Every festival trip that is taken starts with the journey to the festival location itself, and for me that adventure usually involves a long truck/trailer drive, for I do live a long ways from all of those fine festivals that I like to go to! Of course Merlefest, being located in North Carolina, and about 12oo miles from home, is no exception.
I started this journey Friday afternoon, leaving home around 2:30pm. My first destination was Madison, where Lynn and I would be meeting my daughter Monica at my daughter Amanda's club/bar/restaurant, the Alchemy. Besides getting to see half of my children I'd get a great supper at Amanda's and then spend the night at Monica's house, where in the morning we'd get to see granddaughter Malia and her dad Jeff. (Malia is now 9 months old and cuter than cute....>g<) So...the first part of the trip promised to be a smooth and a sweet one, barring any truck or trailer breakdowns; of which I have had more than plenty over the years. (I could tell stories...)
As I was approaching Madtown, in the pouring rain and the heavy traffic, I noticed that a car had pulled up next to me and the driver was waving and pointing to me frantically, which of course first caused me to think: "damn...now what?!" I was sure that he had spotted a blown trailer tire or a burnt out trailer wheel bearing or some such nonsense, but it turned out that the driver was a friend of mine from my home area...a friend that I don't see much these days, but we sure were happy to see each other during the rain and the Madison traffic; it was fun.
The night and next morning went great, as expected...it is always a treat for me to visit with my family. The next morning Lynn and I had just left Monica's for the long trip to North Carolina when I spotted a red Corvette ahead of us, and I made just a little comment about it. She responded by getting into telling me about her old friend Ray, who owns a transmission shop in Neenah, and who many years ago would let her drive his Corvette whenever she needed an "attitude adjustment". She told me all about Ray...they were friends in high school, dated for awhile after, and became even closer friends after their dating experience didn't work out. He loves anything with speed, and even races cars as a hobby.
She had just pretty much finished her stories about Ray when I merged onto Interstate 39, heading south, when I noticed a truck pulling a trailer merging next to me....and the trailer read: "Ray's Transmission.....Neenah,Wisconsin"!
Lynn and I both cracked up, and Lynn dug out her address book, only to find that she had his business and home phone number, but no cell phone number; and being the race car driver that he is, I had no chance of catching up to him! So she called his home number, talked with both his daughter and his wife, learned the cell number, and gave him a call. He got a charge out of our "meeting" and the two of them talked for a half hour or so, doin' some catch-up, since they hadn't seen each other for a few years. And sure enough, he was on a weekend trip to a car race with his son....
It was just a good story the way it was, and I thought I might blog about it, but this thought was secured when we pulled into a Beloit gas station a bit later, and of course, Ray was already at the pumps! So----there were hugs all around, and he got to show off his fancy little race car and I got to show off my trailer full of camping gear!
The rest of the trip to Wilkesboro was smooth and of not much excitement...just the way I would hope it would be, for most of my driving excitement of late centers around breakdowns. We made it safely to Wilkesboro, we already met with the director of Merlefest who showed us our new camping spot on the campus (it IS sweet!!), and will be starting our Merlefest and Dancin'Dave work tomorrow morning.
I love comin' to these mountains in the spring.....seems like perfect Watson territory to me! And hopefully I'll be able to blog my way through the entire Merlefest week...that will depend on how smoothly my own work goes.