Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm Trippin'!

Sunday, August 16: Houghton Lake, MI

This morning's 80+ mile jump seemed to go on forever! I even fell asleep for a split second while driving, not good!

The 5:30 a.m. call wiped me out, so I took a little nap before walking into town.

Our lot today was very uneven, with lots of thick grass. It was a chore just to walk across the lot.

We had small, unresponsive crowds for the two shows. The sink gag was very difficult in the first show due to the tricky ground, the heat in the tent, the lack of laugher from the audience, and the fact that I bashed the heck out of my elbow when I was underneath the sink. To top it all off, no water came out for the blow off. D'oh!

In between shows Ryan was standing outside the Alley while I was sitting inside when all of a sudden it started pouring down rain.

He jumped inside for cover and I threw all the props that were on the ground into the wagon.

After just a few minutes, it had passed; it came out of nowhere!

The only thing that got me through the shows today was the thought of going to a little amusement park down the street after tear down.

It caught my eye this morning because of the big cartoony Haunted House up in front. When I told the America's Own gang about it, everybody was game for a good time.

Naturally, as soon as we got to the park, it started pouring down rain. We passed the time by playing games in the arcade until it had died down.

First order of business, the haunted house! Casey, Georgia, Radar, Ryan, and I went to check it out. 

I was so proud of Georgia for being so brave and going through the house. Understandably, she did get a bit scared, but she made it out without losing her cool.

Ryan, Casey, and I went back later by ourselves so we could take time and check out all the rooms in detail.

It turns out we actually exited the house halfway through; it is a good thing we didn't take Georgia through the second half, because it was more intense.

Ryan was cracking Casey and I up because he went through the whole house covering his ears and whimpering in fear.

The best part was at the end when the door to freedom was right in front of us. Casey and I walked outside and as Ryan was strolling through the doorway, confidant in his safety, an air cannon went off and scared the living daylights out of him.

He almost broke his leg jumping out of the house!

The other highlight of the evening was playing on the bumper boats. I had a great time ramming into Radar and Casey, but I was a little let down that the water gun on my boat didn't work.

Our only bad decision was for them to turn the fountains on as we played. We got absolutely drenched from them and there was no sun to dry us off.

We topped off the evening eating dinner at a restaurant where we had horrible service, and those of us that had been on the bumper boats sat freezing in our soaking wet clothes.

For pictures from our fun night, go here:

Monday, August 17: Indian River, MI

We had another 80+ mile jump ahead of us this morning. It wasn't as bad since it was mostly Interstate. 

The two early mornings and big jumps in a row definitely took a toll on me though. I crashed for about 4 hours when I was able to get into bed.

Later on I started to walk into town, but halfway there Natalie picked me up and gave me a ride.

Just up the road a ways was a place where you could go kayaking and tubing. If I would have known, I would have gotten my lazy butt up much earlier. I haven't been tubing in ages.

Natalie took me to the post office so I could mail something off. At least I did SOMETHING productive today.

We had an average sized crowd at the first show and a good sized crowd at the second show.

It sprinkled rain almost all day, and I kept myself occupied during the shows by lifting weights over at Casey's.

Tuesday, August 18: Mancelona, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

This morning we were given a break from the long jumps and "only" had 50 miles to go.

My back was killing me as soon as I got up, and it bothered me all day. I think I pinched a nerve by incorrectly lifting weights yesterday.

The pain started right between my shoulders and shot up into my neck; I had very little mobility in that part of my body. 

I took a long hot shower and spent a lot of time stretching to help alleviate some of the pain.

While I was backstage setting some of the sink props, a couple of "humble" girls stopped me to ask where the elephants were.

I told them, but one informed me that she needed help because she was "tripping".

I headed in the direction of the midway and told them to follow me. The "tripping" girl asked me if I had told them to fall. She then reminded me that she was "tripping".

I finally got them to the midway and showed them the elephants before beating a hasty retreat.

They followed me into the tent and asked Casey, who had the tiger arena up to practice, if they could pet a tiger. When he was throwing them out of the tent, they asked if they could just hang out with know, because they were "tripping".


We had good sized crowds for both shows. I thought I was going to die from the back pain I felt after the shovel gag.

I did a lot more stretching and took it easy for the rest of our gags. The only thing that really hurt was when I would have to go under the sink and duck my head while inside to put on the pipe through the head rig.

The "tripping" girls were back for the second show, and in greater numbers (just like the Sand People).

They came and plopped themselves down in the grass backstage during the tiger act; Ryan kicked them out of the back door and ruined their "trip".

By the end of the night my back was feeling better, but it was still sore. 

Luckily I had the BBQ to make me feel better. We watched some of the TV show "The State" while we were eating; hilarious!

August 24 and August 25-Holland, MI August 26-Hastings, MI August 27-Paw Paw, MI August 28-Benton Harbor, MI

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