Shawn’s One Day Road Trip To Clear Lake [photos]
If you're looking for something fun and inexpensive to do this summer, make the short trip to Clear Lake!
Whether you're looking to cool off with some fun on the water or if you're into rock-n-roll nostalgia like myself, there's something for everyone in Clear Lake, IA. Since, last Friday's weather didn't exactly lend itself to the "fun on the water" part, my family and I had fun taking in two legendary locations in the history of rock-n-roll!
Our first stop, was a visit to the crash site, where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the "Big Bopper" all perished on that fateful night, February 3, 1959, yes, "the day the music died". The crash site is just a mile or two outside of Clear Lake and is relatively easy to find (when you use your GPS on your smartphone, lol). Once you find the giant pair of black horned-rimmed glasses, it's about a quarter mile walk into the middle of the corn and bean fields. Which, would be fine on a nice day, however last Friday, it was REALLY windy (and cold) but we managed to make it there and back to the family van, with no injuries, just severely wind-blown!
The next stop, was the legendary Surf Ballroom. For a $5 suggested donation, you can take a self-guided tour of the building.
Sadly, this was my first time to step foot into this historic venue. You could spend hours looking at all the autographed pictures on the walls and taking in all the history. I was truly astounded by all the artists/bands that have played there.
Basically, if you're anybody who's somebody, you've played there!
Here's some photos of my favorite rockers (and their autographed guitars) who've played the "Surf":
Brian Setzer (Stray Cats fame)
Gene Simmons (solo with his band)
This is just a "tip of the iceberg" of the many musicians that have played this legendary hall. It makes me wonder, what was I doing that I missed all of these shows? The good news is...there's still time to get there, with REO Speedwagon and George Thorogood playing this summer and a (sold out) Robert Plant show this fall. Either way, we're planning a trip back to Clear Lake on a MUCH warmer and more sunny day to enjoy fun on the water, the great food (more restaurants to explore) and have another beer at the Lake Time Brewery! Make sure you take the time to get out and explore Iowa this summer!