Black Bear Road
(Bill Fries, Chip Davis)

Me an’ R.J. an’ the kids was on a camp-out in the mountains an’ we had us one a’ them U-Drive-’Em Army Jeep cars which we had rented from a fella by the name a’ Kuboske for thirty bucks a day buy your gas along the way take a rabbit’s foot an’ leave a pint a’ blood for a dee-posit.

An’ he’d ’splained it all to us how we’s ’sposed to git to Telluride which is fifty miles away by way of the regular highway however there was a short-cut, but unless we had drove the Black Bear Road before, well we’d be better off to stay in bed an’ sleep late.

Pay no attention to the gitar, there.

Well, we took up off’n th’ highway an’ we come upon a sign sez "Black Bear Road you don’t hafta be crazy to drive this road but it helps". I sez "R.J., this must be the short cut road Kuboske’s a-talkin’ ’bout". She didn’t pay no mind ’cause she’s busy makin’ peanut butter san’wiches for the kids in the back seat throwin’ rocks and drinkin’ Kool-Aid an’ playin’ count the license plates on cars but they wasn’t havin’ a-too much fun a-playin’ count license plates on cars, well, because there weren’t no other cars.

Went about a mile an’ a half in about four hours busted off the right front fender an’ tore a hole in the oil pan on a rock as big as a hall closet. Went over a bump an’ spilt the Kool-Aid an’ Roy Gene stuck his bolo knife right through the convertible top an’ the dog threw up all over th’ back seat. Peanut butter don’t agree with ’im, see.

So we had to stop an’ air it out an’ clean it up the dog run off and R.J. sez she felt her asthma comin’ on. I was settin’ there wonderin’ what to do when the en-tire scenic San Ju-wan U-Drive-’Em Army Jeep car sank in the mud. At thirteen thousand feet above sea level.

Well we shoveled it out an’ ate our lunch; the dog made a yella hole in th’ snow an’ Roy Gene got out his Instamatic and took a snapshot of it. Mary Elizabeth drawed a pitcher of the road it looked like a whole bunch a Z’s an’ W’s all strung together and R.J. took one look at that picture and said the only way she’s goin’ down that Jeep car road was over her dead body. And then a rock slipped out from under the wheel and the U-Drive-’Em Army Jeep car well, it went right over, right over th’ edge of a cliff.

I mean, doggonit Roy Gene! I tell you put a rock under there, I mean rock! Now look what you had there. No, it ain’t bigger’n a grapefruit.

An absolutely true story. Cross my heart. The infamous Black Bear in one of the highest, roughest and cliff-hangiest 4-wheel-drive trails in the world. And the chart for this bit is rated 4WD too. Just listen to the awesome power of Jackson, Eric, Steve, Ron and Chip. Five of the best pickers in the USA. — Bill (from the liner notes)

The original recording of "Black Bear Road" was released on the album Black Bear Road. That version can be found on the albums C.W. McCall’s Greatest Hits and The Best of C.W. McCall.