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Chapter 31 - BAND ON THE RUN

So once again, there we were careening through the night, waving goodbye to the city lights of L.A. while unwinding with our respective cocktails and speeding on to Grand Junction, Colorado. Why Grand Junction? Because the distance to our final destination, which was Denver, was so far away that they didn't even print the mileage in our itineraries, probably for fear of a rebellion. And although 'Jeff the Invincible' is a man of great stamina, he's not crazy! There would have to be a rest stop somewhere and Grand Junction ended up being the place. All in all, it looked like another night of bouncing bunks for us and a long night at the wheel of the land yacht for Jeff.

Well, we finally made it through the long bumpy night and arose in the early morning to find Jeff still burning up the miles. And as we sat displaying our various styles of bus hair and gulping down some bean drink for our wake up jolt of caffeine, we discussed what we would do in the bustling metropolis of Grand Junction once we arrived. Believe me! Now that's optimism!

I guess we completely missed Nevada while we were in our slumber cubicles because Jeff informed us that we were now someplace in Utah and it was time to grab some fuel for the bus, and breakfast for us, before continuing our trek to Grand Junction. Besides, Jeff was in need of some more of that thirty weight bean drink and a fresh bag of 'Bulls eye' candies. I guess the sugar and caffeine must be a really potent mix, it certainly works for him. As for me, I'd be so wired I'd be chewing my fingernails all the way to Grand Junction! Oh well, to each his own.

I think it was around 8:00 a.m. when we finally pulled in to a truck stop. I can't tell you exactly where because all I knew was that I was awake and we were somewhere in Utah and there was nothing else around for miles. I mean this little place was so remote that I couldn't help but wonder, where do the people who work here actually live? I didn't see any homes nearby and I'm sure they don't commute, there's no place close enough to commute from. To me, it looked like a pretty Spartan existence but like I said, to each his own.

After breakfast, we drifted back to our land yacht for the remaining few hours of travel to Grand Junction and got to see some of Utah's most spectacular desert scenery. Yeah, I know, another desert but this was different. I'd never seen geological formations like this before, it was sometimes like being on another planet. And no, I didn't have a Gin & Tonic with my bacon and eggs. We were near Bryce Canyon National Park and the surrounding landscape was truly awesome. This was one of the few places in the U.S. that I never had a chance to see except in photos and it was quite an extraordinary treat.

The old land yacht finally rolled into Grand Junction sometime in the mid-afternoon and we checked in to our hotel, a little ragged around the edges and ready for a short nap. Of course, 'Jeff the Invincible' was ready for a long nap, a very long eight to ten hour nap. He knew he had another humongous drive over the Rockies to Denver the next day.

It was only a couple of hours later that phones were ringing and we were making plans for the evening. Dan had flown on to Denver from L.A. and Jeff was catching some well-deserved slumber, so it was just the four of us. Yes, imagine, the "Band On The Run" turned loose and roaming the streets of Grand Junction -- what a scary thought. But this was an old band, so we settled for a grand and leisurely dinner at the best local Mexican restaurant, chased it down with a couple of margaritas and then called it a night.

It became evident that we'd all been thinking about the same thing for the last day or so. There were only a few days left until the end of the tour and that quickly became the major topic of our conversation over dinner. The end of a tour brings both dread and joy at the same time. Of course, you want to get back home to your loved ones and your relatively normal life. But on the other hand, having the absolute pleasure of working in a band this exciting and tight is rare and it's extremely difficult to let go of. A very special bond had been established over the weeks we spent together on the road. This Fogelberg tour will always remain in my memory, like a wonderful chapter in a book that's still being written --Fogelberg, McEntee, Photoglo, Zoot and me, the band of summer 2003.

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