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Buddy Holly Crash Site
Clear Lake, IA

In all the excitement yesterday we had to miss one scheduled stop, the lonesome cornfield that was the crash site that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. We made up for it this morning.

Singing various appropriate songs (Rave On, Well All Right, Chantilly Lace, Let's Go Little Darlin' and a certain stanza from a certain song about a Miss American Pie) we marched down a narrow packed earth path between a soybean field and a cornfield, to the marker that indicated the tragic spot. In addition to the poignancy of the specific place, the whole setting was a moment; the quiet of the area, apart from the wind swishing through the vegetation and the cicadas chirping, the long stretch of field with nothing around apart from a silo or two. It was a half mile to the small marker, and we were so glad we walked it.

Directions to Crash Site: From U.S. Highway 18, go north on North 8th Street in Clear Lake for 4.7 miles. When the paved road (which has turned into Grouse Avenue) turns to your left (west), take the gravel road (310th Street) to your right (east), then immediately left (north) on Gull Avenue. Follow Gull Avenue to the north for one-half mile, just past the grain bins to the first fence row on your left (west). Walk along the fence row towards the west for just under one-half mile. A small memorial is located at the place the plane came to rest. Four trees were also planted along the fence row in 1999, one for each performer and the pilot.

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