The Legend-News

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Monday, 1999 July 26 : Volume 2, Number 30

Thwack Upside the Head
Just a reminder about the mailing list: it moved. Send your messages to owp@listbot.com, not cw@techren.com. (Go ahead, try to spam me! I dare ya!)

I'm mentioning this because since the list moved, I haven't been checking the 'cw' address very frequently, and when I checked today I found a message that had been, uh, 'hiding' for the past two weeks. My fault though; I'll check that address every few days, just to be certain that a surprise isn't lurking.

Pseudo McCall
Remember that song project that I mentioned last week? The announcement that I intended to write a 'new' C.W. McCall song? Well, the bunch on Other Wild Places likes the idea, and they've formed an exploratory group to investigate the possibility of creating a task force which will incorporate a committee to write the song. :) I haven't seen this much enthusiasm since the first "Let's Kill Barney" vigilante party.

So I've been scribbling, and I've got a general idea. It's to be a road song, a paean (it's a word; I checked) to travelling in this great U.S. of A. And since I've got to get the details correct, I've decided that it'll be about somewhere that I've been: Wall Drug, as in "Where the hell is Wall Drug?".

Herewith, for your pleasure, the beginning of the first Great Attempt. Yeah, it reads like a high school poem, but if you sing the last line of the chorus like "Rawhiiiiiiide!" (you do know that song, don't you?), it sounds better.

Wall Drug

(E. Floden, so far)

I've always seen them tourist traps
From the front seat of my truck
While haulin' freight across the land
Just tryin' to make buck
So when I got two weeks off
I made it as my plan
To cruise the concrete in a car
And stop at roadside stands

I loaded up the Cherokee
With the necessities of life
A couple pairs a' denim jeans
An' a large Swiss Army Knife
I headed west on I-nine-oh
Drove northbound through the cheese
Saw Tommy Bartlett's kingdom
Rode a Duck and watched the skis

But as I passed through St. Paul
A billboard beckoned me
Said "Wall Drug, just five hundred miles
"And the ice water is free."

[chorus]
Westward bound, no hammer down
Checkin' out the sights
State highways and county roads
This ain't no airplane flight
Wall Drug...

There, now. That wasn't so bad, was it? And that's just the beginning...

Surfin' With The Rubber Duck
This week's links are brought to you by the word "interstate" and the number pi.

I came across this page that quoted a few lines from "Convoy". And being the nit-picker that I am, I e-mailed the author and told him where he should look for the complete lyrics. No, not there. Here. Nice guy that he is, he added a plug for An American Legend. And Kurumi has more information on 3-digit Interstate highways.

There's a road song, too. It even has chords!

Ever wonder "Why are there Interstate highways in Hawaii?".

Mike Barre started in California on 25 June, and he's working his way east. Live the Adventure.

There's a holdup in the Bronx; Brooklyn's broken out in fights; there's a traffic jam in Harlem that's backed up to Jackson Heights.

And what week wouldn't be complete without Yet Another Web Page Authored By A Clueless Person Who Never Really Listened To C.W. McCall. As if an appearance on a Billboard chart is a true indication of popularity. Yeah, right. Tell that to Jimmy Buffett.

Song A’ Th’ Week
Remember that overdue message that I mentioned earlier? Well, Bob Norton sent it, and it had a really good question: "Where is the 'Lost Lake' referred to in the song 'Aurora Borealis' on the CD The Real McCall: An American Storyteller?"

I looked at my trusty DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer of Colorado, but despite the assurance that this atlas showed "...Hidden lakes and streams...", I couldn't find it. Not a lake nor a town by the name of "Lost Lake". I checked my National Geographic Atlas of North America: no luck. Rand McNally map of Colorado? Nada. This lake definitely was lost!

Okay, time to try the Internet. Nothing on MapQuest. Let's go to Altavista, enter the search string +"lost lake" +colorado. Bingo! The second hit gave directions from Durango to a Forest Service trail which leads to the Lost Lake. Back to MapQuest, where I found the bend in the road where the trail began, but the "...small, shallow, very scenic lake" was still nowhere to be found, even though it's a half-mile from the road, right about where that red X is.

Lost Lake, CO from MapQuest

If you've got a DeLorme Atlas of Colorado, you can find the lake on page 86, grid A4, just west of 107° 40' W longitude, north of Lemon Reservoir. If my reckoning is correct, the lake is just about where you see the 'c' in the words 'McClure Canyon'. Look hard, and you'll see the dashed line of the trail.

Darryl Styner has a nice picture of Lost Lake. Scroll down to the fourth photo on the page.

(Update: that's not our Lost Lake; it's a 'Lost Lake' that located between Boulder and Winter Park. Oh, well; I'll keep searching.)

And after all that explanation, the song's just gotta be

Aurora Borealis

(C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis)

From the album Wilderness.