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The Hawk mobile powered north and then east through dark Idaho hills, and we almost ran out of gas again. There are few gas stations on I-15, so fill up in Pocatello or Idaho Falls. Eastward on 90 and we unholster cell phones, functioning again after hours of silence, and we roust Ron Craighead, KGLT honcho and DJ, and Dave, owner of Big Sky High Studios, as we approach Bozeman at 1 a.m. We wind up dirt roads to Blue Sky High, a huge studio/B&B nestled among alfafa farmers and grazing cattle in the shadow of Middle Cottonwood Canyon and Montana mountains.

Dave’s up and plays the gracious late night host, shows the Hawks around his studio and beautifully appointed living quarters. Poco recorded a live album in the main room recently, and it’s being mixed on site in the pastureland. The Hawks give Blue Sky High a hearty recommendation to bands looking to record and get in day hikes in alpine speldor.Next day we woke and raided Dave’s refrigerator, making a big eggs and goat cheese breakfast, shades of the generous larder of Doran and Katherine in Winters, CA, hung out
with Dave a while, then Ron and sound man Noose arrived with the PA, and we sound checked for an acoustic and electric show. We drove down into town, hung out with PL’s sister Mary and her old pals Steve and Mary Lou Osman and their film school finished daughter Julia. The Osmans are the embodiment of the Hawks song “Raised By Hippies.” They met in the wilds of Jackson, WY, are professional outdoor guides and artists, split from running rapids in Jackson to Costa Rica, then moved to Bozeman. It can be done.

As show time neared, gentle Renee, who has been booking our mountain tourette, and KGLT DJ Jenny, a wild and mercurial evolved spirit, arrived, lifting the Hawks slightly road weary spirits, and the crowd filled the room. We played an excellent acoustic and then electric set, to a wildly enthusiastic response from the crowd. We felt like we’d become fast friends through music. Fans and friends slowly drifted away as the wee hours swept cool breezes onto the meadows, and the Hawks retired.Next day PL’s sister Mary came by as promised at 9 a.m., and with Mary Lou and Ron we climbed a few miles up the trail into Middle Cottonwood Canyon, through beautiful meadows of Indian Paint Brush and other local flowers, lupines, cottonwood and aspen stands, and the canyon widened into big vistas of surrounding peaks. We stuck our heads in the creek, and it was nice and cold, blew giant dandelions, and discussed the new ruling that will allow snarling ATV’s to race up the canyon and trample the meadows. Et tu, Bozeman? Perhaps Peak Oil will rescue Middle Cottonwood Canyon. Bring it on soon, say the bunny rabbits.

A late afternoon acoustic show at the funky and sophisticated Cactus Records in classic downtown Bozeman, a farewell to our kind friends, and we were off for Virginia City, MT. —–

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