Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass journal entry 05-12-13

Rocky Mountain High…OK, not really.

Good morning. I am happy to report that my website saw absolutely NO traffic yesterday. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. What, a website with no traffic? That must be awful! Not to me it isn’t. I’d like to think that internet traffic was at a crawl yesterday as you spent time either calling, remembering, celebrating, or being a Mom. That means hopefully you experienced burnt pancakes in bed, flowers brightening the kitchen table, or crayon-written notes expressing how much Mom is appreciated. And if your children were rat bastards and forgot Mother’s Day, it’s OK. I promise they still love you.

And you are thinking by now ‘Steve, I didn’t think you celebrated holidays?’ Well, it’s not that I don’t celebrate them, I just don’t buy into the hype of the commercialized ones. And not that I don’t love Santa, Jesus, trees, or chocolate hearts, I just don’t like the commercialization of holidays. I DO think that Mom (and Dad) both deserve something on their ‘day’, although, just like everything else, love and appreciation can be shown year round. But remember, that ‘year round’ stuff DOES NOT work for Halloween. Dressing up as ‘Slutty Zombie’ and asking for candy door-to-door is probably not the best idea. But who am I to judge?

This week we only had one show, which was a private affair out in Ignacio, CO, just outside of Durango for those of you scoring at home. Getting to Ignacio from Nashville requires the purchase of a ticket on an airline that isn’t Southwest, being jammed into a small plane that isn’t a Southwest 737-800, being forced to gate check your instrument because said plane has no overhead space (unlike the Southwest flights), and being asked ‘Did you buy a ticket for your instrument?’, changing planes in Denver and flying into Durango and renting a car and driving to Ignacio. Now, to be fair, I can’t lump all of the attendants together – the first leg of our trip was somewhat pleasant, and the attendant did stow our guitars in the closet. That’s where the fun ends. It has to be hard to be an attendant on an airline that charges for every little thing. I mean, we didn’t even get a crummy bag of 7 pretzels. We get jaded because Southwest is the absolute most musician-friendly airline out there, but at the end of the day we are still flying. Like at 500 MPH through the air to get to another location. And for that I am grateful.

So we jumped in our shiny Yukon rental cars and headed into Durango (since there would be more lunch options than in Ignacio). We sped past farms and distant snow-capped mountains with the efficiency, speed, and appearance of the Secret Service. We stopped in the restaurant Gazpacho for a late lunch of Mexican. Generally Mexican places are sort of the same – they have 5 ingredients, then present them a few different ways, with little actual ‘cooking’ or recipes. That is not the case at Gazpacho. We found it randomly on Yelp, and it was one of the best Mexican places I have had. From start to finish (which included sopapillas), it was amazing.  Half of the band went to the hotel, and the rest of us wandered the town of Durango. I needed every step to walk off lunch. We wandered into the old train station, and the found out there was a (free) museum in the old train roundhouse. Well, again, a chance visit blew me away at the amount of narrow gauge memorabilia and RR artifacts that were under one roof. A  hidden gem indeed.

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After a walk up and down Durango’s main drag (with a disappointing NO Dodge Durangos spotted), we stopped in for a highly-caffeinated beverage. Durango seemed like a town of free spirits, and free spirits means dog lovers. And I’m OK with that.

I didn’t think I needed to take a picture of the one that said ‘Regular’


We headed back to the hotel, and I was in bed relatively early after a great workout (at altiude – SHEESH!) and at 9PM I was still full from lunch. I did walk the casino floor to scope out the action, of which there was none. I will never understand a limit on gambling. I understand you don’t want someone to come in and clean out the house, but the more people bet, the more people lose. I am living proof of this. The roulette table had an inside limit of $10. For you roulette junkies out there, tell me how this makes any sense. But I digress. I was ready for bed.

For what they lacked in gambling, the casino made up for in food. After an exquisite omelet layered with bacon, bacon, and I think bacon, we were off to sound check. The event was an outdoor affair, and after an easy audio run-through, Jeff Phil and I went back to Durango for lunch. I had yet another amazing meal there – this time a smoked salmon sandwich. I know you could care less what I ate, but this trip, unlike others, was filled with unexpected great meals. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you are road-weary and far from home, a good meal can put you in a much better head space. As you can see, JDawg was content as well.

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I expected the outdoor show to be much colder, but it was surprisingly nice, and watching the sun sink behind the far-off Rockies was a treat. The best (or worst) shows can be almost forgotten when I sit and take in the surroundings in which we sometimes get to play. Remember, I’ve done a lot of crappy shows in two-bit gin joints and redneck beer halls. And I am sure I have a lot more.

A 6:15 lobby call isn’t all that terrible when on mountain time. It’s that 6:15 Eastern time zone thing that messes with us CST folk. We made it to Denver from Durango with no hassle, minimal layover, and a great sight as we came into town. Then it was a quick 3 hour jaunt to Nashville, and just like that, we were home.


So there’s the anatomy of a ‘one-off’. We are away from home a lot for one show, sometimes put a ton of miles behind us, and generally eat bad food and don’t see much. I appreciated this trip, and all the little town of Durango had to show us. I’d love to get back and get on a bike next time.

Check the calendar – we have a bunch of shows coming up this week, and I look forward to more adventures, more food, and more bacon!

See you on the road!



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