Volume Six (Indiana)

Howdy all. Before we left on our Journey, we had mail ordered tickets for the Furthur Festival at Deer Creek. The Furthur Festival, for those who don't know, was a large concert, featuring bands of former members of the Grateful Dead, as well as Bruce Hornsby, Hot Tuna, and Los Lobos. Deer Creek is an ampitheatre seating about 20,000, and situated about 10 miles outside Indianapolis in the middle of a cornfield. I had seen the Dead there a couple years back, and knew it was a really cool venue.
Anyway, through the magic of the list, I had gotten hooked up with Jim Kirk, who lived in Indianapolis, who kindly offered us driveway space while we were there. So, we arrived in Indiana, and, as we were a day early, set out to find a campsite so as not to arrive early and unannounced. We arrived at KOA, of which I am a card-carrying member (hey, it saves 10%), and we were promptly told that there were absolutely no vacancies. As only about a quarter of the sites were filled, I was rather suspicious, and proceeded to inquire as to why this was. We were fed some further ridiculous story, and I decided that was enough. There had been some bad things last year at the Deer Creek Dead shows, and the word had obviously gotten around not to let any hippies in. We were quite preturbed, but from our handy travel book, found another campground about 15 miles away. Grrrr...
This campground turned out to be rather frightening. It's the sort of RV park where people build decks and add rooms to their RV's. *Everyone* was staring at us, and after a while it got rather frightening, as this one pickup truck, with 3 large fellows, drove by no less than 10 times... However, we managed to have a nice swim and dinner anyway, and slept peacefully through the night.
The next day, we called Jim, and arranged to meet him at his house after he got off work. In the meantime, I needed to buy a new watch. I am one of those people that MUST have a watch on, or else I will be lost. Therefore, I am a firm believer in Swatch watches, which are durable plastic. I never take mine off, including ocean, showers, and everything else. I usually get a few years out of one, and this one's time had come. So, we found our way to one of those megaplexes of American culture, the MALL! It was quite a shock being inside one after almost a month on the road. However, I set about finding a watch, while Sears handled the alignment on Nicole's bus. (She had eaten up a set of tires, and just gotten new ones)
After that, we went to a nearby city park to cook dinner, and wait until we went to Jim's. We had a lovely dinner, and, upon trying to leave, found Nicole's '70 had no clutch. The cable was fine, so we figured it was either the throwout bearing, or the arm. At any rate, Neil had the task of driving across Indianapolis with no clutch. Quite a fun job indeed, but he handled it very well.
We arrived at Jim and his wife's house, and, after introducing ourselves, made the customary inquiry as to whether we could dis-assemble a bus in their driveway. They agreed, and we set about removing her engine before dark. We found that indeed the throwout bearing arm had broken, so, after cleaning everything up, we went inside to be sociable.
I had brought my banjo along, and as Jim's wife played guitar, and he the mandolin, I was persuaded to bring it out, and we played for a bit. That was indeed fun. After that, Jim provided others in my group with a lovely homebrew that he had just made. We agreed to find parts the next morning before going to the concert. So, I went to bed early, as I was tired.
The next morning, after a lovely pancake breakfast kindly cooked for us, we began to discover that no one carried the earlier style throwout bearing and arm. After several futile parts stops, we found a German mechanic who sold us a later style set up, which he said he had been retrofitting into earlier busses for years. (BTW she has had no problems with it either)
Anyway, it was time now to go tho the show! We arrived at the parking lot early, and parked and got set up. I still had plenty of t-shirts to sell, and the others had dresses, jewelry and such. I walked around the parking lot, and admired all the busses, including a late model Dormobile, and a nice '65 camper. I was talking to the camper's owner, who coincidentally enough, had just been in Raleigh when the tour passed through. The amazing part was that he had had my friend do some work on his bus while he was there! Small world indeed!
I was pleased to see all the busses there, as lately I had been noticing a lot more Sport-utility vehicles and newer cars at shows. It did me proud to see all the old faithful were still around. There was a really kind scene in the parking lot in general.
I'll spare the non-deadheads the details of the show, except to say that I'm really glad I got to go. It was a heck of a show indeed. Afterwards, we headed back to Jim's, and to bed, as we had to re-assemble the bus the next morning.
Everything went smoothly putting her bus back together, other than the inevitable pain of putting in an early late model engine. Compared to my brace-less '67, her engine took about twice as long to put in. (My sympathies to those of you with type IV and newer engines...) We test drove it, and found everything in order. So, after saying our good-byes, and thank you's to another listmember kind enough to put us up, we headed out for Mark Twain National Forest, in Missouri, and the Rainbow Gathering.
The drive to the Rainbow was rather uneventful. Both times we passed through St. Louis, it was after midnight, so we got to see the arch all lit up and scenic-like. We performed an oil change at a truck stop, and amazingly enough, found a headlight for Nicole's bus at a Wal Mart. Boy, they really do have everything...
Anyway, join me next week for the Rainbow Gathering. Happy Friday, and love those busses!