent me a postcard with a little bag of salt stapled to it and a picture of the lake. Of course we got lost. Only Wussy could screw up trying to find the biggest body of water in the state. As we were turning around from another attempt to find the fucking lake I saw a California Quail run across the road in front of us. Having finally found a state park the lake was just beautiful. Joe and I were walking on a marsh trail next to it and we found a Western Garter Snake sunning himself on a log. Right below him was a snake skin almost intact. It was hard to leave that park.

Since I don’t want to abuse you with too much nature talk I’ll break the rules and jump to this morning. From now on I’ll just list anything I saw at the top.  Anyway, I got up early so I could go walk out walking in Butte. I walked for two hours following a trail that ran along a good sized creek and, somewhat lessening the natural grandeur, the highway. I saw two muskrats and a beaver, a Yellow-Headed Blackbird (life bird), Spotted Sandpipers, tons of Cedar Waxwings, and Killdear.

Tonight we’re in Spokane, hopefully going to play a show.

*Most of it at 80 mph