Chapter 32 - ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
we still had a long drive ahead of us so we all agreed it
would be best to leave Grand Junction fairly early. We had
a concert in Denver that evening and getting there would require
another long twisting ride through the mountains in the land
yacht, this time over the Rocky Mountains, through the ski
resort of Vail and then down the other side to the "Mile
High City" of Denver.
departure from Grand Junction turned out to be a wise decision
indeed. Do you remember road rule #10, which states; "The
less time you have the more time it will take"? Well,
we were just about one hour outside of Grand Junction when
Roadzilla attacked us once again. Jeff jumped on the CB radio
and found out a large tanker truck had overturned about half
a mile ahead of us and both lanes were entirely blocked. And
they would remain blocked until the tanker truck was removed,
which a friendly highway patrolman informed us would take
approximately forty-five minutes to an hour. That was the
bad news. The good news was that we were on a land yacht with
plenty of food, drinks and satellite TV and the bar was open.
As you can see, we eventually learned to take those Roadzilla
events in stride.
a short period of time, our interstate parking lot had become
an impromptu social gathering as people got out of their cars
to take in the scenery and actually talk to each other. Amazing!
In fact, at one point a guy jumped out of his convertible
with an acoustic guitar and proceeded to give anyone nearby
a free concert. Of course, the land yacht started to draw
as much attention as an elephant standing in your living room.
We were like a giant in a sea of automotive dwarves, like
Gulliver among the Lilliputians. And it wasn't long before
a few folks started to wonder who was on board, so we all
got out and joined in the festivities of the first annual
"Grand Junction Interstate Fiesta." After all, what
else were we going to do?
it wasn't long before they had cleared the obstruction and
we were all back on the bus and rolling down the highway.
As usual, I was strapped into The Chair with
plenty of drinks and snacks and I was ready to sit back and
enjoy the ride through some beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery.
And believe me, it was nothing short of spectacular.
wonderfully distracted for quite a few hours as we rolled
through the beauty of the Rockies. But as we descended into
the valley and got closer to Denver, a reality started to
creep back into our minds that couldn't be avoided. There
were only two more gigs and then the tour was over. Nobody
was really talking about it but I could tell from the unusual
silence on board the bus that we were all thinking about it
in some way.
in Denver was at the Paramount Theatre, another one of those
grand old theatres from a bygone era. And of course, it was
sold out and filled to capacity with Dan fans that had been
waiting a long, long time for the tour to finally come around
to the Denver area. They let us know it as soon as the lights
went up and we started playing "Part of the Plan."
These people were there to have a good time and we were more
than anxious to give them one.
a great high-energy show that night but maybe it just seemed
more significant to me because it was one of our last concerts
together as a band and I was intent on savoring every musical
moment. We had become so tight since our first gigs on the
east coast and it seemed like such a shame to know that it
would all disappear in a few days and become memories, just
another wonderful chapter in the "Big Book of Roadzilla."
We were like a championship team that's reached the end of
a great season. I was finishing the last few drops of a wonderful