Thursday, March 15, 2007

First installment...All Wrong and Plans Change

If you have read my entry regarding being a trail angel for the first time, this story is a continuation of the events that took place the day of my TA debut. Thomas and I had arranged to meet up early Wed morning to head out because he felt the weather would be more kind as in rain moving out of the area. He originally wanted to leave on Tuesday but there was way too much rain to make the attempt. It was disappointing that he had to put it off another day, but what can ya do?

Wednesday morning arrived and Thomas and I met at the Texaco on 290 to begin our three hour or so drive to the first trail head in the Sam Houston National Forest. Even though the rain was supposed to be clearing the area, it was still very drizzly and gray out and didn't seem to be improving much. Thomas started to think twice about this trip while we were standing in the parking lot debating what the conditions would be like. I imagined the forest would be swampy in several areas and that the many creek crossings could prove to be too difficult. Thomas imagined lugging 10 extra pounds of mud around on each foot as he walked. We've had trails do that to us before after a rain. The mud builds up in layers on your shoes and you feel like you have big heavy Frankenstein boots on. But after some deliberation, he made the call and decided we'd press onward and see what the trail was like.

We only got about another mile down the road before Thomas pulled over and decided to wait another day. All was wrong and plans change. I knew he was doing the right thing and couldn't blame him one bit for postponing another day. The question at that point became "Now What?"

I already had the day free and Thomas didn't want to waste another day of vacation, so we decided to go to the opening day of South by Southwest. This would be my first time ever to experience it and I was very excited! For those of you who are unfamiliar with what I'm talking about, this is a HUGE music event in Austin each year. I could go on and on about the finer nuances of what it is and what it means to Austin and the local bands who play here, but basically thousands of bands come through downtown packing bars with live music all day and well into the wee hours of the night for four days. Outside for several city blocks thousands of people move in and out of bars and crowd the streets. You will see all kinds of characters and a sea of rockers and sound waves of music surround you as you walk down the streets.

So just like that plans changed and we were off on a new adventure. First we needed to have a plan of action and went back to Thomas's place so he could look up online to see who was playing and where for that afternoon and evening. That's when he saw the name of the band, "All Wrong and Plans Change". HA! That was classic and of course had to be the first band of the day. They were playing at a club called Moonshine. Other acts on our list were "The Affairs", "The Applicators", "Rubber Robot", "Pat Todd", and a few others I can't remember right now.

We left Thomas's place on foot and walked the 10 city blocks to Moonshine to see "All Wrong and Plans Change". It was noon and I found myself with beer in hand in a bar in downtown Austin, on a weekday, and couldn't have been happier. The band started playing and even though I was a little disappointed they weren't some punk band, they did have a pleasant indie rock sound and the lead singer was cute as could be. There was a ton of free stuff promoting the band out on a table and I ended up with a cd, and a cool lighter. After their set, we left to go eat.

Our next stop was Habana Cubana or something like that. I ordered a cocktail and some food and felt excitement in the air. I still couldn't believe how different the day was turning out to be and how much fun I was already having! The food turned out to be very good and if the day had ended there, I would have been happy.

But thank goodness it didn't end there! After eating we walked over to the next venue, Emo's Annex to see "The Affairs". The band sponsors were out in force handing out free t-shirts, buttons, stickers, etc...and I scored two cool t-shirts. Thomas ordered us a couple of drinks while we were waiting for the band and found out from the bar tender that the drinks were free! Amazingly, the sponsors were picking up the tab for the hundreds and hundreds of people that were there. They were also serving free food. So with free booze and food, it was hard to leave but we did not long after the band started playing. They pretty much sucked lol. We thanked a sponsor or two for footing the bill and made our way to our next spot.

Next up on the list I believe were "The Applicators" at a bar called Creekside. This was an all chick hard core punk band. They rocked some serious butt and I totally enjoyed it. I had another drink in my hand and not one care in the world. The afternoon was well underway and much left to see. I was still reeling at this point in the excitement of it all and having one hell of a great time.

Wow...I just heard from Thomas(this is actually friday btw as I write the rest of this)! He is done with his through hike already! This story just got more interesting...Stay tuned for part two.

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