Notes from the Road – The Gas Hog Tour 2008 – Day 2, July 11th I got an easy, reasonably early start from St. George and headed on towards Willmington, NC and the first show of this run. The crummy highways continued through SC, but ended and turned into nice, smooth, well maintained roads the minute I hit NC. Wonder what’s up with that? Anyway, things were going reasonably well until I jumped off the highway to get gas that I saw advertised for $3.87 a gallon. I was only down a half tank, but a lower gas price is not to be ignored – by me or, apparently, anyone else in the entire state of South Carolina. What a mob! And, folks seemed to have no concept of my maneuvering limitations pulling a 24’ trailer. This was a large, trucker friendly kind of station, but nevertheless with all the people there it was tight. It took a little while to get to a pump and then once I was done it took a little while for someone to come along in the heavy stream of traffic that was kind enough to give me room to get out. Then some jackass shot across from another pump and stuck his nose in front of me so that I couldn’t move up and get out of other people’s way. I felt compelled to get out while everything was frozen in place and go tell him just what a jackass he was – I don’t think he learned anything, or cared. So, back onto I-95. The next little hiccup came when it was time to get off 95. My exit was closed for construction – hmmmm. Not to worry, I’m using a little Garmin GPS and I simply punched “detour” and it locked in on a new route. Here’s where I learned, again, the limitations of those handy dandy little units. It took me on a course on back roads (in NC, so nice, smooth back roads) and as I was nearing Willmington it took me down a winding road past some very large sod farms. I rounded a corner and suddenly the road ended at a river crossing – not a bridge mind you, but a small, one car ferry. The ferry operator took one look at me and my long rig and just shook his head. Apparently I’m not the first GPS user to be duped in this fashion. So, with a bit of jockeying and a few little bitty short words of the profane variety, I got the rig turned around and headed back the way I’d come. The GPS protested in its most stern “recalculating” voice, but eventually accepted that I wasn’t going the way it wanted so it generated a new route (that I double checked against and old fashioned paper map) and rolled on to Willmington. The KOA here is very nice with a great, friendly staff. They had all my posters up and had been handing postcards with the show time that I had sent to everyone as they checked in. To my surprise, and pleasure, they have a regular stage built in the center of the campground, covered, with picnic tables surrounding it, etc. I went ahead and did all the sweaty work setting up, showered and then settled into my home on wheels to tune up and get ready for the show. RAIN. BUCKETS AND BARRELS OF RAIN. Now I had planned for this possibility and had covered my gear, but rain does not help draw a crowd to an outdoor show. It let up at show time and I had a core group of about 20 with umbrellas when I got things started. A few more came in as they heard the music. Then RAIN, not as hard this time, but hard enough. At that point about 10 or so gathered up on the stage and I sat and chatted and played tunes for them for the rest of the time. While I sold CD’s to that crowd, needless to say it was not the first night’s revenue I was hoping for. But I enjoyed it nevertheless and picked up a few new fans in the bargain. That’s the real payoff anyway. When the rain quit I stowed my gear and settled back into the camper to listen to the thunder rumble as I sipped a little whiskey. Tomorrow’s another day – Virginia Beach, VA. More from there.