I set off from sunny Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, it was very surreal to get on a plane in my t-shirt knowing that once I got off in Seattle I would have to put on a winter coat, a pair of gloves and a woolley hat. Of course, as is usually the way with air travel the 7am call time was well, a big fat waste of time as the plane was delayed and my breakfast take off turned into lunch. Bastards. L.A has a lot to offer, LAX is not one of it’s crown jewels.
Of course, this happens to be the worst weather the pacific north west has suffered for around 30 years. Oh joy! So I upgraded my cheap comedy level economy car to an all wheel drive jeep and basically spent my fee on getting to the friggin gigs! First night was in Wenatchee and my GPS told me it was about an hour and half away, so….six hours later after the mother of all snow storms I got to the “welcome to Wenatchee, apple capital of the world” sign. I’d never driven through snow like that, in England we get a touch of dandruff and the whole country shuts down. This was the biggest dump of the white stuff I’d ever seen, it would take Scarface a couple of lifetimes to snort this. Trucks were getting stuck, the average speed was around 3omph on the freeway – I think it was a freeway, it could have been a lake. And then it stopped, and by that I mean the traffic; the snow just kept coming and there was only one car on the road – mine, as I zig zagged like a Bob sleigh to my destination.
Thankfully the good people of Wenatchee were up for a laugh, though many stayed at home because of severe winter warnings – guys, an Englishman had travelled by plane and risked his life to get to you on the treacherous roads!!!
The next day started with a pitt in my stomach as my GPS proudly informed me that Lewiston was 232 miles away. The news, the locals, the police all advised the same thing – don’t even bother going to the shops today, there’s shitfest of a storm and it ain’t going to stop. But come on, those people in Lewsiton need a laugh! So off I went, at 8am, and by 9am I had gone about 10 miles and couldn’t see in front of me, or behind me, or…anything frankly. I was literally feeling my way along what I hoped was a road and not some crevasse that had just had a smattering of snow covering it up. Oh happy days. At one point I rang Hannah, my wife and asked her to track where I was going from the internet (and our lovely warm sunny apartment in L.A.) she informed me that I wasn’t through the worst of it yet and I always wondered why stars in movies vomit after some terrible news….until now. Thankfully, I saw a snow plough, or so I thought as it blinded me temporarily and I brought the car to a hault until it cleared – I presume I was in the middle lane of the freeway. I don’t think I saw another car for about and hour and a half at one point. I stopped in a local town and everything and I mean everything was closed, I couldn’t find a soul, so onwards I soldiered until…about an hour later when my cell phone had no service, I found a gas station – their advice was to turn back, but by now I’d been on the road for 4 hours plus and to be honest didn’t fancy going back into what I’d just fought my way through. I think I was in mountains (I couldn’t see them), a fact that was confirmed as I slid like a slalem for about 4 miles and arrived in Lewsiston, which smells of cow shit – which was a relief because I thought it was me.
Gig. All good, they laughed in the right places – who cares, I had to get up and drive to Richland the next day.
So Lewsiton to Richland….again the advice was “don’t go anywhere”…in the parking lot, drivers wished each other luck as if we were all going into battle and some may not make it through. On the road, or ski treck, whatever you want to call it, I got behind a car and we were the only human life for an hour or so, it gave me comfort to know he/she/what was there…and then, freezing rain. The windscreen froze, the wipers refused to budge. I stopped the car, the temperature guage read 17F, I got out of the car to try and scrape the ice, it was coated around the car like the ice in a freezer. In a nearby field I spotted three horses, and they just stood there with several inches of snow on their bodies, I don’t speak horse, but I think they were saying “what the fuck?!? Next year we’re going to Florida for the winter”. Eventually, I had enough of an ice hole to see through, so I carried on my way until I came to the next town where I thought I saw life, so I tried to come off the freeway but found myself on an impromptu ice rink so the car decided it should perform like Jonny Weir and do a little pirouette, all it needed was the feathers and the performance was complete – so lesson learnt, as bad as the A roads are, don’t leave them.
Finally got to Richland, at the gig the crowd was good, but again many people had been told not to leave their houses – leave their houses!?! Try driving a gas propelled loge 200 miles like I did! Still, those who did turn up laughed loudly which I appreciated.
So, lie in for day two in Richland. Forget that. I had to be on breakfast radio on Eagle 106.5. Got there, found a law office and round the back was a radio station “Hi, it’s Bill Scott, you’re live on air”…”Er no, I’m actually David Conolly”…”oh, where’s Bill?” “I don’t know, probably stuck in a snow drift”….apparently you can hear the rest of the interview online.
Right, time to relax in my luxurious Days Inn snow cabin. My cat’s have a bigger litter tray than this room and it’s probably in better condition too, but you know what it’s warm in in here and it’s friggin cold out there…back in L.A. Sunday night and Vargus has asked me to go to San Diego on Tuesday for a gig – surely that drive will be a walk in a park.