As promised, here’s a little fill in on how we came to Mobile, Alabama. As you may know, our Subaru broke down 30 miles north of Asheville in Hot Springs, North Carolina two Sundays ago. The original diagnosis was a thermostat which turned into a head gasket which turned into a week long repair.
We rented a Sebring for three days and drove to Myrtle Beach to visit Kyle and company. His house is directly adjacent to a slew of friends, and so there was a revolving cast of characters who contributed to a good couple of days. The weather was ideal our first day there and so we headed to the beach and then to an adult version of Pinocchio’s Pleasure Island minus the donkeys. That night we drove to Kyle’s intramural basketball championship in which he led his team, The Beavers, on a dramatic path to victory. The next day we found ourselves rainbound in Kyles house which gave us time to unwind and think about our lost Subaru. I could feel a cold creeping in (which I’m finally over) and so the day was passed with guitars and rest. We went to happy hour at a Mexican restaurant where we supplemented our ramen noodle diet with an impressive amount of free chicken wings and chips and salsa.
The next morning (friday) we awoke at 4:30 to drive back to Asheville. The Organic Mechanic had said that the car might be ready by that day, but we had little hope. We showed up at 9:30 to meet our repair people who were jokingly curious about what our deal was. When we pulled up in our Sebring they shot us a look like we are high rollers (a look which we are graced with often.) We stoically took the news that our Subaru wasn’t done yet, and began preparations for our next little excursion to Florida. Our friend Anne picked us up in her Passat, and we took off for St Augustine, Florida (the oldest city in the country) for the Harvest of Hope festival.
We raced the clock down south, trying to make it in time for Dr. Dog. Upon arrival we rushed to buy tickets. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let my camera in, so we had to run it back to the car and then hurry back to the entrance gate managing to get to the stage just as Dr. Dog walked out. They delivered an energetic five song set before having to stop because of pouring rain. Chris, Anne and I scurried into one of the numerous vendor’s tents to take cover and stay dry. We started talking with the people underneath one of which was the curator of the festival, and another the CEO of REAX Music. I told him that they hadn’t let me take my camera in and he said that he could get me a press pass the next day if I took some pictures for him, a deal to which I enthusiastically consented. Eventually the rain let up and we walked over to catch the end of Dead Prez’s set. That night we set up camp in the dark, a decision which placed our campsite directly upon a mound of fire ants.
The next few days were spent directly in front of the various stages of the festival snapping pictures of acts such as Kimya Dawson, The Mountain Goats, Matt Pond PA, and Broken Social Scene. The first night’s rain did not set the standard for the weekend, and we were under sunny skies for the rest of the festival. We made friends with many of our neighbors including Mother@#$@#$ Steve, a resident of Navar who filled us in on everything from alien sitings to the silver standard, as well as Veronica, a blond from Miami who didn’t seem to leave the camping area and was always good company while we took breaks from the music. Overall, it seemed that we were the only out-of-staters there, and we were greeted with curious enthusiasm by everyone who found out we were from Maine.
Broken Social Scene closed the festival on Sunday night and after waiting for the long lines of cars to file out we jumped in our car and drove through the night back to Asheville where we immediately began sleeping. We awoke in the afternoon, and made a call to our organic friends who finally gave us the good news that our car was ready. So at 4:30 we finally collected our sweet Subaru, withstood another painful credit card swipe and took off.
We didn’t really have a set destination but the time had come to say farewell to North Carolina. With the light fading, we found ourselves in the middle of Georgia, and decided to find a campsite for the night. A detour to a closed State Park later, we ended up in Cleveland, GA at a campground called Jenny’s Creek (pronounced Ginny’s Creek in the South.) We set up a small campfire and watched it burn until bedtime. When we awoke me made a hearty breakfast of sausage and eggs and packed up camp. We wanted to do some hiking, and were excited to find out that Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia, was a short drive away. Unfortunately, the short drive to the mountain also took us within 6/10 of a mile of the summit. We were disappointed by our thwarted hike, but made the most of it, driving around and checking out scenery and Desoto Falls.
Around 5 we made a break from Georgia and set our GPS to New Orleans. We didn’t have a definite place to stay, but thought it necessary to keep things moving along. When 10 rolled around we decided that it was time to start thinking about a cheap place to stay for the night. We shopped around a bit, and finally settle on the illustrious Red Roof Inn of Greater Mobile, Alabama – a spot picked for its modest price and free wireless internet. And so here we are in Mobile. It seems that Chris is stirring so we will soon drive to New Orleans where we have a cheap room lined up downtown at Hotel New Orleans.