Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rocked on a Mountain in Maine

Our band wanted to do something big. 

What's something people will notice? What's something we can do that takes planning, but not a ton of money? One day Nick thought "I know, let's shoot a music video on top of a really fucking tall mountain!"


We were going to need some help. 

Friends of the band lept at the opportunity to help us out with this monumental endeavor. Our friend Kate actually had a camp nearby that we could stay at the night before too. WHAT AMAZING LUCK. I don't think any of us realized just how out of the way this camp was, but more on that later..

So the expedition started with me joining Nick and Mesa in Connecticut on Thursday night June 14th, where we planned to discuss the final logistics involved in organizing the trip (read: drink). We would get up the next morning and drive the approximately one million miles to Kate's camp, stopping a few places along the way to gather food, supplies, people, and to distract ourselves from how much this was  probably going to suck.

Pit stop #1: Topsham
Nick's Mom's house, about 4 hours into the drive. We needed a break, and were going to meet up with some more of the crew, Tyler, Dan and Ryan. This is when we realized two things. One, "Wait just a god damned minute, how are we going to sync the audio from the track with the video we planned to shoot?" And two, "What if there's no parking at the mountain?"

For the first solution, we needed to acquire a battery powered stereo or iPod dock. We all owned those things, but nobody had them at their disposal. Lucky for us though, my parents had a sweet boom box, and we could swing by to grab it. 

know most people don't call them boom boxes anymore, but this was a fucking boom box.

Also possibly from the future.
All we needed were batteries and we would blast forth our tunage from the highest point in Maine. Fortunately, this device didn't run on car batteries like you might expect. However, it did need eight D batteries. Perfect. It wasn't heavy enough.

We would all slowly learn to hate this boom box. And by slowly, I mean quickly.

The second solution was to call ahead and reserve parking spaces. The route we had intended to take is highlighted in green below. Up the Chimney Pond trail, up Saddle to Baxter Peak, across the Knife Edge, and down Helon Taylor.

So we called to reserve parking by the Chimney Pond entrance. Here's the lady on the other line:

It turns out the only available spots left were at the Katahdin Stream campground, by the Hunt trail.


Ok no worries, we are a flexible bunch! We agreed we would persevere despite any bumps in the road. Hunt trail it was. This was happening.

Seriously though, fuck. 

Pit Stop #2: Waterville
My parents house to pick up the aforementioned boom box. We also got some girl scout cookies that my Mom had lying around. 

Pit Stop #3: Milford
Shaun's place, where him and the rest of the crew, Bill, Smey, and Francis would join. I think the original plan was to get there at a reasonable hour, and head up to Millinocket fairly quickly where we'd all go to Hannaford and grab food for the next day's hike. Well, that didn't happen. People were held up variously, and we decided to hit the Hannaford in Orono instead. I don't know about anybody else's shopping trip, but my thought process in the grocery store basically amounted to this:

What foods can I eat that will make up for my almost total lack of physical preparation?

I ride my bike a decent amount and did a few sets of squats in the weeks before, but I wasn't really in hiking shape because you know...I didn't want to overtrain... So I, and everyone else, were all trying to load up on carb-heavy and energy-dense foods to stave off any hospital visits. Fruit smoothies, granola bars, cliff bars, bananas, etc..

We got our groceries, and it was about 7PM at that point. Kate's camp was 2 more hours away but didn't have an address that was really on the map, or easy to navigate to, so we were going to meet at a little store close to her camp instead of the Millinocket Hannaford, then make the final leg of the trip before eating and then packing it in for the night. 

The highway north of Orono Maine is about as desolate as a highway can get. There is just nothing but trees and fields for miles and miles. Not even close to as isolated as we'd get though. 

Pit Stop#4: Kate's Cabin
The closest store to the camp was the Abol Campground and General Store. Getting there was an expedition in itself. We couldn't just use GPS. We had to look up the directions ahead of time, save that shit, and hope to hell it's wasn't confusing once we got there, because GPS satellites are a fairly tale in those forsaken fucking boondocks. 

Here's how the trip to the general store went as far as I can remember:

  • Arrive in Millinocket
  • Drive to the outskirts of town.
  • Take a quick turn onto a fire road, and then onto the Golden Road.
  • "Hey we must be close! The store and camp are on the Golden Road!"
  • Drive a few miles on pavement.
  • Keep going onto a dirt road.
  • "Oh the road has turned to dirt! Not long now!"
  • Road turns back into pavement.
  • Back into dirt.
  • Back into pavement.
  • "What the fuck?"
  • Drive over the most pothole-laden road on the whole earth. 
  • Night falls.
  • Pull into the store parking lot where we'd all probably get murdered by wild forest people.

As middle of nowhere as this place was, the scenery (when it was still light out) was absolutely beautiful. The sun was setting, shining its last light onto the mountain, and it was so secluded and quiet and just amazing. 

So, this store was the agreed meeting spot, only Kate and two more of her friends, Matt and Alan weren't there. Hmm. Well nobody had cell service, so we had to just assume they'd be there shortly. We waited. Forty long minutes passed, and we started to worry a bit. We tried to think of backup plans that weren't horrible, (pitch a tent in the woods somewhere? Try to find the cabin ourselves?) but we couldn't. Then we thought through the possible scenarios that would explain our friends' absence. Either we had somehow gotten the meeting spot wrong, they had gotten into some sort of accident, or they were making us wait, because we were assholes and this was payback for us taking our sweet ass time getting there. 

Several cars drove by us over these forty minutes. Each time we figured this HAD to be Kate, cause who the fuck else would be driving by this secluded-ass closed store at this time of night? Apparently a lot of people, and they all had trucks. Luckily none of them tried to murder us.

At this point Nick and me decided to break the number one rule of horror movies, and split off from the rest of the group. Maybe there was another entrance to this campground a mile or so down the road? Or if they had gotten in an accident, maybe we'd come across them? About a mile down the road another car passed us coming from the other direction. It wasn't a truck, so we figured it must be Kate. We kept driving just in case though, and just as we were about to turn around, we saw a moose. 


It ran across the road, into the woods, and then cause it's a moose, and is dumb as hell, it ran back into the road, and then along the road. GOOD WAY TO NOT GET HIT MOOSE. REAL SMART.

So anyway, we turned around, and sure enough, the car that had passed us was Kate. They had gotten a flat tire, but were back in business, and now it was time to head to the camp. Phew, they weren't dead. 

As secluded as we were, the camp was still several miles away. We drove and drove, knowing that if any of us got hurt, this is how much farther the ambulance would have to drive. The scenery had changed from breathtaking to just dark and scary. This road had already claimed one tire, how long before it claimed another? We didn't even have a spare tire. HEY LET'S NOT THINK ABOUT THAT THOUGH RIGHT? HAHA GOOD TIMES OK WOOHOO!!

Eventually, we arrived at the turn to the camp! Hooray! And you know, why would the driveway be any longer than a hundred feet or so? There's already absolutely nothing out here. We assumed that Kate's family wouldn't want to bushwhack through hundreds of yards of forest any more than we would want to drive through it.

Wrong. Again.

This road looked more like an ATV trail. And it stretched for quite a ways into the woods. Much farther than any of us thought was necessary. But we finally pulled up and realized it wasn't this far in so nobody would hear our screams, it was to be close to a lake.

Oooh, pretty.

This place was the definition of serene. I kind of wish we had gotten there before it was dark.

So we made a fire, grilled, packed on the calories for the next day's hike, and all acted in a way that suggested we didn't fully understand the scope of what was to come. I, and several others, had hiked Katahdin before, so I thought I knew what I was in for. Nope.

We went to bed at around midnight. Hell, we only would've gotten a full night's sleep if we'd gone to bed at about the time we'd left Milford, so FUCK IT.

The Big Day
Up at 4:15. Yes, AM. We needed an early start because we still had to pack all of our stuff, and then backtrack through pothole land and several more miles to get to the gate before 7:00, as our parking spots would be forfeited at 7:05.

Seriously look at these potholes.

After some more grand prix racing, thirteen of us rolled up in four cars to the gas station right outside the road that leads to the park entrance. We had stopped because one of the cars was almost out of gas. But the gas station was closed. The park entrance was several miles away still, so we had to split up again. We couldn't risk forfeiting the parking spots, so we had to just hope they'd find gas somewhere, and make it back in time. This was the second instance of waiting nervously.

Then, just before 7:00, they rolled in. Phew again. 

Time to gear up!

It's Mountain Time Motherfucker.
We made sure our bags were all properly packed, and divvied up the instruments.

Maybe I hadn't yet made that clear. On top of all of our normal hiking equipment, we also had to carry the following:
  • Guitar
  • Keyboard
  • Snare drum and stand.
  • Hi Hat and stand.
  • Floor tom.
  • Kick pedal.
  • American flag (because 'Merica)
  • Stupid fucking Boom Box.

Here we all are, fairly early in the hike. You can see by the looks on our faces it was starting to sink in how much carrying this shit was going to totally blow.

After a little while, we got to the first signpost that told us the summit was only 4.1 miles away, which really doesn't seem that far until you realize it totally is.

We were still in high spirits though. Carrying that shit was tiring, but not totally exhausting yet. We would all soon get our second wind. We were all munching away on energy food, staying hydrated and keeping positive. Here are some of us a bit higher up.


See? We were still feeling good. Good thing too, because we were probably less than a quarter of the way through the whole hike.

Below the tree line, there were a few points of intense steepness, and a few more lookout spots. It was a pretty intense to climb extremely high, hop up onto a lookout point, look at all the surrounding peaks that stretched waaay above us on all sides, and realize that the summit we were headed to was much much taller than all of them. One of these lookout spots included a dazzling rendition of "A Whole New World" complete with backing vocals, harmonies, and key changes. If anyone has video of this, please let me know. I think the world needs to see it.

Above the tree line, it started getting STEEP and WINDY. We could no longer just haul the extra equipment up on our shoulders. We had to strategically hand pieces up to each other assembly line style while scrambling up and over huge boulders. Hauling equipment up a mountain takes quite a bit more energy than not hauling equipment up a mountain.

Good thing we were tough as hell.

We got to a popular rest spot with no incline, and took a break. Time for some ab-rolling sandwich eating.

Definitely the only person that's ever done this.

After we were somewhat recharged, we hauled our asses up another steep incline to the great plateau.


To this:

Plateau-y as fuck.

This seemed like a good spot to film, so we recorded a run through of our song, "Our Way" WHICH I CAN'T SHOW YOU CAUSE I DON'T WANT TO RUIN THE SURPRISE.

After that, we had only one final ascent to the summit. At this point, hikers that weren't fucking around had already made it to the summit, and were on their way back down. 

Earlier on in the hike, these people that saw our equipment thought we were totally insane, (and they had a point) but now that we were close to the summit, they didn't want to be discouraging, so they all had very positive things to say to us. I think we heard the exact phrase, "Looks like we're missing the party!" probably about 100 times. But you know what? They were RIGHT. We told everyone our band name, and told them to look for the video in the coming weeks. I'd say probably about 1% of those people have actually remembered our band name.

During this final ascent, we were starting to feel some pretty ill effects. My hip started to hurt with just about every step, and other people were starting to get cases of rubber-legs. Remember that boom box?

If E.T. was a boom box.

This isn't that heavy, until you carry it up a mountain. It's also the world's most awkward shape, so anyone cursed with the burden of carrying it at any point during the hike felt like doing this:

Not long now though. This would all be worth it.

BAM. Summit.
We celebrated. We ate. We drank (water). We rejoiced. Now it was time to do what we came to do. Make a fucking music video:

Just a preview...

And eat bacon.

Spectators were in awe. Who were these crazy bastards that hauled these instruments up a mountain? Here's an actual conversation I had.

"Holy shit! You brought instruments up here?! How did you get them up here?!"

"We carried them."

You see? They knew "we carried them" was the only logical answer, but they asked anyway because some part of them refused to believe that anybody would be that crazy and/or stupid.

And this is exactly the reaction we wanted. We can only hope some of these people remember who we are, and are intrigued enough to look for us later.

After this was our attempt at making a five hour energy commercial. See, Nick had purchased over a dozen of these to be handed out at the summit, the idea being that we could all chug them together on camera and get an endorsement from them or something. Well, it was so fucking windy there was no possible way to hear anything, but we kind of got some shaky footage of us all drinking these more or less at the same time from a distance. Somehow I don't think five hour energy is gonna go for it though. But hey, five hours of energy. That's about how long it will take to climb back down! Perfect!

But in all seriousness, this was the culmination of a colossal effort that I never thought we'd actually achieve. I knew this was our goal, and I knew it's what all the effort was for, but I still can't believe we pulled it off, and I still can't believe the support of all the people that helped us along the way. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Thank you to everyone involved.


Also thank you to Kate, Matt, and Alan for hosting us the night before. They didn't feel like hiking the mountain at our slow ass pace, and had slowly broken off from our group. They probably didn't want to be associated with our hijinks since it wasn't totally guaranteed that we wouldn't end up arrested. I don't blame them. We caught them on their way back down as we were making our way up that final ascent, and said our thank yous and goodbyes. But hey, they too were missing the party.

So after getting all the footage, eating some bacon, and some more rejoicing, we'd noticed that by then, basically everyone else had cleared off the summit, so it was time to pack up and go. We had originally planned to go across the Knife Edge, but that was out of the question now, unless we went down a different way, and hitchhiked the several miles to the other parking lot. Plus it was windy, and the Knife Edge is pretty dangerous in the wind. Oh, and what's this?

Hmm, that's getting fairly close.


We were in for some weather. Eh, a little rain never hurt anyone though huh?! We went back the way we came, stopped at the plateau, and took one more break, all while hoping we'd get lucky, and just maybe the storm would circumvent us. That would be super helpful, because the exhaustion really started to set in at this point, and keeping spirits up became more difficult.

Then it started hailing into our faces.

The storm did not circumvent us. At all. It came at us full force. Although we didn't want to get rained on, we had mentally prepared for that possibility as we watched the storm ominously approaching. Well, it didn't rain! Instead, it started hailing sideways at us, and a humble cheerlessness settled on us all.

We now had to hike down this:

While it hailed on us. While still carrying our equipment.

Feeling exhausted, wet, and miserable.

I know Nick...I know...

But we trudged on ahead. Everyone was now fighting their own battle against the mountain. Going at our own pace was key, so at this point, the groups started to separate. The focus and determination needed to keep going took all the energy we had, so interacting with each other became less and less frequent, so as to not expend energy needlessly.

I hiked on ahead, wanting to get this over with as quickly as I could. Boy were those cascading rocks endless. Every time I felt I had made major progress, the next turn came, and I looked down onto the still remaining miles of nearly vertical wilderness.

Like I said, I had hiked Katahdin before, but not this trail, and I wasn't carrying a fucking drum before. IT MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE. I had to maneuver back over the boulders, set the drum down, cautiously slide down a rock, get my footing, turn back around, hoist the drum back onto my shoulder, go about one step, and do it all again.


and over..

and OVER.

While it continued to hail into my face.

And none of us had any choice. We had all reached our breaking point, but had to move onward. I kept looking at the vast expanse of wet slippery stupid boulders in front of me, and felt exhaustion and defeat like never before. The last thing I wanted to do was anything, but we all had to do what amounted to hundreds of squats on slippery rocks with dead legs, and I cannot stress this enough, WHILE IT WAS HAILING ON OUR FACES.


Other times in my life when I've felt exhausted, I've always had a choice. Any sort of workout I had done that involved extreme exertion always had an out. If I really needed to, I could have opted out. I could have stopped running, biking, swimming, lifting, whatever. But not today. I had to bring this drum down this mountain. There was no way around it, and it was a very jarring realization. My legs trembled violently with every step, and I still had miles to go.

After what felt like forever, I found one of the lookout spots we had stopped at on the way up, so I shimmied up it and sat for a bit. The hail finally stopped, and the sun even peeked out a few times. I just sat there, reflecting, feeling the faintest sense of completion on the horizon. I thought about Tyler and Dan carrying the boom box, and how much it must have totally sucked to be them.

The end was almost in sight. Just two more miles. I waited for everyone else to catch up to this lookout point. I discovered that Nick had broken his guitar, and that although they had tried to keep the boom box sheltered, it had gotten wet, and probably didn't work anymore. We later confirmed after it totally dried out that no, it did not work. Our worst fear came true.

We carried it back down the mountain for nothing.

There were a few twisted ankles. Everyone was wet and exhausted. Behind every laugh was a glimmer of hopelessness, as if to say "It's hard to enjoy laughter, knowing this may be the last time I ever do it."

We recharged as much as we possibly could, and then set off again, quickly splitting up into our respective groups once more. Here I am closing in on the last mile carrying a big wet drum:

I dare you to find any happiness in this picture.

Every step was the most exhausted I'd ever felt. I had to talk to myself to get through it, knowing that each step I took brought me closer to victory. I felt like I had walked three miles since the two mile point, and I hadn't even gotten to the one mile marker. My brain was starting to turn to mush. No room for rational thought or spatial awareness. My body was eating itself. My entire being had boiled down to "one foot in front of the other, and don't drop this fucking drum."

With about a mile left, I was alone again. There were more frequent spots with little elevation change, and although I couldn't walk normally, I managed to awkwardly bound through these spots fairly quickly without collapsing.

The feeling I got when the trees opened up to the campground by the parking lot is one I will not soon forget. I felt like a fucking hero even though I had completed what countless people do on a daily basis. But they weren't carrying drums were they?!

It was about 7:30 when I rolled in, several minutes behind the first group. Yup, that's a solid twelve hours of being on that mountain. The bugs were pretty fucking terrible at the bottom, so Shaun and I figured we hop into Nick's car while we waited, only it was locked. Oh look, no worries, the sun roof is open! I climbed into the car through the sun roof to unlock the door for Shaun.



My thought process:

Hmm, this alarm isn't going to stop is it?... I wonder how far behind Nick is?...Wow, people at this campground probably don't like this at all...

The honking went on for several minutes until we decided to pop the hood and just rustle around and pull some fuses until it stopped. Most of the fuses didn't come out, and the ones that did come out didn't make it stop. But then, suddenly, it stopped on its own. WHEW. I was at the end of my rope and didn't want to deal with that shit.

So we squashed into Dan's car, and waited for the rest of the gang to show up. They came in about fifteen minutes apart each. We were all delirious, communicating through mostly mumbles and grunts. About an hour passed, and we had one final member of our crew that was still on the trail. He was accompanying an older fellow too, making sure he didn't get lost. It got a bit nerve racking at the end, but at about 8:45, Francis rolled in and we all cheered quietly to ourselves, since we had no energy for anything else. We unceremoniously said our goodbyes, again, too exhausted for anything else, and drove out of the park. And now began the journey home.

Driving Home
As soon as we got in the car, our main priority was to not be in the car anymore. We were eager to get to Mesa's parents' house, where we'd recuperate, and then head home the next day. Well, things don't always work out.

I fell asleep almost instantly. Even when I wasn't asleep, I wasn't fully awake, until we got to an intersection, with a sign that none of us recognized. The only landmark on the sign that was remotely close was the ranger station to the left. Everything else was something ridiculous like fifty miles away. The ranger station must be where we came in! So we turned left, and were met with a dead end. There was another truck parked on this road, (who the fuck knows why, but thank god) and we asked him for directions. In the world's best Maine accent he replied

"Ayuh, yah go upta that stawp sign, take a right, and yah gonna go seventeen miles."

Seventeen miles. On dirt roads. Speed limit 20mph. So almost another hour. Just to get out of the park.

All three of us did well to not communicate to the other two how utterly fucking destroyed this news made us feel, but a silence hung briefly after we heard the number "seventeen". I wanted to meekly reply, "..are you sure?" But this dude was Mainah as hell. He looked like one of those guys that can tell you exactly what time it is by looking at the sun, or tell you where the closest moose is by sniffing the air. He knew exactly where he fucking was. 

On a normal day, having to go an extra thirty four miles would make you snap your fingers and say "shucks!" but on this day, we had nothing left. It felt like he said "Ayuh, upta the stawp sign, take a right, and drive LITERALLY FOREVER."

Again, we had no choice but to go back. I drifted in and out again, but I remember coming to once we drove past the entrance to the parking lot we'd left from. Ahh, not long now. I fell back asleep.

Suddenly I awoke to screaming, violent jostling and then SMASH.

I snapped into a confused primal alertness. My senses came back. Nick is yelling, "is everyone ok??!" Thankfully, everyone is. What the fuck happened? Did we hit a pothole? A deer? A moose? A tree?

Apparently we had skidded off the road on one of the sharp turns and crashed into a rock, crunching the front end, smashing the windshield, and causing the airbags to explode out. I only became fully awake after it was all over, and I was in the back seat, so I didn't experience the full brunt of the terror, only the aftermath of the car being sideways at about a forty five degree angle as it filled with the strange smell of deployed airbags. Still awfully scary. We gathered our wits, and thought maybe despite the damage we could at least drive the car off the rock and to a garage, and then go from there, but it was stuck. We managed to crawl out of the car and tried to push, but it was totally pinned. There was such a huge rush of adrenaline, that we couldn't even feel exhaustion or creeping soreness anymore.

So what now?

We were stranded in the middle of a dirt road in Baxter State Park, in the dark, miles from anyone, and even more miles from a phone. Good thing our friends were behind us.

Bill, Smey, Shaun, and Francis were in the car behind us, and had also taken the wrong turn out of the parking lot. We had passed them after turning around, so we knew they couldn't have been far behind. A short time passed, and sure enough, they arrived. They saw the destruction and I can only imagine how they felt, since they didn't get the surge of adrenaline. They suddenly had to deal with this in a more exhausted state than we were in. Luckily, everyone remained level headed. Miraculously Mesa's phone got one bar of service just in time for her Mom to call. What are the odds? She had time to discuss what had happened, and that everyone was ok, but that we'd be a bit late to say the least. Then the service dropped out again.

So the plan became this: Mesa would hop in the other car with those four and go get help, while Nick and I would stay at the scene of the accident and wait for the help to arrive. They were going to presumably find the closest phone and try to call a tow truck or the police or whoever would be able to help. Off they went, and Nick and I had no idea how long they would be. The closest store was that gas station I mentioned before, but that was definitely closed now.

So we hopped back into the severely tilted car, knowing that there was nothing we could do but wait.

The surge of adrenaline had mostly worn off at this point. The exhaustion crept back in, and we tried to just sleep in the car until help arrived.

I don't know how many of you have ever tried to sleep in a car in the woods at a forty five degree angle after a car accident after hiking ten miles, but it wasn't exactly easy. I sat in silence for a bit, my head spinning a million different directions at once. The anxiety of thinking about how totally isolated we were, and how difficult it was going to be to just wait for at least an hour, (almost certainly more), while we sat in a busted car on the side of a dirt road, along with the exhaustion of the day, along with the sudden recollection of all the terrible horror movies I've ever seen, was totally overwhelming for a brief period. I said to Nick at one point. "This is making me anxious as fuck. I'm never going to be able to sleep." And Nick said "Well, it's the only thing we can do right now." And I knew that, but after hearing him say it, I guess I was able to fully resign myself to that fact, chill the fuck out, and drift off. But then the cars started coming.

I didn't think there would've been so much traffic on such an secluded area at this time of night, but over the course of our wait, four separate cars drove past us. You gotta love the good nature in people though, because every one of them stopped. I would've loved to get some sleep instead of having to repeatedly hop out of the car (which took some effort I might add) and explain to everyone that yes, we had an accident, but we were all ok, and help was on the way. After about an hour and a half, the fourth car drove up, and I started my little speech. But then, about halfway through explaining the situation, another car pulled up behind them. It was Bill, Smey, and Shaun. Hooray! I told the fourth good samaritan that we were taken care of, and thanked them for stopping.

Apparently a few miles outside the road leading to the park entrance, the gang had found a little inn with a phone. The owner was very accommodating, and let Mesa use the phone all she needed. She called in a park ranger, who would come fill out an accident report, and explain how to move forward with the situation. Once this was settled, Bill, Smey, and Shaun came back for us.

We all headed back to the inn, talked with the park ranger, figured out what to do about the insurance and tow truck, and we arranged to have Mesa's Dad pick us up at whatever garage we got dropped at the next day. Bill, Smey, Shaun and Francis made sure we were all ok, and departed for Milford. (Thanks again guys!) The owner of the inn set us up with a couple of rooms for the night at a discount, reheated some soup and bread for us, which at that point was the most delicious fucking thing in all of the universe, and we were able to finally get some sleep.

What a day.

The Next Morning/Aftermath
We started with all that boring crap like calling triple A, and the insurance company. I hung back at the inn while Nick and Mesa visited the scene of the accident to get the car onto the tow truck. The driver allegedly looked at the car in its wrecked state and had this to say.

"Yah done good kid."

Then, apparently while pulling the car off the rock, the car rolled too far and smashed into the truck, busting the taillight. GOOD. PILE IT ON. 

The tow truck arrived back in the inn to pick me up. According to Nick The conversation between him and the driver went like this:

Driver: Yuh ruhm widdya gon get ayuh wid gon upta yur?
Nick: *mumble mumble*
Driver: What?
Nick: What?
Together: Hahaha!
Driver: ...
Nick: ...


When they pulled in, I noticed the driver was about as magnificently bearded as I expected, and we headed to the garage to wait for Mesa's Dad, who showed up fairly soon after, and hauled our destroyed selves back to Blue Hill. 

This concluded one of those few times in one's life where you really have no idea what will happen next. Sure you never really know exactly what's going to happen, but usually you have at least a vague idea of what the immediate future holds. But to be wrestled away from that path was a valuable experience. Am I happy we got into a car accident and stranded? Fuck no. But we all worked it out and steadied ourselves within the next day or so, and to be reminded every once awhile that you're capable of that is important. It also helps to have friendly, helpful, loving people around. Thank you Schubecks for your hospitality. 

The next day involved much much much stiffer legs/backs/everythings. The slight change in elevation between the kitchen and the living room was enough to make us pause and evaluate how best to go about it. The soreness lasted about a week, or what Shaun likes to call "Thigh Awareness Week." It's very unpleasant, but each step reminded me of our grand journey, so it wasn't all bad.

So we rented a car, and drove the one million miles back south. We unloaded the gear, and then I hopped on a train back home to Brooklyn to get not enough sleep for the next several days. 

Memories achieved. Thanks again everyone.


Our Album is coming out within the next couple of weeks. Don't worry, you will all definitely know when it happens because we will be very irritating in our perseverance. The epic video to accompany the equally epic song "Our Way" will follow shortly after.

In the meantime, here is our first single: 


Stay tuned.

RIP Honda.
RIP Nick's Guitar.
RIP Boom Box.

Actually no, fuck you boom box. 


  1. I enjoyed that much more than any movie I've watched in the last couple years. I see an idea for another music video

  2. Nice recount of an epic journey.