As always, we’re getting to the gig with little time to spare. We motor through steadily rising mountains and see our first forests, our minds elevating with the elevation. A river leads the way. Exit Bozeman, drive down the main drag, stop in at Cactus Records to say hi, race south on the 191 into a narrow canyon dug by a beautiful fly fisherman filled river. Right into Big Sky, a huge ski resort. Look for the white pavilion, Ron Craighead, KGLT pioneer DJ, had told us, and there it was, in a dramatic wide green field in the shadow of a scrub and then pine covered mountain.
Big Sky puts on a weekly outdoor concert, and tonight it’s us, and it’s good to be here. The view from the stage is breathtaking, to the towering mountains, and the sound crew is great, Brian and his boys get the sound dialed in.Families, hippies, local mountain people, and vacationers with picnic baskets filter in, pay their $10 and find a spot in the grass. We play into sunset, and twilight, and night, two long sets. The crowd at the end gives us a big encore, and it’s a good, good thing. We do an encore that turns into a mini-set and the hard core of the crowd step out of the dark field to the edge of the stage and dance wildly. A cinematic end to an outdoor paradise show.
Besides DJ Ron, the other pillar of support for the Hawks in the Mountains is Jenny, another KGLT DJ and a wild free spirit of music and kindness. Today you find your tribe across interstate lines, and we are grateful for ours.Next morning we’re back on the 191 south. We find ourselves trapped in a slow moving line towards a $25 entry fee at the Yellowstone Park entrance. Dom, our man at the Mangy Moose in Jackson Hole, next stop, calls us, says abort, abort! Our journey through Yellowstone would have been torturous, slowed by ambulances hauling off tourists mauled by bears they were attempting to photograph or just collapsing in National Park heat. We turn around, take a long loop into Idaho and then back east over a pass in the Tetons into Wilson, WY, then north through meadows and aspens to Teton Village, another massive ski resort carved into a beautiful mountainside.