Readying for the Road (1 Week to Go)

My preparations are well underway. The Red Barron will be serviced on Tuesday, I’m going to clean her trunk out today to lighten the load as much as possible and save some gas. I’m grateful to see the gas prices dropping. As of today, the local price is $3.36/gal, down over 50 cents from its high about a month ago. The last time I went on an extended driving vacation, the prices were near or above $4.00/gal.!! Looking at my gas receipts afterwards, I decided not to total them up because I really didn’t want to cry.

Speaking of that July 2008 trip, I put up a Web page about it shortly after it was done. Want to see it? Like the man for whom Grinnell is named, we were Goin’ West. However, we went to see Mount Rushmore–something I’d wanted to do ever since seeing the movie North by Northwest, Crazy Horse, and even managed to see the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. I shot a short film taken on day 4 during the bus tour of the Black Hills that is still hilarious.

Have a lot of work to do on my presentation. Decided to put the paper online and just talk about its contents and sing the spirituals I’ll discuss. Should hopefully make it more interesting to the folks who attend.

As for packing, need to get a sense of the expected weather conditions in St. John’s so the “professional dress” for the symposium will be suited to the situation. They’ve warned us that the average summer high temps are only 68 degrees and lows are in the 50s, so one or two jackets probably wouldn’t be a bad idea. My scanner is packed with space for my laptop and a notebook, and since I’ve promised to record the presentation, my video camera and tripod are already in the RB’s trunk. My mobile music scores file stays in the RB full-time, but I need to see if all I want to take is inside.

For the vacation part of my trip, I’m in okay shape. Think I’ve really gotten a handle on using the GPS, but I still want to look through the tourbooks and maps AAA sent me for spots to visit along the way. It’s very possible, though, I won’t plan the next day until the night before.

A tentative route that includes University of Michigan’s music conservatory, the Hackley collection in Detroit, Oberlin’s music library, Niagara Falls, Montreal, etc., is below:

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