Tired as I am right now, I will still go to sleep a happy man tonight because, for the first time in several months, I am on a music festival road trip. For several years, I met some good friends up in Owensboro, Kentucky, for an annual bluegrass festival held there every June, but that event (for us) seems to have died a natural death. The atmosphere of the ROMP festival took a real hit in 2011 when the decision was made to both appeal to a younger, rowdier element and - bad mistake - to ignore their obnoxious behavior. So, so much for ROMP.
Since then, I've attended several festivals within 200 miles of Houston but nothing farther away. Until now. I'm on my way to Columbus, Ohio, a distance of almost 1200 miles from home to attend the annual MACC (Musicians Against Childhood Cancer) festival held there. I left home this morning about six a.m. and, almost thirteen hours later, I sit here within a stone's throw of Memphis, a distance (the way I did it) of about 650 miles. So tonight I am officially a little over halfway there.
Because I have all the time in the world these days, I always set a goal of making the entire trip without spending any more time than is absolutely necessary on an interstate highway. So far, so good. I did the first ten miles on Interstate 45 because I live only three miles from that one, but that is it. I have actually driven more miles on gravel roads today (12) than on freeways. To say the least, my navigation system continues to surprise me by routing me on some very obscure backroads.
Of course, a trip takes a lot longer this way, but I see places and lifestyles I would never have otherwise seen. Which made me wonder...does Dollar General dominate all the small towns of America or only those in the South? Those ugly little stores are everywhere, even in tiny towns that don't have much else around. (I'm going to have to look into buying some stock in those guys, I think.)