DAY 30 – THE HOME STRETCH

What would the last day of our tour be without some drama? The 12 hour stretch from Elkhart back to NY should have gone relatively smoothly, we needed it to, we all wanted to get out of the car for a very long time. Unfortunately about 1 hour into our drive, we blew out one of the back tires. We had driven roughly 7,500 miles (12070Km) on those tires, and when we put the spare on and checked out the other rear tire, it was evident we needed to get them both replaced. We stopped is Toledo, Ohio, to get a couple new tires put on. Luckily the guys at the Toledo auto shop were musicians, and recognised our minimal (non-existent) budget. They gave us a couple of near new second hand tires for next to nothing! Once they had put them on, we were back on our way.

Tired. haha. Tired, get it?

Our tire blow out actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because later that night, as we drove through Pensylvania, we were hit by some of the hardest rain I have ever seen. You couldn’t see more than five meters in front of the car. We were navigating by the small reflectors in the middle of the road and the brake lights of the trucks in front of us. You couldn’t pull over, because a truck may follow you off the road, anyway, you couldn’t see the side of the road. With bald tires, we may not have made it all the way back. We did though! After a few hours in the rain, and a quick scoot through New Jersey, we made it home. By 230am the car was unpacked and everyone was tucked tightly into bed.
The tour had been amazing. We saw so much of a beautiful country, met some awesome people, played fun shows and saw plenty of great bands. Most importantly we learnt about one hundred things to do differently next time around!

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DAY 29 – ON THE ROAD

July 30

Another 9 hour burn from Minneapolis to a small town in Indiana called Elkheart. We stayed in a Red Roof Inn, which was a welcome change from the back seat of the car. Everyone was feeling pretty good at this stage though, on our way through Illinois we found another watering hole to have a dip in. It was the final break we needed to get us across the line!

The best kind of rest stop

Better than a car seat

Dommy cooling off

Good decisions

Wet dog

DAY 28 – ON THE ROAD

July 29

Although the 29th of July was a brand new day for most of the people in the world, for us it was a mixture of delirium, confusion, fatigue and as usual, beef jerky  and coffee. The day seemed to vanish into oblivion. You were either driving or napping for most of the time, waking up in completely different scenery to where you fell asleep. By 6pm, Fisher and Dom had bought some wine to ease the pain of being on the road for 28 hours. By 8, we were in a Motel 6 just outside of Minneapolis, which was also a half way house used by the government for ex cons. Fun fun.

Gotta get by somehow…

DAY 27 – ON THE ROAD

July 28

The plan for today was no small undertaking. We were all ready to get back to New York for some R&R, and being that we were so good at long drives now, we decided it would be a great idea to drive from Seattle straight through to Minneapolis. If you drive straight, it takes about 25 hours.
We had a big breakfast and jumped into the car, and drove… for a very long time. It was rought 2pm when we left, so we saw a lot of great sights heading out of Washington and into Montana, but then it was mostly darkness, and weird rest stops with trout museums.

Bye-bye Seattle

Hey Montana!

Taking in the sights

Better than Jerky

Swimmin with the Fishers

DAY 26 – SEATTLE

July 27

Today was the last show of the tour. We were by no means close to our final destination of New York, but there was a definite feeling of achievement or something in the air. I think the whole thing was just surreal.

We hung out in Capitol Hill for most of the day wandering in and out of old bars that Pearl Jam and Nirvana had played in. We were taking in a bit of history, but mostly just drinks.

We head back to Mike’s to get ready, and played a quick game of darts with his wife Melissa. After we were done with darts, we drove down to the funhouse for one of the most fun evenings of the tour.

The Funhouse, according to everyone we spoke to in Seattle was the place to go for a punk rock show… and that it was.
The regulars and staff were all up for a great time, and were more than welcoming when we arrived. We had gear sorted out quickly and had plenty of time shoot some drunken hoops thanks to the ring out back.

The bands for the evening were Squib, Solid Attitude, The Killer-Dillers and Le Shat Noir.

 

All were great to watch and good people to boot. We made a bunch of friends, Saw some awesome bands, and once Tom got kicked out, we went home. Ha.

 

He preps…

 

He shoots…

He misses

 

Once we were home, we hung out with Milke for a little while, who had returned from a show of his own, and then we played the most intense game of Jenga ever.

There’s always one more move…

 

DAY 25 – SEATTLE

July 26

Today we wandered around Seattle’s University District, bar hopping and checking out the campus at the University of Washington. We got silly.

University of Washington

Tommy Dozer in a haze

Cool dudes

Meena gettin’ wild

Oh and Meena got a bus up from San Fran, rejoining the PARTY!

Yeah man…

Howdy

I’m a sailor.

 

 

 

After our day out in Seattle had turned into a evening out, we all headed home… then Dom and Fisher went to see Batman.

 

 

 

 

DAY 24 – SEATTLE

July 25

SHOW DAY!

It’s only 3 hours up to Seattle from Portland, so we were there early in the afternoon.
We drove straight to the venue to get a park and then go grab a feed, and once again, check out op shops and record stores. This became routine to the point where we were not doing much else in cities, bar playing our shows.
We also spent our afternoon on Better Than The Van trying to find a place to stay. It paid off again this time, we were lucky enough to meet Kiwi Mike. At first, Mike was unable to have us over, due to work commitments, but a call back an hour later would see us making plans to meet Mike and get the keys to his bungalow!

We headed back Sunset Tavern to load in our gear as playing time approached. On arrival we met the lads from St Elias, and the venue staff and got ready to play. It was just a two band bill, so the crowd was small, but fun. St Elias had brought a bunch of frends down, along with a few walk ins. The atmosphere was great. We got some good feedback and given a bunch of advice for our next time though Seattle. After playing had finished, we hung out with the venue booker and St Elias guys until it was time for the bar to close, and probably a little bit after.
Kiwi Mike and his wife came down to check out the show and drop off the keys, but had to head off quickly after we finished. 5am starts for work apparently aren’t conducive to partying with bands.
We loaded out and headed back to Mike’s, where we found an amazing guest-house, complete with beers, juice, a loaf of bread and a jar of vegemite. They had fully stocked up for us, Kiwi Mike and his wife  were AMAZING people.

Kiwi Mike’s Bungalow!

Bedtime!!