As I sit here looking out at the magnificent, sunlit, snow-covered Rocky Mountains, it’s Sunday morning and we arrived here late yesterday afternoon after a long and arduous 1500-mile drive across almost half the continent.
The arduous part was the stretches of Interstate 40, where the slippery roads made it necessary for the traffic to crawl, or in some cases come to a complete halt – the longest about five hours 30 miles east of Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The highway was closed down several miles ahead by a serious wreck.
After traveling almost eighty thousand miles while on tour last year, you could justifiably ask, “Why, in the name of good sense, Hazel and me would climb into a pickup truck at 2:30 AM and head west, especially when winter storms are dumping snow and causing icy conditions right in the sections of the country we need to pass through to reach our destination?”
This is an especially poignant question since there is a perfectly good airport in our area with regular daily flights that would get us here in a few hours.
The answer to that question is difficult, and a somewhat muddy answer is the best I can do.
After an extremely busy and sometimes frantic work schedule, just the two of us – switching drivers every few hours, no schedules to keep, stopping wherever we want to, rolling across the countryside enjoying views and sights we’ve seen dozens of times but somehow never get tired of looking at, setting our own pace on a route we know so well that we’ve even got the best ice cream stops pegged and the best motels to spend the night in – is still an enjoyable undertaking for us.
It's a time of kind of letting down, a period of decompression, a transition from the demands of the road and profession into a couple of months of relaxing, and preparing for next year’s storm which will begin the first of March and go through the middle of December.
And there’s no place I’d rather be than in the eye of the storm for those ten months, touring, writing and recording new material, pursuing my new-found proclivity for writing, and some other really exciting stuff on the horizon for 2019.
January and February are our vacation months, but don’t go getting the idea that we take to the rocking chair for sixty days. We are constantly doing something, going places, visiting friends, and since we discovered snowmobiling, it’s become a big part of our vacation time.
In fact, I even do a book signings while there, so it’s not all sleeping late and sedentary pursuits, but just the right balance of activity and non-activity to return to the arena rested and ready to bust back on the scene with both barrels loaded.
But back to the long drive: I guess you could call it a three-day training camp to get us in shape to kick it in neutral for a while. Then the drive home works in reverse, conditioning us for our reentry back into the real world.
Whatever the reasons – and it probably makes absolutely no sense to anybody but us, and to be truthful, sometimes, not even to us – battling the traffic, the elements, the hazardous roads and all the rest … there is a tacit satisfaction that, with me at 82 and Hazel at 75, we can still get behind the wheel of a four by four and make the journey, fending for ourselves, no driver to take us, no road manager to check us into a motel, no roadies to help move the luggage and no itinerary to adhere to.
Well, the old folks have done it again.
Good morning, Colorado!
From Hazel, Charlie Jr, the band crew and office staff at the CDB and the cowboys at Twin Pines Ranch, we wish you all a safe, joyous, prosperous and God-blessed 2019.
Bring it on.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.