I know that SXSW is already way old news, but I don’t care. And anyways, this won’t really be about SXSW because the best part of the whole trip for me was travelling there and back with some of my favorite people in the entire known universe. Although I suppose you should know that Greylag had the opportunity to play a few showcases in Texas, and the folks footing the bill figured it’d be better to drive the band and all the equipment down to Austin rather than fly. And so, the following are shots from the road to Texas from Oregon (and then back).
Driving from Portland to Austin takes a solid 35 hours. Factor in the kinds of miscellaneous delays, food breaks, and pee stops that accompany a group of six (or seven) people, and you’re easily looking at 40 hours on the road — most of which is barren wasteland. God help you if your van breaks down near, oh say, Melrose, New Mexico. If the coyotes don’t get ya, the locals probably will (no, seriously). But as someone who is A) from green, green Portland and B) only passing through, the desolation can be quite the beautiful change of pace, so I was excited to make the trip.
Since we had to make it down to Austin for a Greylag show, time didn’t really permit us to stop and look around until our return trip. As we drove through Moab, we were able to spend a few hours in Arches National Park, which promptly impressed us all (or at least me). Really, though, it’s amazing the number of different environments a drive like that will take you through. In a span of two days, we travelled through forests, rivers, mountains, deserts, plains, blizzards and heat waves. It’s enough to give one’s immune system a complex.
Landscapes aside, the real joy of trips like these is all the time spent in good company. It’s sometimes said that the road will test the mettle of one’s friendships, and I believe it. We all loved each other before we left, and the fact that we’re all still breathing is proof enough that the love is, indeed, stronger. I used to hate road trips, but that was before I realized why God made them. Now I look forward to each and every opportunity to travel with people like these (becoming a photographer helped, too, I bet). Yay, road. Yay.