We are in Athens Georgia.
This is a drawing by me, Willis, John, and Tommy.
John gave Will a great-looking haircut on the whitest sands in the world - near Pensacola.
Here's an mp3 of our performance of "Late Night/Early Morning" at Castlemania in Tallahassee last night: Late Night/Early Morning (mp3)
Today we swam in Wakulla Springs in Florida - an amazing place! It's the deepest and largest spring in the continent or something like that. It connects to a vast system of underground water-filled caverns.
We extricated ourselves from our daily lives and concerns and drifted west, on into Houston, amidst their tangle of freeways. Super Haqppy Fun Land, formerly in a bizarre house, had moved to an even more bizarre location: a completed deserted post-industrial wasteland next to a petrochemical refinery. The venue owners told us the place used to be a cash machine factory. Didn't seem like too many cash registers were ringing anymore, though. The place was massive and quiet and mostly empty. We walked in as Dana Falconberry played her beautiful hushed folk, and we sat in old movie theatre chairs and sunken couches. I almost didn't want to play... loud music felt like a violation of some sort.
But play we did. It was an echo-y, cavernous show.
Next morning, Tommy and I walked through Houston's massive boulevards. They are not so pedestrian friendly. Some observations from our morning walk: a drive-thru steakhouse (I came up with the idea of a "steak glove" that could be worn so you could eat a steak with one hand and steer your car with the other), 5 people intensely scrubbing the front driveway of a newly built, massive high-rise; a boutique store called "Lil Patooties" (ugh); and massive massive parking lot acreage. I felt an intense need to get the hell out of that city. And so we did. Headed east, past Louisiana, past Mississippi, on into Alabama, where we camped on the beach -- Gulf Shores. Some of us stripped down and swam. I drank whiskey and watched the waves.
Next morning, we stopped along Florida's white sand paradise beaches. John gave Will a haircut.
We continued on into Tallahassee, where we received a suprisingly warm reaction. Turns out we were fairly well-known there. Afterwards, Tommy and I danced to "Don't Fear the Reaper" in a neighboring discoteque.
That night, I passed out, fully clothed on the floor. Woke with a stiff neck and the unshakable urge to get the hell out of town again. So we did. Drove South to Wakulla Springs, the largest and deepest spring in North America, 4th largest in the world. Saw a Manatee! Our boat drive was awesome. At the end of every sentence, he said, "Yep." And he had voices for the various animals we saw! Voices that seemingly had nothing to with the animals themselves. Last time I checked, a snowy egret doesn't say his own name in a high-pitched squeaky voice. I could be mistaken here.
Anyways, the driver told us to "Watch out for a big ole fishy, something big and gray and about the size of an air conditioning compressor." I was unclear on how big an a/c compressor would be, but I guess he was intimating that it was large. He continued, "Just lemme know if you see one of them so's I don't run over it. I been having a problem with that this morning. Yep." He was, of course, referring to the beautiful Manatee! We did see one -- he had a scratch on his back, possibly from getting run over by our silly tour driver. He told us all about the Tarzan movies that had been filmed there. They were really old, I guess, because I'd never heard of them. They had very funny titles like, "Tarzan visits New York."
"Obviously, they didn't film the New York scenes here," our driver informed us. "This is where they filmed the jungle scenes. Yep."
Then he made what I guess was a Tarzan war-cry. He did it right into his microphone, so it gave everyone a bit of a shock.
The water was clear and cold and perfect. Not even this guy could take that away from us. Our dip in the waters washed away several days of road grime, and I was ready for another turn at the wheel.
We headed North through western Florida, on into Georgia. TO BE CONTINUED