One of the most stressful parts of “being on the road” is making sure that you can actually get from show to show. Â We have a pretty cool customized rig that we take very good care of because it is the “magic chariot” that gets us from place to place (comfortably). Â Because we were only home for a few days, we needed to get the truck into the shop to fix a small oil leak and a couple of minor things. When Cindy and I went to pick it up on Friday, the truck would not start. Â Now, I’m not much of a mechanic but figured it had to do with the batteries. Â We were able to get a service guy to give those batteries a jump , the engine turned over, and everything seemed fine. Â We drove it back to the warehouse and left it for the night.
Saturday proved to be a bit of a challenge. Â We attempted to start the truck again – no luck. Â In order to prevent any problems on this tour, we decided to get new batteries and start fresh. Â Ethan and I pulled out the old one (3 of them) and went on the hunt to find new ones. Â These are major-league batteries – about 1000 cranking amps – so they’re not that easy to find. Â Once located, we went back over to the truck and began hooking them up – dozens of cables linking the starter to one battery, jump cables linking battery to battery, cables that operate the lift gate on the trailer, and a few more that provide power to the generator and the rest of the rig. Â Lots and lots of cables! Â We got them all hooked up and….nothing. Â The truck still wouldn’t start. Â Now, it was also starting to rain – and it was getting much colder. Â After talking to a more knowledgeable mechanic on my iPhone, we disconnected all the batteries and started again. Â This time we made sure that all the connections were VERY tight and secure (as tight as our cold hands would allow). And this time, it made a really strange noise…like the starter was going bad or something. Â After one more attempt, it cranked and started! Â Hooray! Â But just in case, I made another call to the mechanic and we chatted about that “strange” noise in the starter.
This morning when we arrived at the truck, it cranked right on – no problems! Â We are all praying that we don’t have any complications on this trip. Â When we get back, I’ll get it into the International dealership in Lynchburg and have it all checked out.
As we drove today, the rain across the Southeast was persistent. Â Traffic was extremely heavy from all the travelers heading home and most of them were driving very, very slow.
We spent a good two hours today driving around 35 mph. Â Needless to say, we didn’t make good time getting to where we were going – FLORIDA. Â We have a full week of performances there starting in Madison on Tuesday and moving on to Fort Pierce (Sunrise Theatre) and then to Delray Beach (Crest Theatre). Â Warmer temperatures here we come!