Monday, June 25, 2012

Driving Day #3 - The Worsening

 “Are you a family?” Border Patrol guard questioning Lisa at a control point.
“Yes.” Lisa
“We’re from Ohio.” Rene’

“That old woman gave a disapproving look at my tattoos so I crop dusted her” Chuck

“I was talking to a puddle” Chuck (see below)

“You can’t fake tight.”  Carl (presumably talking about music)

“Not taking the plastic off of a frozen pizza is like trying to piss through your underwear.” Chuck

Fauna: Cassin’s Kingbird, Roadrunner (I was out looking for birds and whatnot all morning and I saw the aforementioned Kingbird. Not bad but Lisa and Rene just walk around the building and see a fucking Roadrunner. I’ve never seen one. Oh I’ve looked in all the right places, but no. I’m so angry I could spit)

We haven’t had a day off since we began 18 days ago. Obviously if you’ve read any other posts there have been lots of lovely non-driving/playing moments, and the shows have been wonderful to play (hopefully to listen to) but whatever, it’s been a pretty busy two and a half weeks. I woke up exhausted and dispirited. I swear I’m not trying to be whiny or complaining. We knew going in it was an intense schedule and this point was inevitable. (Bob Log III played 60 shows in 63 days, I get it) Tomorrow was to be our only straight up day off if we could get to Austin today, but it just wasn’t going to happen. Sucks but we’ll still get most of a day off and then I’m sure we’ll all be right as rain and ready to put a strong finish on the trip. Or not.

Today’s drive took us from eastern Arizona, through the tip of New Mexico (just the tip!) and a good ways into Texas. It was a day of pretty much unbroken scrubby desert with only the occasional lively dust devil and gaudy gas station souvenirs to break the monotony. I don’t know, it was a kind of grind it out day. I just dozed and listened to Eddie Izzard and my meditation tape. (I know it’s not a tape but everything else sounds stupid) Everyone was in an OK mood, not a lot of hilarity, not a lot of grousing. We decided to push on to Junction, which would have us arriving around 3:30am.  And then somewhere between midnight and 1:00 that moment of grace that has visited our travels so often this trip finally arrived. We pulled off the highway onto the frontage road at some random point in the middle of fuck all and piled out of the car to look at the stars. Even before our eyes had adjusted to the dark the milky way was glowing like the rest of our galaxy really was right next door and not some unbridgeable, unimaginable distance away. We identified the meager collection of constellations we knew, talked about Andromeda, and looked through binoculars as every minute the sky became clearer. And then of course we hear John and Chuck begin to laugh hysterically. Chuck had seen a dark shape on the road and assumed it was John laying down to look at the stars so he began talking to him. Only it wasn’t John it was a puddle, and when John walked up to it scared the shit out of him. About then, before we were ready to leave, a truck appeared on our road and there we were with our lights off. So we scrambled back in the van and went back to it.

We got to the motel at 3:00 and immediately felt like we’d stepped into the Land of the Lost. Every single insect was dinosaur size. This was definitely a hotel requiring a thorough bed buck check. As soon as I pulled back the corner of the sheet I realized with horror that we’d checked into the murder mattress motel. (MMM approved!) The stains went all the way to the corner. And they were fresh looking too. I had a clinical case of the willies all night. Chuck stayed in the van and told us the next morning that as soon as he fell asleep a car alarm started going off. It went on for 45 minutes. Chuck said when he looked out there was a pot-bellied man standing there with his hands on his hips just staring at the car like he was Kreskin hoping to mentally de-activate the din. Finally, a woman walked up to the car, pressed a remote and stopped the alarm. As soon as she walked away the man leaned over and touched the car. The alarm started again. The woman then reappeared, repeated the procedure and then they both left.

Tomorrow, God willing is Austin.


  1. "Just the tip!!!" I have written a whole song based on that line.... its called HOT TIPS. When the song is sang people think "HOT TITS" is being said...

  2. Thanks for keeping this blog. I love how the tour is part Family Vacation. Chuck and John are like the rude goofball kids that sit in the way-back and make jokes the way my cousin and I used to do on trips.

  3. I collude with Aaron, Mark - it really is enjoyable reading your blog. Your imagery and choice of words encourages the likes of even me. Keep it up!