Notes from the Road – The Gas Hog Tour 2008 – Day 18, July 27 My next show is in Louisville, KY Tuesday night, so I’ve got a couple of days “off.” My stay here at the Bristol KOA is up today and my stay in Louisville doesn’t start until tomorrow. So my plan is to head up to Berea, KY today and hit a cheap campground there leaving me only a couple of hours into Louisville on Monday. Part of the “master plan” with the KOA gigs is to stay for free as much as possible. The only nights I’ve paid for so far were the first night in SC and the four nights that Judy and I were in WV. In WV we paid less than $15 per night so that didn’t hurt the budget much. Between what I’ve saved on hotels and meals I’m still within range of breaking even on this tour, although last night certainly didn’t help. We’ll see. Gonna have one last cup of coffee and get hitched up. I’ll add to this later on once I hit Berea. Well the gas saga continues, but for the better. I was able to buy a few gallons today at an all time low for this trip - $3.59 – and that was in northern Tennessee before I crossed into Kentucky. Kentucky is generally higher in the $3.85 neighborhood, but it varies considerably from town to town, as much as .20 per gallon just a couple of miles apart. Very odd. The day has been clear, sunny and hot. It was in the high 80’s to 90’s even at higher elevations. The drive from Tennessee was beautiful up through the Cumberland Gap crossing large lakes created by the dams of TVA projects on these graceful, dignified rivers. I stayed off the Interstates for the most part and took to the state highway systems where possible, all four lanes so good roads and easy driving. I was in Berea (say it like “tortilla”) and set up on my campsite by 3 pm. I had a serious sagging spell at that point and took a siesta in the cool AC. I’m fixing dinner right now (back to beans, rice and veggies now that I’m batching it again – I cook fancier when Judy’s around, otherwise I just keep it simple) and then I plan to pick a little outside once the sun goes down, maybe work on the new tunes some more. Only four shows left – Louisville, Ky., Chattanooga, Tn., Savannah, Ga., then back onto home turf to finish up in Jacksonville with Larry Mangum and Lis Williamson. This tour has been a great adventure and a substantial learning experience. You can’t pay your dues as a songwriter and performer without doing the road thing and I hope to do more and more each year. It’s tiring, but so rewarding. Someone left a pile of wood in the fire ring on this campsite – it was obviously started, but extinguished almost immediately. Probably rain. In any event, it let me get right to the fire without unstrapping my firewood container, etc. on the back of the trailer. I got out the old Martin and played a little, but my heart wasn’t in it. I really wanted to sit and watch the fire and get into my cups a little. Such a clear sky tonight with the big dipper right overhead. If it weren’t for the sounds of the interstate so close by it would really be beautiful, but the crickets are cranking it up a notch as if competing with the road noise. A few fireflies out, but not many. A black & white cat wandered up and, I guess, didn’t realize I was there because I shook the ice in my cup and the cat came three feet off the ground. The fire is getting down to a soft glow and so am I. Tomorrow I’ll wander on up to Louisville, just a couple of hours, and start promoting for my show there Tuesday night. I think I’ll turn in – g’night.