Sweet Lou and those 3 other states
I had left off sitting in a cozy chair after settling in anticipating a parade despite being short on sleep. The house host in Lafayette Lou figured not to worry about missing as it was likely to come through around 7. It was more like 8:30. But it was worth it. Giant parade floats showering the crowds with beads and other things went on what seemed like hours. Kids both young and old reveled in the float after float of goodies that passed by. Finally after that all passed, my night was young as lots of music was ahead. I ended up seeing 3 bands that night; two on one side of the street, and one on the other. All, including the parade, were conveniently located on the same corner I was staying/sleeping. I slept enough that night, and even calculated I had enough time for breakfast before making the long departure for Nashville. Of the 4 new states I visited I basically stopped at Kroger in three, and partied my ass off in one, Louisiana. Between New Orleans and Lafayette it was one of the best states I ever visited. And I did see the beautiful Henderson Swamp on the way out someone had touted about.
But though not a new state, I spent two nights in Tennessee; Memphis on the way down, and Nashville on the way back. And though everyone questions me in wonder/confusion/sorrow that I travel alone something happened in each city I stayed at. I met people and told them my story. Once I shared my story I had friends at least for the evening the rest of the night. It was the band/jam leader’s wife in Memphis, it was a couple in New Orleans that was a cousin to one of the band members. She assured that I danced in New Orleans. In Lafayette I spoke to many along the parade route, and another couple at the saloon/house explained to me how the parades are paid for by the oil companies, how they are like royalty, and which cities put on the best parades in the area. We talked about bourbon too among other things. In Nashville the bluegrass jam I went to was ended way too early. There were people still showing up and being asked not to purchase anything because it was time to close. Fortunately these two movers that had a job from their hometown of Philly were spending the night in Nashville. I told my story, and next thing you know my semi-early night in Nashville got really late as we walked down to Broadway and lit up the town. So much love and drinking, and great music. I told the bartender my story. I got people to cry in some cases. I traded inspiration for company, hugs, drinks, tears, and so much more. I was tireless.
My trip came to a close at 6AM Monday morning in Nashville on about two hours sleep. I had to split out of Nashville, and right now in order to get the car back on time in Cincinnati. I also had a time zone to conquer.
Yes, I had mentioned my condition as I drove away that morning, but I tell you – it was like my morning driving through the Rockies on the way back to Denver trying catch my plane back last Spring. At least I knew I wasn’t going to miss a plane on the other end, that was much less tense, but as I drove with focus and precision out of downtown in a city I’ve never been in before I was flawless. Just as I conquered getting out of downtown the rains came. My visibility with road spray from the semi’s especially didn’t deter me. I held on tight and at the utmost speed. Once I got out of Nashville I practically went 80 the entire way. My goal was to be in Cincinnati by 11:30. I fortunately had enough gas to only have to stop once to bring the car back full. The only mistakes I made was trying to get gas in Covington. What a mess that town is. Still – I got my red punchbug back full at the Millennium downtown at 11:35. No penalty. Credit card charged for 4 days use and racking up over 2,000 miles….$53. Boom.
I arrived back at my apartment spent yet I had a doctor appointment at 3pm so I couldn’t start my recovery. I was able to nap for maybe an hour, but I arrived at my appointment in pretty bad shape. But, if the only thing wrong with me as far as the doctor is concerned was being tired, then I’d say that’s a pretty good report. Finally, though I was excited after all the build-up to watch the Iowa Caucus coverage I was asleep for most of the night. Dangit. I hadn’t planned that too well. I wrote more about that in my Election 2016 page if you’re interested.
So. 8 more states to go. Hoping to hit the last 6 of the lower 48 around April/May, Alaska in June? There are a lot of variables at stake right now. Transitions are a plenty. I hope February finally settles a lot of things that has been dragging me down. Writing will help me in the meantime. So that’s what I’ll do.