HEAD SPACE: Setlist Diary #53

The past is more readily accessible behind the wheel of a westbound truck at night. Memories are closer to the surface. There is no history, in a linear sense, just right now and the promise of snow somewhere down the road…

But there is no sunken treasure

Rumored to be

Wrapped inside my ribs

In a sea black with ink

This is my home, or at least my home away from home. It’s where my mind is free, where my inner dialogue has control of my here and now, where the threat of the future lies around the next hairpin, over the next pass, if only I am bold enough to push on, to push on.

I like how the world looks while driving my truck. The feeling is abundantly more profound when accompanied by my old friend, the nighttime.


Rocketing head-long down the highway, the darkness blurs the details so that interpretation plays a more prominent role in one’s vision. Lights on the mountainside seem more inviting when calling out to the high-country winter traveller. Come in! Come in!

Highway 6 in the canyon is the same road traversed by Kerouac in the opening chapters of On The Road, and Highway 40 over Berthoud Pass is retread in the same book still later. The road at night has seen many anonymous parties borrow its promise of change, of destination, of future obscured. It can mean one million different things to just as many drivers, and it is where I find my most creative moments, here on the powder trail into the high hills of my home state.

Moon hangs in the night

A spotlight on the world

Lighting the lands, moving the seas

And tonight from where I stand on this hill

The spotlight’s on me

I am young long ago

I know not a thing

But you tire of the same faces

And you dream of new places…

The silhouettes of the range looming large to the four winds blowing allow me the illusion of being unstuck in the world at large. Clouds and summits dull the mind’s horizon when everything translates as shades of black.

And you say “just be here now

Forget about the past

your mask is wearing thin…”

I’m waiting for my real life to begin

The past is more readily accessible behind the wheel of a westbound truck at night. Memories are closer to the surface. There is no history, in a linear sense, just right now and the promise of snow somewhere down the road.

Used to tell Ma sometimes
When I see them riding blinds
Gonna make me a home out in the wind
In the wind, Lord in the wind
Make me a home out in the wind

My method is simple. Fabricate one playlist based strictly on muse. Follow your bliss with no preconceived thought. Oftentimes the songs you choose will dictate the evening’s mood for you, or at the very least enhance the ride. Plug and play. Preferably loud. I burn CDs- already an antiquated technology, but it leaves me with a little trinket that I later hang on the cork board outside of the Eldorado Springs post office, paying forward a subscription to my vibe for whomever wishes to take it. My addition to the cosmic library.

Well I know you are strong

May your journey be long

And now I wish you the best of luck

Around each bend little glimpses appear that tickle my mind’s fancy. On Berthoud Pass, the tail end of a good line, powder tracks that for all I know could have started 400 miles higher. The steep banks of the Zero Creek drainage and an old hidden friend touch down lightly at the penultimate switchback. Pass summits devoid of everything save for a truck camper humming with propane promise, the warm glow of comfort visible through the tattered blinds.


The road unfolds in a ribbon of mystery, in spite of the scores of times I have passed this way. The snowy burms morph. Are those stars, or blowing snow? Or both? I-70 gets a bad rap, and deservedly so; however after dark, it is my private thoroughfare, and I appreciate the stillness inherent in the surrounding mountain towns.

I can hear the wheels of automobiles

So far away moving along through the drifting snow

It’s times like these when the temperatures freeze

I sit alone just looking at the world through a storm window

Time don’t fly- it bounds and leaps

Childhood memories traversing Highway 6 with dad merge with the present, as we always were on the road at o-dark thirty. Creature habits born of his own childhood full of frequent moves and road trips, the early bird certainly stands a better chance of riding first chair. Now I forget if it is early or late, and know only that the orange glow from the canyon’s 5 tunnels entreat me to mental trips from Colorado to Switzerland to Austria to Mont Blanc and back home again- a warm mouth in the side of an otherwise impenetrable mountain face urging me and my truck onward, higher, further.

Then the snow started falling

We were stuck out in your car

You said “ain’t this just like the present

To be showing up like this?”

With no external dialogue, there is only you, the music, and the promise of snow lurking. For me driving is narcotic in its euphoria, as my unstuck being again gains awareness through the filtration of lights at the valley bottom. Here I see the childhood vision of snowflakes dancing in front of the street lights as the music tapers perfectly into the present, and my friends’ rides are waiting for me outside the very real, very present invite of a hearth fire at the town pub. Mulled wine and chow. Doesn’t matter what. I am riding high on the feeling that the world is at my beckon call. Tomorrow will mean the greater reality of riding fresh snow with friends, a feeling that tonight cannot even fully foretell.

Running just as fast as you can

You jump ship way quick

But maybe it’s thicker…

Than water

One day you’ll wake up and realize

…just what you’re after

The promise is yours for the taking. The price is a tank of gas, a warm destination for the night, a snowy promise for the coming days, some skis and an open mind. This is freedom and happiness incarnate, and I sit now writing the thoughts accumulated through the previous hour’s contemplative whirlwind westward into the fresh. Tomorrow, tomorrow… the snow falls lightly through the window and I come unstuck yet again, the product of 1,000 nights spent peering out at the streetlight dreaming of my muse, my passion, and tomorrow’s promise.

Far away over hills and streams

The candle burns a witch’s dreams

Silence is golden ‘til it screams

Right through your bones

The way that we move through the world is at least as important as where we move in the world.


**Setlist available upon request. More fun to figure it out on your own…


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