August 31, 2009

Warped Summer!

What a great summer, and  look at  this beautiful fish I caught while on the Warped Tour.  Like all fish this one’s got a story, but first…

It  looked like the  mountain was floating thanks to a mirage in the Great Salt Flats of Utah.

Wendover Will greets all visitors to West Wendover, Nevada.

I have a soft place in my heart for Monster vehicles.  This  is a great Monster car somewhere  in Kansas.

On our way to Canada we  stopped off to see our pal Jason Webley.  The boat ride he took Breezy and me on was one of the highlights of the summer for me.

There are a lot of folks that live in boats along the river, and  there are a lot of abandoned boats as well.  This is a beautiful shipwreck if there is such a thing.

Very cool little stilt house on the  Snohomish River.

Breezy snapped this shot this picture from the bow to the stern.  Jason and I look starboard.  Jason is a great songwriter and adventurer.   I am lucky to have  him as a friend.  We saw a lot of old friends  on the trip, and we made some great ones as well.

Breezy rides in a boat along the Snohomish River.

This  is at the Vancouver Folks Fest in Vancouver, BC.  There was a weird glare on this pic, but I wanted to include it anyway.  The crowds were huge at the festival, and they were really fun as well.

This is a shot inside the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, SD.  We played here for the Sturgis Bike Rally.  It was a really fun and funny time.  It felt a little like being in a Mad Max movie.  Leather and engines, and look at the layout of the Full Throttle… Full Train Trestle on the left (200 feet long brought  in one piece to the saloon), Old signs, old bikes, on center right you can see the Wrestling Ring for the  MWF.  Midgets who wrestle in the  Micro Wrestling Federation.   While we were there Tru TV was shooting a reality TV show about the place.

Great shot of the MWF.  They sell shirts that say, “I support Midget Violence.”

This picture  is proof that there are not a lot of rules at the Full Throttle Saloon.  It is a pretty fun place, and somehow all the shows are free to the public.

There  were people selling bike tires at the  Full Throttle Saloon, only catch… They want  you to burn out your old tire until it explodes.  I have to admit it was pretty fun to witness, but louder than target practice.

A black bear inside of Yellowstone National Park.  Yes we were that close.

Here is a picture to prove it.

North  American Moose inside Yellowstone National Park.  We never have time to stop at Yellowstone, just drive through, but these fellas were just by the side of the road.

Little Bighorn, Custer’s Last Stand.

Taking a picture of a picture is lame, but I thought this said so much.

During the Warped Tour we had to hire a driver, because the load in’s are so early and the drives so long it wouldn’t be possible to make the trip.  This picture is of Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band and crew… Tour Manager Dave, Driver Dakota, Breezy, Rev., and Jayme.  Dakota is a friend, and she was a fun addition for the weeks she drove for us.  We all got along very well, and she  is such a great sport.   You need  to be to ride with us!

The Warped Tour was such a great experience, and we had a great time.  Nothing could have prepared us for it though.  The first day we were the only band without a merch tent.  So we made one.  Most of the other bands had really nice custom tents with flags and backdrop banners for bands that they purchased.  We spray painted ours at a self car wash in Boise, ID.

Here is the tent in action.  Jayme at the wheel.

This is a picture of us playing at the  Warped Tour.  Matt Auclair took this picture.   We made  so many friends, and everyone treated us so well.  Not to mention… The shows were awesome.

I was invited to go fishing with Kevin Lyman, the guy who started and owns the Warped Tour.  I was pretty excited to be invited, and then I pulled this beast out of the water.  We were fishing at “The Gorge” in  George, Washington.  It  was the prettiest venue I have  ever been to.  It was a really special day.  Thanks to Kevin, Sarah, and all the crew for making us feel so welcome.  This beautiful Rainbow trout fed 6 people.  Don, one of the bus drivers, just happened to be a professional fishing guide with a grill on hand.  He prepared it beautifully.  Check out his page…

In the middle of this picture is Ethan Suplee.  He is on My Name is Earl, Mallrats, American History  X, and more.  We have a mutual friend, and he has been to a handful of our shows.  What a great guy.  Ethan came out to see us on the Warped Tour, and he became the last person to sign a custom made guitar I am going to auction off for charity later this year.  It is signed by a lot of great musicians we have played with.  Keep watching the  blog for more details.  Thanks Ethan!

These Canadians  stopped to help us when we got a flat tire on the way from Calgary to Vancouver.  Our jack broke, and they came  out with orange vests, power lug nut guns, emergency triangles for the road, blocks for the tires, walkie talkie’s to communicate back and forth, two ton hydraulic jack, and they even had tire chalk to mark the hole in the flat.  JR and Tammy are their names, two professional drivers married to each other.  Man did they come at  just the right time.  Like Canadian angels.  It started pouring down rain after they left.

One night Dakota was driving, and we were all asleep.  I was awakened by a screaming police officer outside of Medford Oregon.  He had a THICK Scottish accent, and kept repeating, “You’ve got no wheel.”  What transpired is a hilarious story, but not one for the  blog.  Apparently Dakota had a flat on the trailer, hadn’t noticed it, and this is what was left of the wheel.

While we waited for the tire place to open the Stumpmaker pulled up.  He drives this massive rig back and forth from Alaska twice a month.  Check out the Moose splitter on the front.

The second to last night of the Warped tour there was a big after hours party.  This fella must have partied too hard.  I bet our tour manager Dave that he wouldn’t spoon with the  guy, and Dave did it.  I was impressed.

This is some kind  of giant freak corn somewhere in California.  Pictured  is the Big Damn Band and our driver Dakota.  Dakota isn’t as used to corn as us, and  I scared her  talking about Corn Snakes and Corn Spiders.  She wouldn’t get too close to the corn so she is out front.  The corn was 10 to 12 feet tall.  It was unbelievable.  I have seen 25 foot stalks at the state fair in Indiana, but never a whole field of freak corn.

Big Rig Doll House, Kingsman, AZ.

Sea Lions, Monterey, CA

One  of the  coolest things that happened while on the Warped Tour was almost everyone on the tour participated in a big volunteer project.  Different groups did different things, but our group collected seeds at Fort Ord in Monterey Bay to be used to regrow indigenous plant life.  We had to be given a lecture on watching out for bombs since it had once been a test site for government weapons.  We found these bullets on the ground!  These were blanks, but there were a lot of small arms ammo.

The Warped tour was such a great experience, and now we are home for a little while.  People ask about the Southern Indiana Hills where  we live  a lot, so  I am putting in some pictures.  This is one of the openings of Twin Caves in Spring Mill State Parks.  Look at that limestone water.

The other opening  of Twin Caves.  These are in Lawrence County, Indiana.  We are going to be playing four shows in the state of Indiana in September.  Look at the show page.

Inside Twin Caves.

Another of the Opening to Twin Caves.

Blind Cave Crawdad.  These southern Indiana caves are one of the only places in the world where these  things live.

The white spot over the  rock is a blind cave fish.  This picture is terrible, but I included it, because we may be the last generation of people to see these things.  They are super endangered.  I felt like it was important.

This is inside of Blue Springs Caverns.  This is in Southern Indiana, and it is the  longest underground river in the USA, and possibly the world.

Inside  Blue  Springs Caverns.

The opening to Blue Springs Caverns.

The blog ends here.  This Crawdad was inside  of Blue Springs Caverns, and it is the biggest crawdad I have ever seen.  This photo does this no justice.  It  was at least 12 inches long and so blue.  I thought it was a toy lobster or something at first.   It was bigger than a lot of lobsters I have seen for sale at grocery stores.  It was just a river crawdad though.  What a great summer, and there is still some great days left.

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