Welcome to the Florida Escape Plan. South of Hell Summer Groundscore Tour Day 44-45
Wounds heal in order to make room for new ones.
We told them not to go, but they ignored our pleas. It was midnight, after all. Only truckers with east coast turnarounds would skin out like that in the middle of the night. What were they running from? Maybe the truth.
After subsequent days without sleep, the human body begins to malfunction. A gentle slant. What begins harmlessly as minor cliches in the system evolve into terrible and terrific visual and auditory hallucinations. The thin line between reality and homemade gibberish becomes frighteningly tilted and intertwined. The early stages are often marked by the perception and belief that every vehicle and street light is blue and flashing. Fear not. Even Georgia doesn’t have that many cops and no one is looking for you yet. It will get more exciting when the auditory hallucinations begin.
The road was never supposed to go back through Live Oak and Ted, but there really was no road. Perhaps all roads go through Ted but I’ve been to Oklahoma. They tell me I was born there but I really can’t remember. In an effort to finalize the remaining details of the Florida Escape Plan, Ted would rise up once more and offer shelter from the storm. And what a storm it was. The grit tree offers very little shade.
The Story of the Adventure Wagon
There are those, albeit the uninitiated, who felt as though the Adventure Wagon wouldn’t make it out of Florida, much less across Texican deserts, up the California coast, and back over the continental divide a few times. Forgive them their folly, they do have fair reasons to be concerned.
- Tires: Purchased a year ago for thirty bucks a piece, they had been a quick fix meant just to last long enough to get to Live Oak. Now, nearly a year later, their increasingly bald surface had been covered with plugs and patches. It wouldn’t be long before strips of reinforced rubber started shredding into deadly ribbons.
- Alignment: At various speeds and and with increasing intensity, the tires and/or lack of proper alignment would cause the vehicle to vibrate, slightly at first, and grow into violently repeating tremors. At speeds above seventy, the vehicle often felt as if it was coming apart at the cellular level. The din of the occurrence could only be drowned out by headphones blasting Animals or Countdown to Ecstasy. This also helps keep out the sound of twisting metal, cries for help and assorted sirens. There’s nothing in Chicago for a monkey woman to do…
- Body: The front quarter panel and bumper had been damaged in a hit and run by the last angry cellist and a truck of immigrant fruit pickers heading back from Immokalee. The drooping headlamp hung loosely by twisted wires, shining uselessly straight down, while the lattice of wrinkled metal sent jagged spires outward in ridiculous directions. The doors and hinges had begun rotting due to constant salt water that dripped from ever-present kayaks and canoes. Salt water eats everything. This car will look so baller without doors.
- Windshield: The long crack across the middle of the windshield sent kaleidoscopic rainbows flickering across the interior of the vehicle like the flashing lights at some kind of hillbilly rave. The washer fluid container had long since been cracked and empty, leaving it impossible to clean the windshield while in motion. The rotten and useless wipers made it so difficult to see during rainstorms that navigation was possible only with the use of a cell phone. Thank goodness for instrument rating.
- Redneck Camouflage: Spanish moss and oak leaves still decorated the vehicle as a result of the month-long stay at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. This and a thin layer of dirt and pollen rendered the car virtually undetectable to modern tracking equipment.
- Cooked Bone: As the motor whined a strange odor crept from under the hood. It grew as the engine heated up and the oil began to cook like bacon grease in a hot skillet. It brought back recent memories of burnt pig bones and sawed teeth.
As bad as it all sounds, the adventure wagon has still another story. At the edge of the event horizon and irreversibly damaging noise and movement, something deep within the vehicle begins to change. At somewhere above eighty-five the noises and vibrations dissipate as the vehicle finally escapes the Earth’s atmosphere and enters the vacuum of space, where everything naturally falls into back into the pocket. Music is the only thing to hear and wind is the only thing to feel. Sit back and relax, the Adventure Wagon rolls on to Beulah Land.
Free of movement, sound and hassle, Plan A remains in effect as we head west for the Redneck Riviera and the kind of cracker sensibilities that characterizes the entire region. Orange Beach and Alabama Point lay waiting like jewels in the powder sand, ripe for a little fresh fun. Maybe a shower would be in order.
What is sure to become increasingly obvious is how much of this adventure is not going to be glamorous. Are the days of glamping behind us? Will there ever be a reason to unload and setup the tents and canopies or this entire epic destined to play out with a backdrop of truck stops and parking lots? Keep up with the Nail Travels crew as we spread our witch’s poison ivy right up over Spanish Fort into Mobile, my home town. Take it Mr. T.
No molestar cobo.