This tale is a Bonanza Town legend. Probably our first legend of (hopefully) many to come. Bonanza Town as a band is known for its shenanigans. Seriously, never a dull moment around here. But this shenanigan really topped the list.
It was a warm summer day in Kamas, when Joey, Alicia and Forrest were packing up to head to their favorite venue, Defa’s Dude Ranch for an evening show on the pavilion. The band previously had several adventures camping and eating baloney sandwiches in Forrest’s trailer and were hoping to do the same that evening, but due to previous shenanigans (what did I say?) the camp trailer was stranded in Idaho with a truck that would later catch on fire (more shenanigans).
So the kind-hearted and generous Andy Bailey (possibly one of BZT’s biggest fans) offered his camp trailer as housing for the humble band that evening. That trailer had its fair share of adventures related to Defa’s, but that is a tale for another day. So in Forrest’s dad’s truck, the band scurried over to Andy’s abode and hitched up the Layton. After a firm connection was established on the ball hitch, the band was off to their next adventure.
Guest drummer Santiago followed the caravan up Wolf Creek Pass while enjoying the scenery. Meanwhile, in the truck, Forrest, Alicia and Joey were belting out ballads by Reckless Kelly at the top of their lungs. The journey seemed to pass quickly, with good tunes, good friends, and a good night of music awaiting them at their destination. As they drew closer to the special spot in the mountains, they counted down the miles: 15, 10, 7, 3 more miles! Finally, the band had reached their final descent past the summit of Wolf Creek Pass.
Ragged as the Road was playing at that fateful moment. A fitting tune for what was about to happen.
And I’m rolling
Faster than a locomotive
Tougher than the edge of the rockies
Hotter than a smoking gun
Ragged as the road I’m on
Then, before anyone could even realize what could possibly happen next, the truck crossed a cattle guard. On any other day, no one would bat an eye at such an occurrence. But on this day, this unpropitious day, it changed the lives of Bonanza Town forever. The song played loudly, the band was singing along, when Forrest began to curse equally loud. Joey looked at him with confusion knitted in his brow knowing that those were not the lyrics to the song. Alicia was on alert, knowing something was wrong. In the rearview mirror, chaos was abreast.
The band watched with horror and awe as the Layton had detached from the truck speeding uncontrollably toward the bottom of the pass. Forrest tried to slow down, then fearing the trailer would rear end the truck, sped up to escape imminent danger. There was nothing anyone could do but watch, open mouthed in complete shock as the trailer failed to make the curve in the road. A culvert lay in its path, a culvert that would deliver the trailer’s impending doom.
The song continued to play as the band watched the tongue of the trailer nose dive into the culvert and what happened next was incredible and devastating. They watched the trailer destroy itself, flying off the axle and exploding in a cloud of dust and dirt against the mountainside. What was once a summer retreat now lay in shambles on the side of Wolf Creek Pass.
Forrest stopped the truck, and turned around to survey the damage. Santiago pulled up with a look of disbelief on his face. The band just looked at what was to be their home that night: a pile of mangled metal, wood, and some Guns and Ammo magazines.
After a few reverent moments at the site of the crash, it was time to do something no one was looking forward to: call Bailey and tell him his trailer was no more. Forrest took his phone out of his pocket and dialed the number, putting Bailey on speakerphone so the band could share in his reaction. Forrest relayed the situation as calmly as possible. They came to find out the trailer asked for a 2 5/8″ ball hitch. The truck carried merely a 2″ ball hitch, explaining the severe effects of the cattle guard.
Bailey took the news surprisingly well, just thankful he didn’t leave his banjo inside. The band did what they could to salvage the trailer’s remains, some extension cords and a washboard. The band had no choice but to continue on their way as that evening’s downbeat was approaching. After a few last moments paying tribute to the ever adventurous Layton, Bonanza Town left the trailer in its final resting place.
That night they played an excellent show in memorial to the trailer. Later joined by Bailey, they commiserated together and paid for his drinks for the rest of the night.
The band was able to secure lodging from the Defa’s that night, in a trailer by the creek that was called the “Stabbin Wagon”. It was a restless night for the band, (mostly due to Forrest drunk dialing several people, including Alicia, who was in the trailer with him, and also he puked his guts out several times that night) but morning came and the previous days events were starting to recede into memory.
The Layton has not been forgotten since that fateful day in Wolf Creek Pass. Bailey and the band continue to be friends and still visit Defa’s regularly. Each time they pass that cursed culvert, they give a tip of the hat to the legendary Layton in remembrance.
This road lies ahead like life on a brush
It’s a virgin canvas free from human touch
And it’s ours for the taking or the leaving behind
It’s a ghost of the past with the future to find