Cleveland Forest➡️Slab City➡️Quartzite➡️Phoenix➡️Denton➡️Austin➡️Houston (Oct.18-Oct.30)
Well, time sure has escaped us. My horoscope this week reassured me that it’s (fucking) fine to move deadlines around, if there’s the space to do so. Meaning, it’s ok that this blog post update is behind schedule.
We’ve been getting into all sorts of shenanigans the last couple of weeks and some of the greatest tour memories have been made during this time. These pictures and words only grasp a tiny snippet of what each day consists of but don’t worry, we’ve been filming like crazy. theWAZUAZshow episodes for YouTube are gonna be a trip.
This recap starts with us in waking up in the mountains of east California. Cleveland National Forest to be specific. Impeccable views but super strong winds. Enough that it was rocking our van all night. Felt like we could have blew off the cliff like a kite.
We departed there and went straight for Salvation Mountain & Slab City. We’ve heard much about it, but there aren’t enough stories to actually prepare you for what it’s like. It rained just a couple of days prior, so the mountain and walkways were off limits to walk on but sculpture work and colors are magnificent. Leaving there, we drove further into slab city, “east of Jesus.” Truly lawless. UaZit and F-ETHER visited the DIY desert skatepark for a while.
We left there, pit stopped at a rock shop then finished the drive into Phoenix, where we would stay for the next few days.
Once again, Illegal Pete’s fed us for their starving artists program. Which is always nice on the road. Their love and support for touring musicians is top notch. We had a last minute show get booked at The Lost Leaf on the patio that evening. Had a superb time & even stole the crowd from the show inside. Hehe
The following day we got dolled up and went to the ballet with sweet friends. It was a production of Cinderella. There was no photography permitted during the production but the sets, costumes and choreography were all stunning.
We also had the opportunity to visit two of our favorite artists in their studio. JayArr & BethBru. Both muralists and fine artists.
The next day was our Pinnacle Peaks market. We had two friends from Indianapolis fly into Phoenix early that morning. Fresh off the plane, they joined us for a couple hours at the market and it was like having a piece of home present.
Our week in Phoenix came to a close on Sunday, Oct. 23. Another long time friend, originally from Indianapolis now in Phoenix, sent us off.
Back when we were in San Diego, the venue booker put us in touch with a venue in Bisbee, AZ. We ended up scoring another last minute show so we departed Phoenix in route to Bisbee. It was suggested we stop at an old western town called Tombstone on the way. It was actually really cute there. Like time was standing still there. Dirt roads and historic shops. A theater that once was home to “shady ladies” with original bullet holes and knife swipes in a painting. The wild (fucking) west.
Our time there was fairly brief as we had a show that night and needed to keep moving. We arrived in Bisbee as the sun was setting but just in time to see Lavender Pit before the show. Bisbee is an old mining town and was just as historic as Tombstone. More developed though. Original architecture and roads winding through the mountainous valleys. The temps were going to drop to freezing that night so for the first time all tour we decided to book a hotel instead of sleeping in the van. It ended up being an old boarding house, built in 1880. The towns original well was in the lobby. Apparently the well started as a mine, but miners struck water being washed away as the mine flooded. You could peer into the well and see the original ladder that led into the depths. Side note: Can we just address the (fucking) authentic war spear hanging in our hotel room? Is it legal to leave weapons that could potentially end someones life in rooms for rent? Bisbee gives no fucks.
The next day we explored the town a bit and had lunch before departing. The temps were going to be just as cold in Las Cruces that night so we paid for another hotel. Felt spoiled, back to back hotels! The van is peachy but stretching out in a room and using a shower that isn’t at Planet Fitness is even peachier. Ha!
The next morning we skedaddled early and went to White Sands, New Mexico. Which is dunes made up entirely of natural gypsum instead of sand. Pure white and absolutely stunning. We spent majority of the afternoon there, sliding down the dunes on one of UaZit’s used skateboard decks, doing a photoshoot and just wallowing in the gypsum. We left there and continued our drive to Lubbock, TX. Stopped in Roswell on the way. You know, Area 51. The only aliens we saw were plush toys, bummer.
Wednesday Oct. 26 was our show in Denton, TX at a space called Rubber Gloves. Before the show, F-ETHER drove to the airport and picked up his partner. She would be joining us for the last part of tour with F-ETHER.
We all bopped around Denton for the morning & afternoon before started our drive towards Austin. We decided to stop about halfway and camp in Whitney, TX since it was dark. About 20 minutes after arrival, UaZit was in the field picking up firewood. He looked down and realized his wedding ring was missing. It had slipped off his finger somewhere in the field. The first time we’ve ever had this kind of scare. We were all in the field with flashlights, looking for his ring for about 90 minutes. Alicia eventually won the game and found his ring. Truly a core tour memory. After everyone’s nerves settled, we had a bonfire and broke out the camp stove for some camp tacos.
Friday Oct. 28 was our show in Austin. F-ETHER’s last tour stop with us and also his birthday. Alicia and F-ETHER paid for a hotel and asked if we wanted to use the spare bed (yes duh) so we drove straight there and got cleaned up. The first thing on the list was to get F-ETHER some GF/Vegan cupcakes for his birthday. We went to a bakery called Zucchini Kill and got cupcakes + “twinkies”. Then went to Citizen Eatery for a birthday dinner before the show. Delish!
The show was a banger way to end our tour leg with F-ETHER. With it being so close to Halloween, the costume shenanigans were officially underway.
The following morning we had our last brunch together. The leg with F-ETHER was officially over. Which was more emotional than we imagined. We spent the last five weeks attached at each other’s hip, sharing so many experiences and memories together. All the good, great, bad and ugly. There isn’t another human we would have rather shared this trip with though.
We had to drive to Houston on Saturday so we left F-ETHER & Alicia in Austin after brunch and drove to Houston. We had a Halloween market that night in Montrose so we dressed up. Actually won their costume contest. Ha!
Sunday was pretty chill, just spent the day roaming around the city. We visited Glenwood Cemetery, a historic cemetery from 1872 with gardens and huge oak trees. We also stopped at a metaphysical shop. It was one of the more legitimate supplies stores we’ve ever stepped into. The front window had a mural on it that read “do a random act of kindness”. Sure enough, just before we arrived there, we went to get gas and someone asked us to jump their car. He didn’t speak English, just had the request typed out on Google translate. We finally got to try out the jump starter we picked up before tour. Our front left turn signal bulb decided to shit out later in the day so we ran around to a couple stores looking for replacement bulbs. A quick fix and we were ready to settle for the night.
These two weeks offered a great deal of life experiences and memories. Reunited with so many friends, made new friends, did things outside of our comfort zone and shared an abundance of love as we made our way across the south.