Since we weren't allowed to arrive on the lot in College Station until 12:01am Wed there was no point in taking off Sunday night. So we spent one final glorious evening in Corbin, KY.....
Our goal for Monday was to reach the Memphis KOA, knocking out a bit under half of the 16 hour drive to College Station. Usually daytime drives are no problem to knock out but we had shitty weather more or less the entire drive. Nothing too brutal, just overcast annoying rain that put a major strain on the eyes. We rolled into the campground a little before 7 (after the time change) and I was done. It was tempting to head into Memphis and hang but being there before and knowing Monday nights weren't that happening, I just vegged.
We were back on the road the next day around 12:30 to push on trying to time our arrival with the designated allowance bestowed upon us. Even after killing as much time as possible at a Flying J, we were still going to be about half an hour early.
Around 9:30 or so while driving an endless stretch of Texas Highway I noticed a sign that read 'Caution: Smoke Ahead". Sure enough, we were almost immediately engulfed in a heavy heavy Spy Hunter smoke screen that drove visibility down to nothing. Looking into the woods on either side of the highway there were trees burning freely. Five minutes later, the smoke subsided and a gorgeous Texas night sky opened back up. Weird.
On the outskirts of town we ended up behind a show RV. We took our exit and merged onto the highway and he blew right past it by mistake. It seemed only appropriate being in Texas that the road he stayed on was the 'high' road. We half expected he was either going to cut us off at the pass or leap Indiana Jones style off his "horse" onto our "tank".
Our exit into downtown came up shortly after and as we pulled on to the main drag we were suddenly surrounded by 4 other RVs from the show pulling onto the drag from all directions. It felt like a combination of the scene in Desperado when his buddies show up to kick some ass and an RV version of the Reservoir Dogs slo-mo walking scene. An accompanying Mighty Mighty Bosstones soundtrack completed the feeling of "we rule this town" bad-assness.
When we all arrived at the lot there were already multiple trailers completely set up, satellite dishes and all....so much for the "enforced arrival time". Ironic how everyone has a complete phone list but no one called anyone to say "hey, you can get on the lot before midnight". Oh well.
The Olsen Field lot was to be our home for the next few days and the setup was great. RV spots lined the entire perimeter complete with power and water hookups. Steve and I backed into two spots next to each other and I leveled and unhitched. As soon as I was done Steve came around his trailer with the report: "There's no power". We tested both spots and nothing.....gah. We walked over to the next two spots and lo and behold: POWER. Of frakin' course.
So....I hitched back up and we jumped down a few spaces, plugged in, and called it a night.
The next day Steve and I got a week membership to the local Gold's Gym and did laundry at Harvey Washbangers, the Laundromat/Sports Bar and Grille. Not a bad idea.
Texas A&M is a huge sports school so we weren't sure what to expect Thursday night heading out after the show. There were a TON of bars and people milling about everywhere. Mainly sports douches and super hot girls with the most piercing and annoying drunken squeals and laughs my poor ears have every be assaulted with. Bleh.
The highlight/lowlight of the night was when we popped into this bar called 315. I ordered a Jameson's on the rocks and received a full honking glass of the stuff for only $4.75. Awesome. It should have been our home base for the next few nights but as we were hanging on the deck that all changed in an instant. A group of black dudes were coming up the deck stairs to hang in the bar. The door guy stopped the first dude and without any sort of subtlety or lowering of his voice announced "Hey man, you can't bring all those BLACK guys in here!". I was hoping I heard the dude wrong but such was not the case. I looked around half expecting some chart that read "You must be THIS white to enter" but none was to be found. WTF. The ended the night immediately. Go Aggies.
The following night it seemed as though we had somehow waltzed into Stephen King's "The Stand". The area of bars that was packed the previous evening was as dead as our show at 31st Pub with The Dirty Sunshine, Project Portis, and Soulharmonic. Those few souls who were there can picture it perfectly. Everyone had apparently gone home for Easter.
Other than that, the show crowds were great, it was a light week, and the lot was great. There were trains that rolled by now and then next to the lot, but they paled in comparison to the torturous blaring we experienced in Augusta.
On Sat morning before the first show, I came out my door and noticed my one trailer tire was flat. It was fine when we pulled in but somehow completely deflated throughout the week.
There wasn't time to change it between shows and I was beat after the last show of the day so I planned on tackling the task on Sunday. It seemed feasible that if I rolled the other tire up on leveling blocks, it would raise the axle enough to change the flat tire. No dice. I broke out the jack, raised it up and swapped tires. This may all seem trivial but realize that I've never actually changed a tire...ever. Pathetic I know but the opportunity just hadn't presented itself up to that point...or when it had I had the AAA crutch to lean on. Hey, you pay for it, may as well use it.
We had a 9 hour drive ahead of us so we rolled out around 2:30 from College Station. We timed things just about right as we avoided any nasty weather. It was freezing though when we rolled into Amarillo and started raining a good bit just as we were finishing setting up. Other the people on the show who left College Station earlier than us didn't have the same luck. They were treated to a lovely storm complete with GOLF BALL sized hail. To quote Nathan Explosion: 'Brutal'. Nobody incurred any truck damage but certain RV skylights did not receive such a merciful fate.
Upcoming plans in Amarillo include The Big Texan eating competition this evening. 4 edudes from the show will tackle a 72oz steak, Shrimp Cocktail, Salad, Roll, and Baked potato with a 1hr time limit. The fleet of stretch limos complete with longhorn hood ornaments will roll onto the lot shortly. Update and plenty of pics to follow.