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Day 2

Day 2

I wake up at approximately 9:00 AM and am able to take a shower and change my clothes before I head out at 11:00 AM.  Not much sleep but I feel rested.  

I leave Spokane and pass through Northern Idaho making  good time to Missoula, MT. The landscape of Western Montana is boring and I find no reason to stop along the way. I have roughly 4 hours to kill once I arrive at my destination so I attempt to find a hot spring (which Missoula is apparently famous for).

I pass through Missoula and down a long highway that has “Moose XING” stenciled on it every few miles.  The road weaves through a fire damaged forest and strange rock formations.  I eventually find Lolo Hot Springs and pull into a huge, pot-hole laden, dirt parking lot.  Aside from a strange dog aimlessly wandering the parking lot, I see no signs of life.

There is a small building with a porch where one would gain access to the gated hot spring pools.  I step inside and there is no attendant.  I hear the ambient sounds of the wind blowing and water dripping as I peruse the price list for the pass.  I debate whether I should forgo the cost of admission and enter the hot springs or wait until an attendant shows up.

After careful consideration I decide to wait and have a seat on the porch.  More dogs have entered the vast, muddy parking lot and I watch them as they sniff about.  One of the dogs walks towards me and I say “hello” but it completely ignores me and walks past the porch.

30 minutes later a lady crosses the highway and slowly walks across the parking lot and to the building.
She asks: “Do you need something from me?”  I tell her I would like to purchase a pass to use the Hot Springs.  She takes my 7 dollars and leaves the building, slowly walking across the parking lot and back across the highway.

I enter the shower room and it is in a state of disrepair.  The paint is peeling, only one shower works and there is nowhere to leave my clothes once I have changed into a bathing suit.  After some cautious consideration I  just leave my clothes on an old wooden bench in the shower room.  I don’t really have to worry about them being stolen as I am the only one there.  The isolation and dilapidated ambiance gives me bad vibes.

I first head to the outdoor pool.  It is a huge swimming pool where the hot spring water is poured into.  I float on my back and watch uneasily as the clouds take undesirable forms.  A deformed dragon collides with a crab that contains too many legs.  Horrified faces melt and break apart…

I move to the indoor pool which smells like farts and has strange floating things in it. There is a large spider floating on the surface of the water.  I try to save it but it ends up drowning a horrible hot death and sucked down a drain.  I feel uneasy but can’t deny that the warm spring water is very soothing.  The lack of sleep catches up with me and I feel like I might pass out when a freckled elderly man appear from the doorway and sits in down across from me in the pool.  He asks where I am from and I tell him.  I ask him where he is from and he tells me that he is from Eastern Missoula but he broke down on the highway in the late 70’s, walked here and never left.  I start feeling faint from the immense heat, excuse myself and get out of the pool. I take a cold shower, change back into my clothes and leave not sure if I had that conversation or if it was a dream. 

I show up at the venue and it is huge!  I find out that there is no local band on the bill and realize that the show is doomed.  The first band is from Northern California and they play for over 90 minutes.  No one who came to the show is still there by the time their set is done.  It is agonizingly inconsiderate to the other bands at the show as well as the audience.  In my opinion you should only be playing a set over 30 minutes is if you are headlining and you actually have fans.  This band just pissed off everyone and was basically the real life equivalent of Blues Hammer from the Ghost world movie.  It really fucked up the show.

Their long set means that the other bands have to cut their set short.  I pretty much play to an audience of the 3rd band Vibragun and I can sense that they just want to play and get the night over with.  I play three songs and end my set at about  14 minutes.  Vibragun is thankful.  They play and I listen as I am prepping my equipment to be packed into my car.  The night is finally over and no one is getting paid.

I pack my car and start it.  The car does something strange but straightens itself out and I drive into the night.  I almost run out of gas but manage to find a gas station in the middle of nowhere across the street from a livestock farm decorated with horrifying cow skulls with deformed, twisted horns.  I eventually pull into a rest stop and attempt to sleep.  The weather is freezing  so I wrap myself up in a coat and keep nodding off for a few seconds before shivering myself awake until the sun comes up.

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