Clan Valensorow, tired, drained, and some humiliated, arose from their drunken delirium and set out for home. The last goodbyes to our humble hosts was more difficult than expected, mostly because of the debilitating hangover. Fear not, Colorado natives and friends of Valensorow, for we shall return shortly (we have confirmed September 27th in Denver at the Seventh Circle Music Collective and many more to come)!
Back on the road, we seemed to sail pretty smoothly through the first leg of the trip. We smiled and waved as we passed through Wyoming, debating intensely on where specifically our van broke down. We stopped at a Sonic fast food joint, a place many of us had never had the pleasure of enjoying. Of all people, Noah was most excited to enjoy their delicious beverages (I swear, I know my drinks, and I believe that their Ocean Water tastes like an Adios Motherfucker, just without the booze). Wuldor wasn't doing so well, and that was most clear as he took the wheel for the evening shift. We let him rest during the day in order to let his inner gargoyle come alive for the everlasting drive. Stopping for fuel just outside of Salt Lake City, we were stopped by a local who noticed Wuldor's kilt and Bathory shirt, noting that this rag-tag crew rolling out of a beat up van HAD to be a band on tour. He was, indeed, a fellow metalhead, vocalist for the band Visigoth! We began discussing life on the road, local bands, and all the finer points of metal (“which genre does this band fit in?”) before cutting it short due to the time. With too many Red Bulls, Monsters, and Redlines for a group of rockstars-in-training, we set out once more for the night road.
Funny things happen to those who stay awake far too long. By simply not allowing ones body and mind to rest, you may encounter certain beings that normally one will not notice. Shadows take life, voices laugh at you, all while traveling down a path into utter darkness. I could have sworn we ran over several demons on our journey into Nevada, and once there the endless desert becomes a nightmarish wasteland completely void of natural life and color. If we didn't have Bruce Dickenson's voice guiding us out of madness, I fear we may have never returned...or just not on time. We stopped to rest for a moment at a gas station, allowing the sun to rise past the horizon, for looking directly into the sun is not the most pleasant of tasks in the early morning. It seemed to be only a few tosses and turns later, then we arrived at the California border. Home was so near, I can almost smell the dirty dishes and rotting food we left in the fridge!
Tommy Noble back at the helm meant the boat's crew rearranged themselves for further comfort. Three hundred miles sounded so pleasing, maybe a quick nap would do the trick. I very vividly remember passing through Yolo County, a land where clearly people understand my [past life]style. It lacked some of the glamor I would have expected, I thought maybe I would have heard Suicide Silence playing everywhere or maybe seen some more strip clubs, but that's just my personal understanding of “yolo”.
Spirits began soaring as we all noticed signs saying “San Jose”. That was likely the happiest I have seen these gentlemen to look at a sign for a concrete jungle...and just as they started feeling better a driver cuts them off on the freeway and stops their car. Things I didn't miss while in any other state: California drivers. Rather be in Laramie, that's for sure. As we arrive at the studio, I heard Vince Neil's voice announcing our arrival; “tonight, tonight, I'm on my way. I'm on my wa-a-ay, home sweet home!” Furiously (both quickly and with aggression), we unpacked the van, separated our belongings, took a picture, and loaded up back in the van to drop everyone off. It felt like summer camp all over again, except without the false promises and regretful hookups.
Phew...that was a long journey. It was less than a week, but three thousand miles of driving, obscene amounts of alcohol, ridiculous victories and failures, and golf (yes, golf) can weary even the most energetic warrior. With this quote from an upcoming song, “The Wanderer”, I bid thee farewell..for now...
“And so the tale goes the Wanderer came to be,
from smoke and embers he was born, we know not what he sees.
Tall and slender, dressed in black, his shrouded gaze perceives
the sorrow and hope that lays within the fallen, crumbling leaves.”