Coming to ya from Tallapoosa, Georgia this afternoon. We made it over a week on the road without dying or killing each other, so I’d say that so far, things have been a massive success.
We spent the night before our gig in Athens in a Walmart parking lot for the first time. For those of you unaware, many Walmarts across the country are “RV friendly” and allow overnight parking for travelers such as ourselves. But somehow, we managed to pick the Walmart parking lot that the people of Athens like to pre-game in on Saturday nights. There was loud music and so much yelling for far longer than I either expected or hoped for in the parking lot of what is basically a grocery store. Not my best night’s sleep so far. Currently, I much prefer overnight parking at truck stops, but until we try Walmart another few times, the jury’s still out.
Our gig on Sunday went great. Terrapin Beer Co. is a very cool spot in Athens with some very cool people working there. I have never enjoyed an IPA as much as the one I was drinking that afternoon (they graciously sent us home with some growlers, so we got to have seconds last night as well. Bar owners of Buffalo, get some of this in your taps!) It wasn’t packed, but there was a decent crowd and we did get to play outside in 70+ degree weather. And that’s all I really want out of life anyways – to play music, drink beer, be warm, and get paid. An excellent afternoon all around.
We drove to a truck stop just north of Carrollton, the site of our next gig, after our Sunday performance. Then came the hard part – what the hell do we do with ourselves all week until our next gig? That question actually stumped us for a few hours Monday morning. We’re on a tight budget, the weather is still chilly, and we don’t want to go too far from the apparently non-eventful Carrollton before our show. The search to fulfill these terms lead us to Big Oak RV Park. We’ve been able to charge our batteries back to full, flush the anti-freeze out of our plumbing, make some real food, and get some work done, and the overall cost for 4 nights here is cheaper than one night at a decent hotel. Plus, our neighbors made a point of telling (or warning? Possibly threatening?) us that they’re all armed, so we feel so, SO safe… I think. I jest, they’re actually very nice people. And it’s not a bad spot to hang out until we make a beeline for Florida on the 28th. Plus, it’s nice to have unlimited electricity & water again – I never realized how much I took both those things for granted.
Having water in the van has been an adventure in itself. For all the things we tried and tested before we left, the plumbing is unquestionably what we spent the least amount of time on. We got to dump our blank tank for the first time (this is where all our “used” water drains into) and it was…. gross. And then we developed a giant puddle of water in the middle of our living room carpet that seems to have come from a previously undiscovered leak in the toilet, only truly visible when connected to a water hookup. We’ve temporarily fixed it for the time being, but it was far from my favorite project thus far – I spent most of Wednesday with my arms elbow deep in toilet water. As expected, there is still plenty to learn about the construction of our living space. I want to tentatively predict that after a month of this, most of these “new” surprises should have come to fruition, and we’ll have a stronger handle on everything.
Today’s our last full day at the RV park. Tomorrow we plan to head into Carrollton for the day to scope the place out a bit before our gig on the 27th. Two more days and then we’ll be Florida-bound!