Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Stars In Their Courses

Well we made it to the great white North for a week of shows in Edmonton @ Blues on Whyte and a couple at Bud's in Saskatoon before heading back to the states to do ND, MN, IL & SC. Yes, by the way, Illinois is quite a drive from South Carolina! Yesterday was one of those adventure days we run into some times. After a late start out of Helena MT, we crossed over into Canada at the Sweetgrass Border crossing without a problem, (really nice border guards there, every time!) and started making our way to Edmonton. The whole way we're trying to decide if we'll stop on the way or make the whole drive. It's not that far, but it is pretty bad weather for a group of guys from the south. Make it to Calgary around 7:30 pm and decide to grab dinner and press on. Extroidinarily sloooooww service makes dinner last 2 hours and we get back on the road and decide to press on. At Red Deer, we stop for coffee and Marshal takes the wheel. I take shotgun and rare back to sleep for the 3 hours or so we have left to drive. I wake from a dead sleep to see nothing but white, the van is spinning and Marshal and I are both yelling, (mine was "we're okay!!, we're okay!!; Marshal's was something to the effect of "shut up!! shut up!!)
Next thing, we're in a ditch, 3 foot snow bank, front of the van about 4 feet from the right hand lane. After assesing the damage and calling for a tow truck to get us out of the ditch, we spent the next threee hours thanking God that we had plenty of gas to run the van and keep the heat on (-11 degrees!! brrrrr!!!), and not letting us get killed of course, and watching as 18 wheelers screamed by 4 feet in front of our grill! Several kind people stopped to check on us, including a Dodge Neon containing one very inebriated giant, (we thought he was going to eat Milburn, but he just wanted to be friends) he offered to push us out of the ditch (with his bare hands from what we could understand) when we told him we'd just wait for the tow, he wished us luck, told us we sounded like Garth Brooks, a slowly drove away with his flashers going and his trunk open. We all said a prayer that he'd get wherever he was going safely.
the tow truck arrived and pulled us out of the snow bank to reveal a flat on the trailer. First we think maybe the wreck just knocked the tire off it's bead and lost air but using Mr.Tow Trucks compressor revealed that there was also a large hole in the tire. We unload the trailer to get to the spare (remember the picture; edge of the highway, -11 degrees, sleeting). When we lift the trailer to change the tire, we realize that the springs on the right side are broken off! After a quick call to my mechanical advisory data base (Uncle Wayne!) we decide that the only choice is to make our way sloooowly to Edmonton and get it fixed on Monday. As we make our way (every knuckle white I promise!) we see a small Dodge Neon in the distance; could it be?, IT IS!! The Drunken Giant!! Flashers still going, trunk still open, pulled over the shoulder of the road! Thank God! the rest of the story is basically the same; get to Edmonton, get lost and drive around the city for 1 hour before we finally find the hotel around 6am. All that aside, God continues to take care of us and I've got a really great gig, great family, great friends and a great life! Sorry if that sounds like bragging, but none of that is my doing!!