Monday, March 26, 2007

CSI: Clear Lake, IA

On the way home yesterday, I stopped by the famed Buddy Holly/Ritchie Valens/Big Bopper plane crash site, hoping to find bullet fragments, but it was too bloody muddy to trudge across this time.  I've been there twice before, though, and these photos are from my first visit to the site five years ago (when I had a lot more hair!).
I can't explain why I'm drawn to things like this, really, but I remember the first time I checked it out in 2002 how excited I felt walking across that field (not even sure if I was in the right place or not) until I came upon the the homemade monument that marks the spot where the plane came to rest.  It was also storming off to the north (over my left shoulder in the pic here), which kinda added to the excitement of the moment.  If there's such a thing as "sacred ground" in Rock 'N' Roll History, this is it.

If you'd like to make your own pilgrimage to the site, here's how to get there:  Take I-35 (north or south) to Exit 197 and go west on County Road B20 1.3 miles to County Road S28, aka Grouse Ave., and turn right.  Go north about 8/10 of a mile until the road begins to bend to the left—you'll come upon 310th Street on your immediate right.  Turn right there, and follow 310th Street (a gravel road) east about a quarter mile to Gull Avenue (another gravel road) and turn left.  Go north on Gull about half a mile until you see a cluster of grain silos on the left.  Stop when you come to the T intersection of 315th Street & Gull Avenue.  On the west side of Gull is a street sign post, and next to it is a telephone pole.  You can still see I-35 to the east from where you're standing.  Just to the right/north of the telephone pole is the end of a barbed-wire fence line.  Follow that fence line (on foot at this point) about a quarter-mile west to the monument—you can't miss it, unless you're in the wrong place. 

The owners of the farm—the Juhl family--don't mind if you trespass on their property, just be respectful and don't trash the place...

No comments: