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© John Derhak, 2013
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Road Diary
on tour with moe.
by John Derhak

Summer Tour, Entry III. Asheville, North Carolina. Late June, Like Wicked Late June, Dude, Year 2013
A Quick Dip South

Ah, Asheville. Good ole North Carolina. One of my favorite places. When I stop living the life of a gypsy, it's one of the top ten places I have under consideration to stay-detached from my luggage. Asheville is a hip, happening, historic, holistic, and hedonistic little city. They have microbreweries, mountains, and movie theaters-three important prerequisites for me to become detached from my luggage. We, your favorite band and their crew, have a day off here, and everyone is rearing and ready to go, or should be. After three days of a steaming sauna in the City and a 700 mile drive, Asheville is a welcome relief. Oh, yes it is, even though our collective asses are dragging.

The question is-what to do? We are on tour, but we are not tourists. We check into a hotel, but it is for one night. Some of us have been here before, others have not. I'm kind of in the middle. I've been here with moe. several times but have only ventured a few blocks radius from the Orange Peel. I don't have a plan, just yet, other than I'm hungry. Some of us go to our rooms, others initiate a pub crawl--we are in microbrew heaven. I follow Rob and Chuck who have been here mega--times, and know of a great little café near Pack Square. We have breakfast for 3 at 2.

After that, they go one way, and I go buy a cigar and wander over to the Thomas Wolfe House on Spruce Street (the only thing I had planned). There I find a park bench, sit, and light it up. It's something I do in my travels. Whenever I'm in a town where one of my favorite writer's lived, I'll seek them out, drop by and catch a vibe. Thomas Wolfe is one such writer (if you're looking to read the great American novel this summer, look no further than, Look Homeward, Angel). I don't go in the house. I have no need to actually see where he ate, slept, and shat. I hang and puff and write a blog about NYC …

… And lose complete track of time. It's after 6, and I'm getting bombarded with text messages-who's eating what and where with whom; then movie, entertainment, or beer? Of course it's beer-we're in Asheville. I pass some of my kind--Vinnie, Al, Steve--on the bus--but again lose track of time. Before I know it, everyone's off doing something. It's after ten. I'm wondering if I'm missing out on anything? I send text messages but only get a few replies, until the next morning, when this exchange, bizarrely, came in all at once:

Huffer-status report
Skip-10 am bus call?
Casey-124 College
Frank-you guys just starting or winding it up? Long walk from hotel room comfy bed.
Huffer-you want to do Belgians at the thirsty monk? The players here are all played out…
Al-Rob and I are on bus right now
Skip-for the night?
Rob-Lookin' to hook up sailorman?
Huffer-we're leaving the pool hall. Bus sounds good

Suddenly I didn't feel like I missed that much. Today there is so much to do. We're off to Black Mountain and the mighty Pisgah ... brewery, that is, to play and put on a party.