Over hill, over dale...
Over hill, over dale, Through bush, through briar, Over park, over pale, Through blood, through fire, I do wander everywhere, Swifter than the moone’s sphere;
-shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
I've been punching through the faring of time for a fair spell now and I'm not even closed to being done with on the road life. Once you reach this level of saturation, you've already begun adhering roots, albeit movable, to the new lifestyle of Every Day A Different Place. Once you taste it, you don't want to ever be without it. That's why so many people take to the roads each year, in search of what it is that they're not getting back home. Most often, a taste of life off the grid. A simpler time; a quieter time. Very much the opposite of what so many of us have to deal with on a daily basis. Cities are the canker upon the soil where the multitude of problems manifests itself in disease. No small wonder that the country folk and even the suburb dwellers sometimes set foot in those cities under extreme duress over issues of purity, faith and just plain old preservation. If there's one thing that 34,000 miles or so in five months will teach you, it's that every grain of sand has its own story.
There is real movement. In thought and ideas; in practice and planning. And there is the same, unchanged views that will ever endure. The information age has begun to infiltrate the age of barber shops and soda fountains where the latest commentary was aired. Back in the day. Not in our day of immediate interaction and interpretation via social media. Though that is how we're connecting now. Rita and I have driven from east to west, south to north and hit a great amount of all the in-between, always listening to the local buzz for the real scoop on national attitudes. This totally varies from what the pollsters are reporting. It never reflects the true heart of a town, a village, a burg, a hamlet, what have you. There's more of those places than actual cities. Cities are villages that just couldn't stop themselves.
But seriously, Bing, why so glum?
No, no - not glum. Aware. Keeping antennae up. That's our current climate, whether you're up on the news or not; fight or flight is first and foremost on the forefront of everyone's frontal lobe - if you're even paying attention. Dial it back to detached concern? Sure. What's at stake? What's at risk? What are you in danger of losing? That's what a nice fall drive will do for you. One that takes you out of the cities and off of the interstates and into the rambling state-road journeys that are the stuff of historical legend.
We've done all right this year.
The vacuum leak and ignition coil situation in Fort Wayne was probably the most dramatic of happenings. Renting a vehicle, driving to Charleston, Illinois for a show and then driving right back, dropping the rental and picking up Rita to drive back past Charleston and onward to Wichita, Kansas. The stretch between Cańon City, Colorado and Richland, Washington were particularly spectacular in their cover-of-darkness gobble of the Wyoming and Utah cattle lands. Rita's mountain range list is growing truly spectacular with this past week-long shot down through Oregon and northern California. Today's visit to a Valvoline quick lube joint was like a luxury spa for Rita; full synthetic with a transmission flush and a rear differential flush. She deserves the best. Thought she had retired once upon a time until I bought her - and now she's expected to deliver like a fresh off-the-line unit. We do take it slow, though. When the mountains don't call for overdrive from hell.
Where the music is concerned - just about everyone that I've met on this tour has been a true gift. Just someone wanting to make music for whatever reason. It's the very reason that I travel so much on the road - to connect with these people, and they were all over the place these past few weeks. Nothing re-energizes like people with amazing energy and a love for making music! We could do without coffee if we only relied upon those simple resources. And sometimes, that's exactly how it is; but coffee sometimes makes it better.
Much is cooking; be back with more soon.