Outlaws in a Blizzard
I told this story the other day.
It was great reflecting upon the snow and avalanches 2019 produced.
My vault of personal experience earned millions that March.
This incident was but one of many memorable times up on the pass that spring
It was 2019- Colter was scheduled to play in Grand Junction CO- up the snowy western slope from my home in the San Juan mountains. A friend at the show called the remote outpost I inhabit, high upon Red Mountain Pass. She had just heard from the bouncer-
"Colter's tour bus is trapped on the pass, possibly between the avalanche closures towards the summit. Do you think you could brave the blizzard and check the top of the pass for a few miles?"
Oh fuck yeah. Selfishly, thoughts of private serenades and sipping bourbon with Wall and crew while we waited out the storm at 11k spurred me to action. It was time to rescue a Candian outlaw and his posse in a tempest. I grabbed my partner, dawned storm gear, goggles, shovels and survival packs. He took the sled-I took the raptor and we set out into another one of 2019's ass kickings.
I rode south, speeding through the ink black night, barreling over avy debris that had already hit the road. The lights of my machine gave the driving snow that jump to hyperspace effect and I got about 90 seconds of clear lens before I'd loose viz and have to clean my goggles. It was really cold and violently snowing. I kept hoping I'd find a rig, pulled over and hanging tight- maybe a bus in a ditch or a couple of vans snuggled into a pull out.
Alas, it was not to be- I turned around before dropping off of RMP's southern shoulder and my teammate shredded his sled's trax back to the summit from the north. We reconvened and called it. We returned to the warmth and opulence of our alpine lair and fired up the Brewery Sessions while stoking the stove and sipping bullet into the early morning hours.
We never found Colter and the band and we assume they were turned around well before being caught behind any road closure gates. The first ten days of March 2019 produced a biblical avalanche cycle throughout all of Colorado and our little outpost was cut off from the world for 19 days.
You really have to want to live up here.
It's not an easy existence. It's a rugged and free life where the 1880s feels alive and well. Bad ass fuckers have been holding it down up on this pass since the late 19th century.
Colter, Jinks, Childers, Tod, Arlo, Sturgill, Moreland,etc... that whole sound of contemporary, counter-country outlaw grime and dark folk is our soundtrack up here in the mountains. I feel incredibly blessed to have these sounds in my life.