Day 63: Interstate Tour 2018

 Some of the Dulcimer Pups after today's show and mountain dulcimer lesson.

Some of the Dulcimer Pups after today's show and mountain dulcimer lesson.

You know, I'm not a light sleeper, but when the alarm goes off, it doesn't matter if a whole pile of clothes has fallen on top of it, I'll still hear it grooving at me to get up.

Never get tired of air-fried potatoes and scrambled eggs, it's pretty much been breakfast for the past 63 days.  I never knew you could love a french-fry cutter this much.  After breakfast and a shower, I topped off the water tank, disconnected power, drained the septic, pulled in the slide (which is starting to get hung up on something blocking the track) and headed out to Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, where Vickey Sasser was setting up.

 Blue Ash Chili for lunch!

Blue Ash Chili for lunch!

Each year, after the workshops and concert for the adults, I return the following morning and do a show for the church daycare as well as a one hour session with Vickey's youth dulcimer group, The Dulcimer Pups.  It's been really cool to see some of these kids growing up, sticking withe the dulcimer and getting really good at it.  We were flat-picking "Turkey In The Straw" today, which is wicked complicated for anyone.

And it's always great performing for the daycare.  All you have to do is mention "Disney" and they freakin' lose their little minds.  I've had to refrain from playing "Let It Go" because atomic matter begins to break down from the boisterous energy of the singing.  Some of the kids had dressed up as Disney characters and you should have heard them explaining who they were, not who they were supposed to be. Too much fun!

 Every bit.

Every bit.

Afterwards, Vickey took me to Blue Ash Chili, a place that Guy Fieri's been to and the final notch in the holy troika of chili parlors that also includes Skyline and Gold Star. People in Ohio are like sports fans over their chili, they're serious, either you like one or the other.  I hadn't heard of Blue Ash until this trip, when I saw one of their stores. They're not nearly as large as the other two, but they've been around since 1969. (Gold Star's first location opened three years earlier. Skyline's roots go back to 1949.)

I've had Skyline and Gold Star; they both have their merits, though I'll admit to rooting for Skyline in a bowl game.  So, I ordered up a six-way with fried bottle caps (jalapeƱos) after our server gave me a mock-stern look when I asked for sliced peppers.

"I guess bottle caps are the local way?" I offered.  She nodded and smiled.  So, I got 'em that way.

After a while, this truly mountainous concoction arrives and there's probably 10 ounces of shredded cheese on top.  I was going to enjoy this, but I'd really need that bike ride afterwards.

 The loveliest of parting gifts!

The loveliest of parting gifts!

The plate was just about licked clean - I enjoyed it immensely, but I'm still gonna say that I'm a Skyline Chili fan.  It was good to finally enjoy a complete tour of the Chili Trinity and now I can say that I have a little bit of insight on the subject. Maybe I'll start checking out coneys next.

I drove to the Mitchell Memorial Forest about 30 minutes southwest of Cincinnati in anticipation of one of the best mountain bike trails in the state of Ohio.  It sounded fun as well as beastly and the glowing reviews that I found online were all the more fantastic when I got to the park and saw the big red sign that said "Mountain Bike Trail CLOSED."

I was looking for a moose at this point.

So, I nipped north to Franklin, found a nice spot at the Walmart Resort with a non-fenced yard, walking track and WiFi, then got back to editing The Evart Sessions videos for Patreon. 

Along with the care package from The Buckeye Strings, the Mt. Carmel Baptist Daycare and Dulcimer Pups got me a lovely Cincinnati, Ohio woven throw with landmarks of the city worked into the design.  I just love these folks - they're all a lot of fun and I'm thankful that I get to see at least some of them more than once a year!

 Heartwarming AND practical! There are nights where this will come in handy!

Heartwarming AND practical! There are nights where this will come in handy!

Tomorrow, I'm in Germantown teaching three workshops and performing in concert.  This one's been in the works for a year and I'm really looking forward to seeing an unfamiliar historic old town in Ohio!

Day 64

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