In the span of 3 days we managed to get all the preparations ready for our tour. We left our home in Jacksonville on Saturday, September 9th and headed to Big Sandy for our show at the Big Sandy Music Hall. There we played a private show to all who came and we were gifted a piece called Peace Frog made by the owner Andrew Kirby. It is a yellow skull decorated with jewels, rocks, flowers, and frog with peace signs for eyes; it will now be our mascot, we will take it all over the country and share it with the world.

After the show we headed to Zion’s home in Lindale so we could spend the next day getting everything ready to leave for Dallas on Sunday night. All went well, Me and Alex hung out with his mom for some part of the day, and managed to say goodbye to important friends and family, we also built an extension to the shelf in the van and spent 4 hours packing all our luggage and getting rid of unnecessary junk. It was gruesome and tiring work, but it needed to be done so we could enjoy the next day, without needing to do any more work.

It took us 5 hours to drive 2 hours away that night. Here’s what happened. We had spent the day also changing the tires on the van and changing the oil. When we were just 45 minutes outside of our destination in Dallas we noticed the oil pressure gauge going crazy between high and low oil pressure. So when the low oil light went on we stopped and checked underneath the van. 6 of the 7 quarts of new, fully synthetic oil we had just put in had leaked out and we were incredibly in need of help. Zion called his father, who had helped us all day to get everything ready and explained the situation, and he agreed to drive out 40 minutes to bring us new oil – thank God he did.

We did some troubleshooting and the reason the oil leaked out is because the lady at Auto Zone had sold us the wrong size filter for our van, dang it. But here we were and Merrill, Zion’s dad, brought us a new filter and some oil. We changed the filter and came to find out that Merrill had brought the wrong oil. So he drove back the Walmart in Canton in search of the right kind of oil, once again, thank God for Merrill Spencer. He came back about an hour later and was ready to pour the new oil in, when his face twisted in horror, he had brought the wrong oil again. So shoot, Zion drove to Walmart again with him and 4 hours, and $34 later we were once again ready to head out. We said our goodbyes to Merrill who was incredibly tired and headed to Dallas where our friend was still waiting for us at about 1:45 A.M.

So after that whole ordeal, we chilled for what seemed like 30 minutes and then slept like babies till the next morning. To our friend, David Bradwell, thank you so much for offering us a place to crash and staying up so late awaiting our arrival and also that you or the bag of beef jerky that has been a good source of energy on this long journey.

But yeah, that was our first night getting out of Texas, and it did not feel like a good start. We kept going though and I really have to give it up to the guys for being an amazing team and facing every obstacle with a strong and definitive mindset. Stay tuned for the rest of the tour, if this was our first night, I have no idea what else might happen along the way!

-Cali Togo (09.13.17)

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