3TO tour report – episode 6

Steve Dilling has agreed to share the ups and downs, in and outs of a long IIIrd Tyme Out road trip with our readers. They will be traveling from coast to coast, and back again, this first two weeks of April. Here is his sixth report.

Mountain range in Wyoming from the IIIrd Tyme Out busDay 11 (4/13/09) finished with us leaving Boise, ID at 11:30 p.m. looking at a 750 overnight trip to Laporte, CO.  I took the first driving shift with plans to take it as far as I could, and then get Russell up to drive the next shift.  Donnie, Wayne, and Justen stayed up to keep me company.  As we drove through the night, we ran into a snowstorm and it seemed that the further we went, the harder it snowed.  I noticed that the snow was starting to lay on the road surface and the visibility was starting to diminish quite a bit.  It was getting rough!!

As we got close to the Utah state line, we started to climb Holbrook Summit.  We came up on a tractor trailer that had jack-knifed and the entire southbound lanes of interstate 84 were blocked.  This occurred around 3:00 am.  We sat in the middle of the interstate for an hour and a half.  All there was to do at that point was watch the snow and eat Russell’s ‚Äòroasted and salted in the shell’ peanuts (Sorry Russell) and wait for the road to open back up.  By this time there was 7 or 8 inches of snow on the ground and at least 2 inches of snow on the road.  Finally, at 4:30 a.m., we started moving again. Russell got up and started driving because I had all that I could take.  I was done for the night.

Russell Moore and Jack Nix along the Interstate in WYDay 12 (4/14/09) found me waking up around 9:00 a.m. and Russell was still driving up front by himself, so I kept him company.  By this time we were in Wyoming.  Jack got up a little later and we had breakfast in the town of Rock Springs on I-80.  Jack drove about 4 hours then I took the wheel for about 3 hours and we arrived in Laporte, CO. at 4:00 p.m.  The name of the venue was the Swing Station and is owned by our friend Brad Foulke, who used to have a band called Open Road.  We got loaded in, did our sound check and had dinner.

Before the show, we were delighted to see former Nashville Bluegrass Band bassist Gene Libbea, who had stopped by for a visit.  It had been 9 years since we last saw him.  He seemed to be doing great and staying busy.  It was nice to get to visit with him.

Wayne Benson riding the big red busShowtime was at 8:00 p.m.  We hit the stage, did our first set, took a break to visit with our fans and then did our second set.  Swing Station owner, Brad Foulke, got on stage with us and tore the house down with Doin’ My Time.  We finished up, loaded the bus and pulled out around midnight.  We drove for about 2 hours and pulled over for the night.

Day 13 (4/15/09) started out fueling the bus and getting some breakfast.  We were in Limon, CO.  This was a day off for us as far as performing, but we had a lot of ground to cover because we had to be in Nashville, TN at noon the next day.  Jack, Russell and myself took turns driving while the rest of the guys jammed, listened to music and did what they needed to do to help us with the driving chores.  Believe me, it takes all 7 of us to make this ‚Äòmachine’ work!

Edgar Loudermilk and Justen Haynes playing video games while traveling on the IIIrd Tyme Out busWe stopped a few times for food, fuel and whatever else we might need, but mostly we kept rolling.  I was driving my last shift when I pulled over 35 miles north of Nashville in Clarkesville, TN.  It was 4:30 a.m.  I’m sure this big red bus was ready for a breather.  I know that I was!

Day 14 (4/16/09) has us going down to Nashville.  Look for this update in my next report.