Finn Riggins picked me up at 3 a.m. this morning to join the band on its tour to the SXSW Music festival in Austin, Texas. I fell asleep in the van almost immediately.
A dreary gray sky was the backdrop to snowy mountains, which flashed by the windows as I woke up to our first day on the road. It was around 8 a.m. and we were near the Utah/Wyoming border.
"You ever been to this part of the country before?" drummer Cameron Bouiss asked me from the driver's seat.
"No," I said.
"We have a running band joke that in Rawlins, [Wyo.] the weather is always bad," he said. "Blizzards, even in summer."
We pulled into a gas station 10 minutes later, and as I bought a cup of coffee the clerk complained about the weather.
"Is it usually like this at this time of year?" I asked, "Or just today?"
She grimaced and handed me my change. "Just today," she said.
Within 50 miles, the snow vanished from the roadside and the clouds parted to reveal the first inklings of a lovely blue sky.