Updated: Aug 4, 2019
Day 23: Philadelphia to Tom's Brook, Virginia
In the footsteps of the Fresh Prince, we left (South) Philadelphia to go to Bel Air (Maryland) today. It would be a long driving day, broken up by a two-hour show at a brewery in Bel Air, after which we would drive as far as we comfortably could in the direction of Charlotte, North Carolina. We rose midmorning and transferred our things from the rental back into the Tour Loaf. Magoon and McRage ventured to Quakertown to return the car in the early afternoon. In consideration for the Captain, they brought back a box of donuts along with the water for our next leg. The crew is learning each other's needs after three weeks on the road. Donuts calm the Captain, and each member has their own method of coping with stressful situations as they arise. I attempt to solve problems when stressed. The state of Magoon's health and voice was alarming this morning, so I endeavored to make plans so that she would not have to sing for the full planned two hours in Bel Air this evening. However, my insistence became a stressor to her, and the others helped me realize that the chief objective ought to be keeping her calm and relaxed, and allowing this evening's show to transpire however it does, under Magoon's full free will.
Once that was settled, the day was blissfully uneventful. We departed at 1330 hours, and used the Pennsylvania turnpike route out of Philadelphia to avoid narrow, hilly country roads. This reflects one major mindset change since we set out on the tour. At first, we avoided tolls vehemently. Now, we use them purposefully, since narrow, winding or hilly roads cause a high level of stress for the Captain in our large ship. In fact, we have resolved to purchase an EZ pass for next year's tour, to reduce the price spent on the toll roads that ensure our safe passage. We stopped very briefly at Planet Fitness in Bel Air for the crew to shower, and were setting up at Independent Brewing Company to play by 1710 hours. The Sunday afternoon crowd at the brewery was happy and relaxed, and we played in a well-shaded shell of a shipping crate facing the large fenced patio of the establishment. The clientele was well-engaged in our performance, and we had two groups in the audience who had come especially to see us. One was a musician friend who had recently moved to Austin, but was home in Bel Air for the weekend - she had booked us the gig. Miranda had brought some family along to listen, and also obliged us by playing three of her original songs in the middle of our first set, to give Magoon a rest. The second group of friends was Magoon's aunt and teenage cousins who live near Baltimore. They were thrilled to hear her band in person. The cousins purchased handfuls of tee shirts after the show, and assisted us loading the gear back into the Tour Loaf. We were on the road again by 2100 hours.
I was loathe to be driving at such an hour, and the Captain miraculously reversed roles with me, seeing my dark mood. Normally, I am the one to lower his stress and frustration while driving, but he stayed remarkably positive and unperturbed during the two long stretches of traffic we encountered, and even pointed out a license plate to me that read "8LYFGR&". We successfully passed Baltimore and the nation's capitol. Molhy kept vigil in case I were to fall asleep navigating, while Magoon slept. Once we reached a sixty-five mile stretch of I-66 west, I set alarms for myself to keep myself from falling asleep for too long, and played Cake at high volume on the sound bar. We arrived at a truck stop (Flying J / Pilot) at 0100 hours, having reached our distance goal of highway I-81 South. We refueled, cleaned the windshield, and purchased midnight snacks of mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and curly fries, and headed to bed at 0130 hours. At least we were sleeping earlier than the night before. Next Captain's Log Previous Captain's Log