Day 22: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
From my tent in Drew's backyard, I heard various soundscapes in the night. Calming crickets in the dark. A chorus of birdcalls at dawn. A cat, engaged in some battle. A few instances of a peculiar bird whose unfortunate caw resembled a person gagging (I named this the "Vomit Bird" for future recollections). I found that the trees in Drew's yard sheltered me perfectly from the rising sun, such that I dozed comfortably well past sunrise, and only emerged from my shelter to the sounds of easy conversation between Drew and the Captain around 0900 hours.
It seemed the two friends had forgiven each other for yesterday's miscommunications. They sat easily, mirroring each other with one ankle crossed over the other knee, and a dog in each lap, chuckling about old times and yesterday's events. The two small dogs seem to be tolerating each other well. The larger dog is sweet and friendly and was not bothered by the introduction of the Ugly Bear yesterday. In the late morning, Molhy, McRage, the Captain and I went to load gear in at the Khyber and explore the Old City. Magoon stayed at Drew's house to rest and recover, as she continues to feel ill and does not have the full use of her angelic voice. For the show at the Khyber we would need to use the modified set again.
We visited a few attractions in the Old City. The first was Benjamin Franklin's old printshop and the plaza around it, which has been partially preserved with interpretational signs added. The site of his house behind the printshop has also been filled with historical tidbits and windows to the foundations below, which we found a very peculiar attraction. Who would have thought that because one attained political and historical fame, that the privy hole to one's house or the letters to one's sister regarding renovations would become public and well-known?
We walked up Chestnut street from the Benjamin Franklin Museum, and encountered a fascinating modern sight: a fifty-foot crane prepared to lift furniture from a moving van into an apartment, presumably on a high story of one of the historical buildings. The street was blocked off to make way for this operation. Architectural preservation clearly comes at the price of modern conveniences, like elevators. We walked to Independence Hall and viewed the Liberty Bell across the street from a side window meant for those who choose not to enter the museum, then returned to the Khyber to set up our gear. A second modern marvel caught my attention on the walk back, but we did not photograph it. This bright yellow contraption stood on some elevating rods above the ground, and from it protruded all manner of silver pieces. Knives? levers? antennae? McRage and I call it the Philadelphia Ice Ray. Unfortunately, our planned further explorations were abruptly extinguished after setting up our gear. We received a parking ticket for staying a few minutes past the allocated meter time, and the Captain went into a mode of duress only cured by returning to Drew's house for the afternoon.
We showered, made and ate dinner, and repacked our belongings in a pile near the front door for easy access after our show. We planned to drive the 90 minutes back to the Tour Loaf after midnight tonight, since we had much driving in store already for tomorrow. At 1830 hours the entire crew left for the Khyber to sound check and meet our opening act, Dylan Jane. We passed by Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell to give Magoon a glimpse, since she had not explored the Old City with us at all. After sound checking, McRage, Molhy and I fit in a bit more exploration by walking in a large circle to Penn's Landing and the Irish Memorial and back.
Several new friends from last night's Thirsty Soul show came to see us play this evening, and brought friends along with them. We managed the set with a few of Molhy's original songs in the middle to give Magoon's voice a break. Despite the heavy modifications, the set went well and Magoon did not fully lose her voice. We hope for her recovery as soon as possible!
By the time we loaded out of the Khyber with help from Drew and his girlfriend Kelly, it was after midnight. The crew was exhausted, but we went back to Drew's and loaded up the remainder of our belongings, and waited there to say goodbye to Drew and Kelly.
I struggled to keep my eyes open on the drive back, but luckily the Captain fared better, and there were few directions to give once we left the city proper. At one point, I graced the group with an improvised song of my devising to keep from falling asleep. We were in our beds in the Tour Loaf by 0300 hours. Next Captain's Log Previous Captain's Log