Saturday, May 29, 2004

Kansas City to Grand Junction, Colorado

Howdy folks,
Well, so far the trip has been enlightening to say the least. I'm sitting here in a hotel room in Grand Junction, Co looking at rain clouds hanging low over the mesa. Our trip started on Wednesday night as we broke free of the city limits about midnight. We were in high spirits for the three hours it took to get to Milford State Park just west of Junction City, KS. After much reshuffling of equipment, we all bedded down for our first night around 3:30am. We woke up bright and early at 7:30 am and were back on the road by 9. We've made the run across Kansas several times before and so everybody settled in for the long trip with cards, KC Stanton's mix tapes and naps to kill the boredom. Not long after we filled the RV up with gas, Nate started experiencing fuel problems with the Winnebago. We stopped at a truck stop and he crawled under the RV and changed the fuel filter. It was hot and we were all a little unnerved by the continuing problems with our moveable house and so we decided it might be in our best interest to get to an auto parts store as soon as possible to obtain additional filters. A few miles down the road and we ended up outside a Napa Auto Parts store. After talking to the sales clerk, we learned that there was an additional filter located near the carborater that might be the source of our clog problems. Nate and Ike removed the shroud and started trying to locate the elusive filter. When they found it, they were dismayed by a stripped nut that connected the filter to the fuel line. Without the right tools, replacing the filter seemed impossible. Ike was able to borrow a 1" wrench from the nice folks at Napa and within an hour we were back on the road with a new filter and 6 backups for insurance. Everybody was happy that we, once again, thwarted mechanical doom and were still moving toward Colorado. Several hours later we perked up when the front range of the Rocky Mountains came into view on the horizon. A short, but very windy cloudburst that produced a beautiful rainbow carried our high spirits into Denver traffic. We began to discuss where we would try to sleep for the night. Should we try to make it over the pass or should we play it safe and camp outside of Denver for the night? Our questions were answered quickly when, just outside Golden, Colorado, the RV ran out of gas. We had suspected that the fuel gauge was far from accurate but we learned the hard way how bad it was because the Winnebago sputtered to a stop on a hill with a concrete barrier preventing us from pulling to the shoulder. We tried to pull as far to the right as possible but we were still sitting in a lane of traffic with the sun quickly setting. Luckily, Ike had AAA and we were told that a tow truck would be coming with 5 gallons of gas within the hour. For safety's sake, I ordered everybody out of the RV and we stood for what seemed to be a very long time, on the other side of the barrier, helpless and frustrated by our predicament. Fortune smiled on us once again in the form of a Colorado State Trooper who pulled up behind the Winnebago and turned on his lights. The trooper turned out to be not only a heck of a nice guy but also a Missouri native. We shot the bull with the trooper talking about horrific wrecks and bad drivers until the AAA tow truck arrived the our precious gas. Once we were out of harm's way, we quickly found an RV park and enjoyed a wonderful meal of spinach salad and quesidillas courtesy of Betse. We bedded down around midnight and slept a fitful, altitude influenced second night. In the morning, we all enjoyed a shower and some coffee while Nate changed the fuel filter for the second time in less than 24 hours. We moved up into the Rockies, all crossing our fingers that we would make it through the high passes to Grand Junction. Although the Winnebago obviously didn't like being forced to work over the 10,000 feet passes, we made it up and over without incident. A driver change and another fill up of the tank put us into the Glenwood Canyon which is one of the most beautiful drives this mountain enthusiast has ever had the pleasure to experience. A few hours later, we arrived safely at the Adam's Mark hotel in Grand Junction, Colorado for our first gig of the tour. The crowd fell in love with Betse during our first show and we were all happy to be finally doing what we came here to do.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

well here we go....!

We've almost left town... leaving Camp Wade now and only a couple more stops before we really truly hit the road! Basically the story is that we didn't get the RV out of the shop until noonish today and then there were a few more things to attend to in order to get this show on the road... took us a while but thankfully Kim Wade fed us in the best way so we have some strength for the travel. Don't worry, all we need to do tonite is get on the road -- if we get a few hours we'll be fine, it'll be a head start for tomorrow.

We play our first show Friday nite in Gr. Junction, so we have all day tomorrow (all day...) and a lot of Friday to get there. Oh boy the mountains are going to be fun -- we'll get used to the low gears for the long downhill coasts....

ok I've been told it's time to GO>>> we are so excited to do this thing! If you have advice for us or ideas or stories just ring on in... thanks Peggy W. for the good words and don't worry, we'll try to keep an eye on Ike!


How to Use The Blog

Or, my best guess on how to use it! We're all figuring this out together... basically us Wilders will do official postings that you can read right here. You can then comment on posts by clicking on "comment" below any post.

This way, we figure this blog will work as a guestbook as well as our tour stories. So please join in! We want to hear from you, whether you're our families and friends, or new pals and fans we meet at our shows. Tell us what you think!

Please though, keep it CLEAN, folks. We want to respect the variety of people and ages who will have access to this page. So we appreciate it if you mind yer manners...

now, on with the show(s)!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

just testing the tools

Well, we're getting ready to go tomorrow... and here I am playing with this website! I still need to finish packing. Well, I'm postponing it in the interest of public knowledge, which is the point of this here blog. I don't even really know what a blog is but I know I'm blogging! Wait, I don't know if I can use that as a verb. Ok that's enough testing for now... onward!