Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Baby Bus Tale Most Foul...Part One

I’m writing from the Baby Bus. I sit here on the back bench, amongst the pillows, bags and comforters, watching the breathtaking vistas of northern New Mexico zip past me as we make our way from Trinidad, Colorado to Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

It’s the first time I’ve sat in the Baby Bus since we were in Tulsa.

Yeah, that would be almost a month ago.


I’ve totally been putting off writing this post. I mean, I hinted at it earlier and totally meant to fill the internet in on what was going down but I was…not exactly ashamed…well maybe there was a little shame there…more precisely though, I was kinda of wigged out.

But when you’re on the road, there’s very little room for the wigging. You have gigs to play, miles to cover, a baby to take care of -- and freak-outs slow you down. Better to come up with contingency plans and roll with whatever the universe throws at you.

Which is what we all did. But had I told this story when we were in the middle of it…well it might just have brought on the noise, and by noise I mean the sound of me weeping and cursing our decision to bring the Baby Bus out on this tour at all.

I’ll admit, I had a little breakdown, but I think I avoided the big one.

Because once again, the brakes on the Baby Bus took a huge crap.

Remember when the brakes went out right before we were supposed to go play a gig in Dallas?
Well, we got them fixed of course. We took them to a Freightliner place in town and they drained the gunky fluid, replaced the master cylinder and told us they were fixed.

And we believed them.

So we decided to bring the bus out on this tour. Our plan was admittedly a little insane to begin with. But there were going to be a series of gigs in the New Mexico/Colorado region – weekend shows with weekday breaks in between-- and we figured rather than go home only to turn around and come back out, that we would stay out here and enjoy the mountains and high plains that we love so much. Hell, we planned on camping because - hello! - the Baby Bus is the perfect camping mobile.

And then the brakes went out.

Or more accurately, they started acting totally funky in a “I could go out any second” way. My dad was driving from Denver to Boulder when he felt the brakes go all mushy. At some point he was able to push the brake pedal all the way down to the floor.

That’s just never a good thing.

Luckily there was a Dodge place in town (thank you Valley Dodge!) where he could take it. They looked at it and declared the master cylinder to be faulty. They’d replace that (which was under warranty from the Austin Freightliner repair shop) and only charge us for labor – a couple hundred bucks!

We were like, seriously psyched that that was all it was.

At the time, Dave and I were on that three-day run of insanity.
The plan was for my folks to pick up the fixed Baby Bus on Saturday the 20th and drive it to Denver on Sunday the 21st where they would meet us and Katherine and hand off the baby. Then they’d travel home to Austin, Dave would head out to San Diego to visit his folks for a couple more days, and Katherine, Lisel and I would have a girls camping trip, hitting some Hot Springs and Great Sand Dunes on our way to El Paso.

Except that the brakes were still mushy on Saturday.

No problem, since we’d come up with a contingency plan.

In the event that the bus wasn’t fixed in time, Katherine, Lisel and I would simply take a cab to Boulder, and hang out for a couple of days. If the baby bus got fixed by Tuesday afternoon -- which we assumed it would -- we’d retreive it and drive it to El Paso.

So we went to Boulder.

Tomorrow: What happens (or doesn't happen) in Boulder...


ALBraziel said...

dude. I'm so glad there's a tomorrow to tell about! thanks for the update!

Abi Tapia said...

Ahhh, you so left us hanging!