Let's start off with the good news.
The band and I had the chance to spend another day with the Dain Griffin's very hospitable and friendly family. We also got to walk around the neighborhood for a bit and enjoy some nice (78 degrees) sunny weather.
We saw a couple of crazy dogs, bought some ice cream from the ice cream man and walked a mile and half to the nearest gas station for refreshments.
And then the bad.
After a fun and somewhat successful start to the tour, we hit one of the seemingly inevitable roadblocks that manage to place themselves in front of young bands on tour: the van broke down.
Well, the power steering went out to be a little more exact. I am not a mechanic--nor do I have more than a passing knowledge when it comes to automotives--but I do know something went wrong in the power steering gearbox, causing fluid to run out of it.
I also know that this made making a left turn nearly impossible. I know this because I nearly tore my rotator cuff trying to park the thing last night. Jake Krauss attempted to drive the van this morning as we headed toward Fresno, but the problem had only gotten worse, so we headed back.
"I could probably get us there, but I might need shoulder surgery afterwards," Krauss said.
Needless to say, Fresno was off. Dain Griffin called the promoter at C.A.F.E. Infoshop and explained that we would not be arriving and the dude was very understanding when it came to our plight.
Luckily for us, the van took a dive while we were still in a location where we have a place to stay. So, Dain and his Dad--who was still in town after attending last night's show--went around the area looking for a mechanic who could help us.
They finally found a place that agreed to fix the problem on Monday for just under $400. So, much for breaking even. At least we will be able to hit the road in time to make the next show in Eugene, Oregon tomorrow.
So, tomorrow Krauss, Sam McGee and I will rest up at the house while Griffin and Rene Teran take the van to the shop. And then Krauss and I will prepare for the night drive to northern California where will stay with his family before heading to Oregon.
The morning's events were definitely a bummer, but the guys took it in stride. We all talked and they decided to just do what has to be done in order to keep chugging along.
After all, it is just another story from the road. I am pretty sure every band has its fair share of vehicle trouble stories. I know for a fact that one touring band failed to make it to Arizona for the same reason last week.
Instead of dwelling on it, we were all thankful that the problem occurred in a place where we know some nice people and have a safe place to stay until the van is fixed.
And the day wasn't all bad. It actually started out on a funny note.
With only two couches and a recliner inside, Teran and Griffin decided to sleep on the bunk in the van. Being the first awake in the morning, I decided to go and video tape their sleeping situation.
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Teran woke up almost immediately and proceeded to wake Griffin up in a hilarious manner.