Musician devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage

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Day 3 9 AM mountain time 1631 miles driven

I am on the road again from Ute Lake State Park. Last night I got here really late, and everything was dark. I couldn’t see and I had a very hard time getting into the park. I literally drive around that place for half hour before I found a place to park (thanks Maps). I did end up parking right next to the bathhouses sleeping there. Once I got settled in I had a fight with mosquito who had found his way into my car. Another night slept with my car windows up. Fine with me though because man I was tired. I pushed myself a little too hard yesterday. However I only have 5 1/2 hours to Chaco Canyon and I am very excited about that. Once I get there I’m going to do a big long hike.
9:17 AM mountain time, I just bought a corndog for breakfast and already ate a banana, but the prospect of corn dogs and coffee together seems extremely favorable.
9:48 AM Kix on Route 66 diner. All of the waitresses look like rockabilly queens. Food looks so good and I am parked next to 1950s old truck that was rusted but awesome. I’m about to have my third breakfast.
11:40 AM mountain time – I am officially out here in the desert. The landscape’s definitely changed. I see buttes and mesas and pinion pine. There was a man selling cowboy hats and boiled Pinion back in Logan where I stayed the night last night. Last night I had a fight with mosquito. I won of course, but it did take a little while, she bit me about four times before I could get her. I slept in my car again, not uncomfortable, I would’ve liked to of left the windows down there. The more rural you get out here, the more notices you see about how whiskey is the devil and rehabilitation advertisements. There was also a huge home a billboard that said Mexicans against nuclear waste. That was really something. Supposedly they’re going to drill some sort of sinkhole where they’re going to drop off nuclear waste out here. Deplorable for sure. All I can think of is Jack Abramoff  and the dirty deals on the Native American reservations that basically exemplified corruption and the problem of money in politics, and also the stark and horrible Legacy of how Native Americans have been treated in our history. This country was founded on genocide and slavery. If anybody lives their life without thinking about that, they’re missing something of their own heritage.
More cramps today, just had my third breakfast. A plate full of potatoes onions mushrooms and eggs. Absolutely delicious. Also had my 2nd cup of coffee. It was not a damn fine cuppa coffee, but it was pretty good.
I’m about five hours from Chaco Canyon, I plan to set up camp go for a nighttime walk, and eat a tomato sandwich finally. And then I plan on looking at the stars until I fall asleep. This experience in particular is something I’ve been looking forward to since I left. I wish all my girlfriends could be here with me, we had all talked about doing this together but wrangling 4-5 ladies… Well you know it. Life goes on. And I’m about to sleep at Chaco Canyon for the third time. It definitely brings tears to my eyes.
I think the New Mexico license plate is my favorite. I like Oregon too, but the New Mexico one is so pretty and beautiful and yellow, some are turquoise.
11:50 AM mountain time I just remembered this and you’ll never believe it, but I just used the bathroom in that last diner I was in, and the lady that I was washing my hands next to asked me where I was from in North Carolina. She said “oh yeah I used to live in Burlington back in 1986.” I just shook my head and said “are you serious? I was born and raised in Burlington North Carolina.” What a Quinkidink!??
Also, there was a rockabilly festival happening in Tucumcari, so they were tons of old cars everywhere, and beautiful rockabilly queens and kings are walking around with their greasy hair and white T-shirts and tattoos and polkadots and red lipstick and hairspray. Kick. Ass.
12:27 PM MST I can’t decide if my stomach hurts because of that corndog or if I have Moon cramps.
12:45 PM MST Ontario plates! I’m going 80 and the speed limit is 75. People are passing me and making me look like I’m going slow. I don’t feel in anyway pressured, just concerned for all these motorcyclists out here.

1 o’clock Mountain time

Moon confirmed. And here comes my monthly dose of Advil.
I just saw lightning during the day, it’s way off into the distance up north of me (Palmas).

1:38 PM MST I think I just saw a crazy tornado in this huge cloud with didn’t look quite like the final it just look like a anomaly in the sky over there. I saw that right after I had a good long cry. Paul Simon song “hearts and bones” came on. It’s all reminds me of me and Peter. Then the next song was “cactus tree” by Joni Mitchell and that one didn’t do me any good either. I guess I’m still working through some hard emotions. But thanks to some very good friends and understanding on both of our parts, I have positive hopes that we will forever remain friends. Kind of funny grieving a relationship, it becomes this thing after you get together with somebody, it grows it to own life, and people fall in love with that. That’s one of the most heart wrenching things about breaking up is that people love you and they love the other person but they love the idea of both of you being together too. Sometimes that’s hard to walk away from…. i’m 36 miles from Albuquerque where I will stop for lunch. Finally going to have that tomato sandwich.

2 PM MST I have made it to the glorious yet understated Sandias mountains.

2:06 PM Albuquerque New Mexico. Funny I remembered that I was getting on another exit going north soon about three exits before I needed to do so. That’s pretty cool. This is also the first time I have not been on interstate 40. I am on North 25.

Leaving Sandia reservation 2:25 PM MST

2:37 PM just passed my first alien naval base. Oh my god there’s another thunderstorm!
Entering the Zia reservation, the Zia sun symbol it’s on the New Mexico flag.

2:56 PM I’m getting really hungry and want to make a sandwich. But there’s not a really good place to pull off. Wait till I get to Cuba shake spot and make my sandwich.

3:06 PM I can’t believe I’m this far across the country. I am literally miles from cities, gas stations and I mean a lot of miles not just some. The cliffs in the hills and mesas around here so enormous it would probably kill me to walk up really small One.
3:11 PM North Highway 550 entering Jemez reservation

3:25 PM elevation 6700

3:50 PM stop for lunch! That sandwich was kick ass. Elevation 7000 feet, back on the road from Cuba to Chaco! Met a really nice biker lady, she was driving a Harley. She asked me to look at her bike while she went inside and I did. She brought me out of giant super extra big gulp cup full of ice.
I have turned on the road to Chaco Canyon. 14 miles of paved and another 8 miles of unpaved and it’s true that when it rains is sometimes impassable. I hope that I can get a campsite. I think that the office closes at five and it’s 5 o’clock now.

Craziest road, ever.  Washboard city.
Does Siri work when I don’t have any service? Look at it she sure does. That hard-working girl. So I just set up camp at Chaco Canyon it is 6:40 PM. I just sat down for some dinner. I know I just had a tomato sandwich like two hours ago but that’s OK because this is my supper, banana and peanut butter sandwich with a pickle dessert. I was thinking about taking a nap before the sun goes down but the campsite is out in the sun. So instead I’m going to do a walkabout, get really sweaty and come back take a shower and do some stargazing. The moon is just over half full. I can’t wait for tonight, stars out here are tremendous.
Does Siri still work with airplane mode? Why yes! She does.

Walked up to the Canyon overlook trail to watch the sunset on Fajada Butte.  The moon was up and the Golden Hour has never been so magical.

9:00pm Can’t believe that I am at Canyon right now sitting in a lawnchair watching the Moon listening to the silence. People are getting ready for nighttime, they all have the fires going. I’m not going to talk anymore into this thing tonight, I’m just going to go to bed after I watch the stars come out. I will wake up with the sun.

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Day two 8:22 AM EST 7:22 central 

8:22am EST I am on the road again. After sleeping in my car last night and returning from a wild experience on Beale Street downtown Memphis​, ​I got back to the campground and​ everything was very quiet​. It​ was right around midnight. I blew up my air mattress, laid out my blankets, and went down take a shower. Then I went right to sleep. I woke up this morning around 6 o’clock and realized I’m still on Eastern standard time at least my body is. So that’s actually a good thing because I need to get it up anyway. I was going to boil some water for my oatmeal and tea but damn if I’m gonna stay in Skeeter Haven any more time, I’m leaving here. I slept with the windows up because I know those bastards are just waiting to get in to bite me. And I wasn’t wrong, as soon as I opened up my door three of them were inside the car.
Right now I’m driving by where Martin Luther King delivered the Riverside speech. …an interesting and critical contrast between the letter from Birmingham Jail.
7:30 AM Central Right now I’m looking at the Mississippi River, the water looks very still. I have just pulled into a public parking area right next to the river. I just passed the National Civil Rights Museum and I’ve decided that this is where I’m going to have my breakfast, Just before I cross this river. I’m getting a little emotional right now just thinking about doing this. Thinking about John Hartford. Thinking about my grandparents and how much honestly I wish that they could be with me. I know they would’ve enjoyed Beale St just as much as I did, at least Paw Paw would have, my grandmother would not. That makes me chuckle. So here’s to hot water and oatmeal and some green tea..
9:25 AM Starbucks, near Beale Street. I am waiting on my car to be checked out for safe passage. The guys at the tire place are nice, one is from Henderson North Carolina. Right now I’m going to find some breakfast, I didn’t have time to boil water for oatmeal. I’m trying to get on the road!
Walking down Beale Street during the day early morning is completely different from last night. The only sound you hear is coming from the bars that are open is some lightweight blues music. I’m going out to the country baby don’t you want to go…
1046 EST Casey at WS Haynes downtown tire is kick ass. He said the back two tires were out of alignment and they all had more tire pressure than they needed so he balanced the tires, realigned the back and put the appropriate amount of psi in each tire. I hope to get better gas mileage and to not feel that crazy shake. I am now headed out of Memphis. I’m gonna drive by the Peabody and take a picture of it for Anne R. Then I am going to cross the Mississippi river! Oh and by the way, they didn’t even charge me for any of that. That’s amazing. Could be because I’m a woman driving across the country by her poor old lonesome….
11:51 AM EST well I am on my way I have stopped and Earle, Arkansas. Got some gas, ate some oatmeal got some hot water for my tea and figured out where I’m going to land tonight. Looks like it’s going to be Ute Lake State Park in Logan, New Mexico right outside of Tucumcari. I’m not gonna be able to drive all the way to Albuquerque tonight. Looking forward to this drive though looks like it’s gonna be fun 40 all the way. Maw Maw encouraged me this morning to take off on some side roads, but I’d like to do my exploring once I actually get out to the Southwest. I’ll also be able to do that once I figure out when I’m going to be weird. I meant where, not weird (siri sometimes is awesome.)
I put some sunscreen on my left side since that’s where the Sun’s going to be mostly and the clouds are very big and fluffy. There’s one that looks like a whale a tiny whale. I’m expected to arrive at Ute Lake State Park at 9:30 tonight. Maybe Tucumcari has some good food I can get for dinner.
Just check that out, I’m actually not going through Tucumcari tonight. The route is different, so I better get some dinner in Amarillo!!
I just remembered something awful happened last night, or comical depending on how you look at it. After I got out of the shower and went back to my campsite got in my car, and made my bed something smelled terrible. I didn’t recognize the smell, and then I sniffed my feet. They were so stinky. I don’t know, I think I may have stepped in something on my way out of the shower, but I had my shoes on so I don’t know. Anyway today at the gas station I was just utilizing, I washed my feet AND my shoes with antibacterial soap. They do smell a little bit better but I’m not going to be driving in those shoes all day anymore.
12:33 PM EST Florida license plate!
2:17 PM EST seriously? Today’s been full of miracles, or utilization of cute white girl status. I say that with a lot of seriousness. About 100 miles back I was an hour away from Little Rock Arkansas when I came across the entire westbound traffic stopped at a standstill. As I was approaching this quagmire, I saw a highway patrolman speedily reversing backwards on the utility Lane of the highway. As I came to the dead standstill in the far right lane of the 2 Lane interstate section, I made a decision that changed my entire trip I am sure for the better. I decided to follow the highway patrolman’s suit and back up. We had all just passed a closed rest area. When I had reversed all the way down to where the highway patrolman was, just in front of the closed rest stop exit, I stopped the car just in front of his vehicle. When he got out to asked me what I was doing, I told him that I had to pee so bad and if there was anyway that I can get off the interstate right now that I would be forever grateful. At first he didn’t want to let me turn around, you could see it in his eyes. So after one second of awkwardness, he said well you can pull into this closed rest stop drive and drive all the way around and underneath the highway, end up on the other side where you can get back on 40 east and heading to Biscoe (Arkansas)and subsequently Highway 70. When I looked at the map, it was 3 miles of red dead standstill on 40 westbound. I think I’m going to chalk that up to resourcefulness and white privilege. I remember reading an article about and buy a woman of color hiking the Appalachian trail. I wonder what would’ve been her experience in that? I wonder if some dude decided to try that trick, would he be able to convince a young to middle-aged highway patrolman that he should be let off the highway to pee (and avoid three hours of waiting)? Something to ponder…
So I called my grandmother immediately and told her the good news. She was excited that I was getting on highway 70, its the same highway 70 that runs right behind her house. While I was on Highway 70 I decided to try to send Maw Maw a picture of my route from Memphis to Amarillo and then to Ute lake state park. After about 15 minutes of explanation of what to do on the iPhone, she finally saw the picture! I must say explaining how to use an iPhone to somebody over another phone and that somebody has never used any Apple products at all much less a computer… It’s difficult. But we made it through!
So after I drove on highway 70 for quite some time, I decided not to take 70 through Little Rock, Arkansas. That sounds like a bad idea. So I’m back on 40 stop to get mayonnaise and bananas, and by the way Dukes does not make an easy spread mayonnaise bottle, at least they didn’t sell it at this particular Kroger. But the positive is that it’s all positive, this trip has been mostly wonderful so far. Even the hangups and the fear that I might have a broken car, has all lead to a solid adventure so far. Soon I will be having a tomato sandwich when I get to Fort Collins, Arkansas.
2:39 PM EST I’m about to run into some serious rain. I’m in Conway, Arkansas. I looked at the radar and there will be a storm crossing the interstate where I am going. It’s already starting to look desert-ish out here, but, like Dr. Harvard Ayers says, doesn’t really hit you until after you drive through Amarillo.
2:46 PM I just thought of a really great NASCAR bumper sticker, “I’m not tailgating, I’m drafting.” (I’m sure someone else already thought of that)
2:59 PM EST New Mexico tags. It’s still raining not as bad as I thought it was going to be. From the looks of the radar I thought that was going to be a lot worse.
5:30 PM EST I just passed a vehicle with North Carolina plates and I have seen a new update of Idaho. I also saw a New Mexican plate, maybe I already said that. Just got off the phone with my dear friend Becky, we had a great conversation and she was very excited for me going on this trip. I’m pretty excited too, it’s a long time fulfillment of a dream that I had a long time ago. I’m so honored and lucky to have friends in all these places around the country that I can go visit on this trip. One thing I really like about the road is all the birds that fly on the thermals that come up off the road, it’s beautiful. I love watching them soar. I’ve seen hawks and and and owl, Geese, crows, sparrows and buzzards. Right now I’m about 100 miles from Oklahoma City.
Back while I was talking to Becky, I had to stop for coffee. I was getting very tired. Not the kind of tired makes you sleepy, but the tired to make she want to get up and run really really fast. Maybe that’s not tired, more appropriately it would be called restlessness.
5:40 PM EST just passed the Cherokee nation license plate. Also back at the campground earlier this morning I saw two vehicles that were from Quebec.

5:50 PM EST the clouds out here absolutely crazy beautiful, gigantic, very close to the ground, and even some of the cell towers I’ve seen have been up in them. They look like gods, I don’t know how else to describe it, they remind me of when the mountains are fighting with each other in Bilbo’s journey in The Hobbit. When they’re all traveling in the mountains and they’re on the steep cliffs and the thunder and lightning are happening. The mountains and thunder themselves are throwing rocks at each other that’s with these clouds look like except some of them are grey and some of them are gray-ish blue. Breathtaking for sure.
Just passed a Muskogee nation license tag.
Alaska! Subaru Impreza, kind a newer than mine. I thought I would not see in Alaska plates, that’s what I get for thinking!
Why do people say scratch their head when they’re thinking about something, trying to figure something out or something is confusing? I just naturally scratched my head after I thought about the fact that most of the trucks that I’ve seen have been from Maine and Idaho.
5:15 PM central time, I just left the Muskogee a.k.a. Creek nation. I saw this gas station that had flashing prices for diesel and regular fuel. For regular was $7.77. For diesel it was $8.88. Imagine seeing those numbers and thinking “that’s got to be wrong!” Maybe it wasn’t. When I went to Alaska, 1 gallon of gas was $13. I never understood why that was other than the white man trying to make it hard on Native Americans, perpetuation of that bullshit. I still don’t understand that, although logically it makes sense if you think about the Magna Carta, patriarchy, and other oppressive paradigms that go in that same sentence.
Exited the Seminole nation of Oklahoma and entered Potowan (sp?)

I just looked to my left right behind the Valero gas station is a Biscuit Hill. Not a hill made biscuits but a business called Biscuit Hill. Reminded me of Biscuitville which is not to be mistaken for Biscuit Hill. Biscuit. Biscuit build. What would somebody look like if they had biscuit build? I think it something like a muffin top, cute and pudgy around the edges.
“That girl had a real cute biscuit build!”
Leaving the Sac and Fox nation…
Entering Kickapoos nation
Just saw an exit with the word Tecumseh on it. Now I’ve got to listen to some Tecumseh valley.. here I come Nancy Griffith
281 miles to Amarillo, that’s crazy. How did 40 West know where I was going? 😉
5:45 PM central time just saw a license tag for Miami Nation Oklahoma
Seminole nation
Caddo nation “Chitty” license plate. I like that nickname.
6:10pm CT My ass hurts.
Entering Cheyenne Seminole nation
6:35pm CT So I just almost hit the sparrow that was driving directly toward my windshield. I actually exclaimed out loud.
6;45pm CT just drove through my first downpour. Didn’t last long, not as long and wide as the sky that can be seen in all directions.
Suddenly a horizon of wind turbines!
730 central time this episode of Radio Lab has me yelling out loud!! Ahhhhh! If we had more jurors who were representative of the community that we all live in we could have a more JUST Justice system!
I have just done something that I don’t normally do which is turnaround on the interstate to see what kind of dead animal is on the side of the road I just found out it was a deer. I thought it was some kind a cat. I wonder how many miles out of my way I’m gonna have to go to get off the interstate and get back on. Oh wait here comes an exit now, That’s lucky duck status.
815 central time – just filled up 1399 miles. It’s 914 Eastern time. So I didn’t realize that Amarillo is such a big deal, I thought that I would drive on through have a tomato sandwich tonight for dinner. My plan is, don’t pay for breakfast and lunch, make and eat it on the road or wherever I happen to be, and then for dinner find cool places to eat. I found a cool place in Amarillo. And the funny thing is I found over 15 restaurants that are open until 11 or 12 o’clock at night that still serve dinner. Amarillo, I thought, George strait made it really famous. And if he didn’t and it was already famous, then I had no idea. I’ve never been to Amarillo, how was I supposed to know?
I expect to arrive at the restaurant right around 10 o’clock. Let’s see what this restaurant called OHMS has to offer, i’m looking forward to the smoked pork chop. A girl after my grandmother’s heart. She loves porkchops.
8:25 PM central

So I was looking at the menu for this restaurant that I’m going to and it’s pretty expensive. Came across my mind was the question that I haven’t answered in this way ever. Question was who am I? Thinking that I can just traipse into expensive restaurants and afford to eat there. I’m worried that I don’t have enough money to be going into expensive restaurants and eating expensive food. I’m concerned that I shouldn’t go into those restaurants and spend lots of money when I could just be frugal I need a tomato sandwich. And the answer that I came up with is this: I’ve been a server most of my adult life. As server and a bartender, most of my serving and bartending experience has been in places that are mostly patronized by the upper middle class. Therefore I know what the food tastes like, I know what the drinks are composed of, I know what good service looks like and feels like from an insider’s perspective. I know what delicious bone marrow taste like because I’ve worked in a restaurant that served it. That type of food isnt necessarily geared toward someone like me who can barely afford to pay my student loans AND rent. It’s geared toward people who have more money than I do. But the fact that I know and appreciate that type of food and drink and culture makes me wonder about who I am. Makes me wonder why I enjoy this delicious food and have access to it. Why isn’t everyone afforded the same access to the kind of food I’ve been serving most of my life. I started out working in Angelos which is a mom-and-pop joint that used to be in Graham North Carolina. That wasn’t necessarily an upscale joint. You came up to the counter you ordered your calzone we gave you a number and a Styrofoam cup and you got your own drink went to your table, and waited on us to bring your food out. But even that is unaffordable to a lot of people. Some people have to feed their families only that which they can afford, which sometimes look like McDonald’s and sometimes looks like skipping dinner. I remember being hungry as a very very young child. Getting hungry now makes my body ache in a nervous sort of way. I couldn’t imagine fasting for moral purposes. Maybe I could do it, I don’t know. I’m just shaking my head and thinking about all of this. The whole service industry is fucked up. The idea that one serves another seems ludicrous to me. We should all be working TOGETHER serving each other but without the stratification of class and privilege. I know that sounds like a bunch of socialist idealist bleeding heart bullshit to some people, but I truly feel that way. It would be so nice if we were all living in community with each other and sharing creative ideas about food and drink and farming and cures to diseases and a better way to practice Democracy. Maybe Democracy is not the best thing, but it seems like there’s got to be some line between Democracy and socialism. Totalitarianism, fascism, stratification of class and race and gender all seem to have a basic tenants of inequality. And if we are all inherently equal then is human nature in question? I know I’m getting all theoretical and shit based on going to dinner tonight but I think about this stuff all the time. This is why I want to be a judge, this is why I want to run for office, this is why I believe in a participatory democracy. And if the only two ways that we get to participate in our participatory democracy is voting and serving on a jury, then that’s complete bullshit. We ought to be all in when it comes to how we are governed and how we live our lives, how we eat our food, and where we eat and the type of food we eat. I guess I’m really passionate about solving inequality and food justice. And that entails farm worker justice and immigrant justice. And then on a deeper and much more personal level I believe in personal space justice, the person shouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of you and get away with it. I’m thinking specifically about sex offenders that I know and have been victim to. The man that my mother is married to (and still LIVES WITH) is a convicted sex offender her and is not in jail. In my opinion he should be under the jail. Or at least digging a ditch. I don’t believe in the death penalty. I don’t know how I got to here from where I was but I’m going to go to this dinner tonight and I’m just going to be glad that I’m eating. I’m crying right now because I am glad that I get to eat. I’m grateful that I get to go on this trip and I’m sad for all those will not get the opportunity (even though they may have the desire). Stream of consciousness voice to text…
8:54 PM central time I am in Texas. I made it to Texas awhile back, not sure if I said anything about it though. The sky, again is absolutely gorgeous. I remember the first time I came out here I probably took 1700 photos of just the sky (exaggeration). This time I’m just looking at it I have taken a few pictures though. I expect to get to the restaurant around 10 o’clock if I’m lucky. I don’t want to be out here on the highway after nightfall. But I am going to have to leave Amarillo and drive to the state park after I’m done eating, which will be after dark. Little while ago my guardian angel pin came apart and my guardian angel fell on top of me. Smacked me right on the arm. But now she’s in a place where I could see her all the time.
I just got a call from Paw Paw, he was calling me back. I told him I was in Texas and he started to sing, “there’s a yellow rose in Texas my true love for to see! Her eyes are bright is diamonds and they sparkle like the sea…”
Song title: “the road is old” song content: buffalo roots of migration to human car roots means of travel
9:11 PM central time

I was talking to Becky earlier and I just started to think about it again I was saying how I’m actually afraid and trepidatious about this trip. Also excited and at peace with it too. I have no idea what’s going to happen.I have a general idea about where I plan on going, but all the… Peter called and rest of that sentence is …rest of the trip I cannot plan.
10:41 PM central time leaving Amarillo Texas. I’ve been singing about Amarillo all day long because it was my dinner destination. But Amarillo gave me the creeps. Rather it was these two dudes it gave me the creeps. When the restaurant that I had found was closed, I was left to finding a restaurant that was open at 10 o’clock serving food. No easy task it seems. The burger joint was closed, but there was still a guy singing country music to a bunch of people in cowboy hats. There were two people shuffling around on the floor, maybe they were dancing. So I left there and went to the bright neon light that said Acapulco Mexicana! In searching for a restaurant, I saw a big slab of meat and a man working on a flat top Grill outside, it look enticing. The tacos were absolutely delicious. I had pork that was grilled and sautéed with onions and peppers and then they had a whole bar of accompanying taco toppings all for six dollars, I got three tacos. I found myself a seat, and before I had my first bite, this guy came over and started talking to me. At first he talked about how delicious tacos were, then he went into how he and his buddy and just arrived in Amarillo on the bus. And that they had intended on riding away on the bus but decided to skip it and stay overnight. He said they were going to be staying at the red roof Inn. His friend looked extremely fucked up. He was sitting hunched over sideways and kept losing the hat that was sitting on top of his head. He looked up at me one time and said “I’m from Kentucky but originally I’m from London.” Honestly I doubt of the story, maybe that’s terrible of me. But drunk people tell all kinds of tales, they said drunk people don’t lie but they sure as hell make shit up in order to impress women. The younger guy decided to sit down at my table and talk to me. Where I proceeded to avoid making eye contact and went about enjoying my tacos as best I could. About halfway through my first taco I knew that I was gonna have to get out of the situation. I’m overly friendly and I don’t know how to really ignore people, because I think it’s rude. But these guys I definitely wanting to ignore. So I got on the telephone called Peter so that I could not awkwardly ignore these guys. I just had a bad feeling about the whole thing. So my plan worked. I started talking on the phone, the young guy finally walked away and the sloucher drunk guy quit talking to me. I think they got the gist. There was a woman walking down the street really slowly who looked like she could possibly be homeless, and the whole vibe got more creepy really fast. Lots of people standing around outside on the corner and I feel like I just needed to go. So as I was eating my last taco, I picked up my plate while still talking to Peter on the phone and walked straight to my car. I still have an hour and a half left on my journey until I make it to the state park in New Mexico. It smells like poop out here and there’s a ton of lightning to my right (North) and I’m hoping I don’t run into that when I go to the state park. We’ll see what happens! I feel glad to be out of Amarillo. I never thought I’d say that.
11:45pm Central – Holy shit really? Maps just tried to take me down a dirt road and I can barely see anything it’s so dark. I hope I make it to the park tonight.

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Day one, Friday, June 2, 2017, Interstate 40, currently at “death Valley” in Greensboro, headed West. Road Ramblings…

10:12 departure time, mileage 68,178 milesI just left the rehabilitation center and had a great visit with my grandparents. They are excited for me and my trip, as am I. I’m headed straight on 40 all the way across. I expect I will probably stop in Memphis or Little Rock Arkansas. I can’t wait to cross over the Mississippi River.

12:43 PM I’ve been listening to country music. First I started out with Alan Jackson, the song is “living on love” it was stuck in my head all morning long. I am so glad that I started out with that because the playlist Spotify made for me is mostly spot on. The next song I played was Martina McBride Independence Day, and then the next one was “she’s got the rhythm” …and I’ve got the blues… by Alan Jackson. I’m crossing over the divide in the Blue Ridge Mountains right outside of Black Mountain. I just saw a giant red headed woodpecker flying across the interstate, unmistakable.
1:45 PM almost outside of North Carolina and entering Tennessee. 71 miles to Knoxville. First rest stop, had to P, was singing Patsy Cline song “She’s got you”. Anyway brushed my teeth and learned one first road lesson: leather seats are not comfortable, so I have covered my seat with a blanket. Thank you Brahms Mount Claudia, Joel, my highest and humblest regards. I’m feeling a pangs of hunger, but I’m not ready to stop and eat. I’ll stop for lunch when I get to Knoxville.
Couldn’t wait, ate half of a bison epic bar and half of a cricket flower brownie.
Just crossed the Appalachian trail in the Tennessee state line. 1:54 PM tried to call Maw Maw on FaceTime but she didn’t answer and or I don’t have good service. All things are possible.
2:07 PM traffic on I 40. There’s a lane closed ahead and everybody’s backed up because of it. Just got off the phone with Paw Paw he said something funny he said “well you see anything looks good pick it up.” …while I was waiting in traffic. He’s got a funny way of saying stuff.
2:12 PM back on the road. There was a spill of something it was a 24 hour emergency spill truck. I wonder what was spilled? The truck driver behind me was really funny, when they are closing left lanes, you know how people speed up and pass everybody and then try and get in up at the front? Well the truck behind me was having none of that. He was blocking the other lane so that other sneaky vehicles couldn’t pass by. I put a thumbs up out the window because I understand his frustration.
3:34 PM driving through Knoxville. I stopped at the Tennessee RV store looking for a road atlas and found one for $23. They have several options one of which was cheap and low-cost free campgrounds across the entire United States. The book was huge and I don’t think that for this trip,with as little as I’ll be staying in state parks or campgrounds it would be a solid investment. So instead I just opted for the run of the mill good old 2017 Rand McNally. I have open the page to Memphis, Tennessee and have now made a reservation in T.O. Fuller state park just outside of Memphis. The super friendly Man on the other end of the line, his name was Victor, he said “I’m going to waive your reservation fee because I’m feeling nice.” Well isn’t that nice. I also had to stop and get some Advil because I’m about to have my period. First day of the trip here comes the red Moon! (And all the beautiful tears..)
3:39 PM just passed a van that said Hillary for prison and police lives matter there’s a American flag flying on the back of it. Lots of those advocacy ribbons… oooo and a red Volkswagen beetle.
License tags:

Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Alabama, Kentucky. West Virginia by God. Oh, Indiana! Speaking of Indiana, I need to call Jess. (be prepared to see a lot of random state names intermingled amongst my road ramblings.)
Texas, Virginia. 3:53 PM my strategy for saving gas mileage is turning off the AC when I’m going uphill and turning it on when going downhill. That strategy might not work once I get past Tennessee. Maine!
3:57 PM the interstate 75 and 40 just split I am 150 miles from Nashville. Tennessee is beautiful so far. all of the trees have tons of green leaves on them and the sun is shining brightly. Although every time one of those fluffy clouds goes in front of the sun and blocks it, I always say thank you. I’m pretty sure I have a great suntan on my left side and then I will have a Watch Mark on my left wrist. I don’t know what I’m expecting out of this trip. I’m older than I was a long time ago when I first had the idea to drive across country alone. A lot of people say they want to go out and find themselves and gain a new perspective. I just want to get the hell out of Dodge and see and fly. Every time I hear about people traveling around United States I think about all the places that I haven’t been yet. I really look forward to seeing the people that I will meet up with on this trip. Martin who I went to the Southwest with in college and roomed with the whole time on that trip, we became best of pals and I’m stoked to get to see him. He’s in Page, AZ.
I’m just passing a “just married” car. Wait… there wasn’t anybody else in the car except for the dude. I think he just got married to him self, or are there some shenanigans going on in that car… Inquiring minds want to know. 
4:05 PM just learned the name of this little creature that Alison Weiner let me have for my road trip. Her name is Sola Bella and she is a beautiful Lone baby wolf. I’ll be taking pictures of her in various locations. Also gas is $1.99 at pilot!
Just crossed over the Clinch River 4:10 PM Ralph Stanley played with the band “the clinch Mountain boys” wonder if there’s any relation
4:31 PM: South Carolina! Ohio, Mississippi
4:48 PM freaking out a little bit. There’s a rumbling underneath my seat and I think maybe somethings wrong with my tires. Thanks to the miracle of the Internet I found a local tire mechanic just down the road. I’m praying that I make it there before one of my tires falls off. They close at 4 o’clock I looked at my clock and it said 448. Thank goodness for central time. Let’s pray that this isn’t too bad… let’s pray that is not bad at all actually.
5:33 PM EST so the guy told me that there wasn’t much to worry about, but said that he felt a slight vibration and that I might want to get it checked. I still feel a slight vibration. I’m trying to make a decision whether I want to drive all the way to Memphis on this or to Nashville and stop. I wonder if it’s just my nerves or if the car is really vibrating. I wonder if it was doing this before and I just didn’t notice.
I’ve decided I’m going to take a chance and drive on to Memphis tonight. I looked up the tire mechanic in Memphis and spoke with a guy named Casey and he said to be there at 8 o’clock in the morning which I will, as long as I make it to Memphis tonight. 
5:53 PM EST just saw a Minnesota license plate. I can feel nervousness Throughout out my whole body. 
Well 646 EST I am here on the other side of Nashville headed to Memphis. I don’t feel the vibration like I did before, maybe my tires got used to it. There is still a little bit of a shake and I’ve got 194 miles left to go. But I’m going to make it. I just listened to a podcast called More Perfect. It’s about the Supreme Court and produced by the guys who do Radiolab. It was fascinating and solidified my trajectory towards law school. I shake my head when I think about how the court can influence Democracy and how Democracy seems to influence the court. Flabbergasting…
7:41 PM EST California!
7:48 PM EST just heard an “on this day” report about Memphis where during World War II Boy Scouts helped farmers to pick they’re ripe crops. I think that would be a very cool thing to do now except that we have migrant workers doing those jobs. I bet those boy Scouts received better treatment than our migrant farm workers do…
8:11 PM Maryland!
8:26 PM Terry Gross interviewing Ringo Starr on Memphis is NPR station interview was from 1995. Is the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles Sgt Pepper album if I’m not mistaken. Very cool interview. 
I’m beginning to notice that the world is flatter out here. There are some hills but not as many. I remember when I returned back from The Southwest for the first time. When We returned to this part of the world again, all of the dark green trees came back to me, not sure what hold they have on me (perhaps familiarity) but it is a comfort to see big dark green deciduous and evergreen trees of the mountains.
9:37 PM EST I have arrived in Memphis and was on FaceTime with MawMaw. Headed to the campground now then going off to find food. I heard that Beale street was the right way to get into all the rock ‘n’ roll. 
1059 EST. I better talk into this thing before I get overwhelmed with downtown Memphis Tennessee. So I drove in, arrived at my destination. There’s a guy named Pete parked beside of me in his rig, he’s from San Francisco and I told him that’s where I was going… A lot of hilarity there, also his name is Pete. The campground looked really shady at first but turns out it’s really cool and quiet but it is filled with mosquitoes. It’s Skeeterville over there. Right now I am literally walking into downtown Memphis and there is so much music and neon light all around. There’s barbecue smoke everywhere. I’m headed to BB Kings and I look forward to eating some fried chicken. I think I have to get carded in order to go in all the streets blocked off…. Horse drawn carriages and everything. This place is absolutely mind blowing. I’ve never heard so much racket in my life. Tons of different kinds of people roaming the streets at night, everyone seems to be having a blast. I wonder why Peter and I didn’t spend more time here when we came through last? I could spend tons of time here going into all of the different bars and clubs listening to rock ‘n’ roll and blues music. 

12:35 amEST back at the campground now, just brushed my teeth. That fried chicken was absolutely delicious. The band was HOT, the BB King All-Stars. I had a conversation with the bass player while we were eating at the bar together. He lived in Raleigh before and we both dislike all of the one-way roads. Everybody loves the music. Lots of clapping and head nodding and dinner table dancing.. people enjoying themselves. 

Hoping tomorrow to get an early start. Shower tonight, breakfast in the morning. Then off to the mechanic to check out the underside of my car.