DAY 30-36



Day 30: The Open Road of Texas 

We packed up Heroes Stadium and left today. It was bitter-sweet. It’s been nice having that little home. I knew the members were excited to leave, but until I stepped on the tour bus, I was pretty nervous. Getting on the bus was a huge boost of excitement. Setting up our seats and tucking away our bus boxes hit us (especially the rookies) with a big wall of "Woah. We're doing drum corps."

After loading all of our equipment, saying goodbye to our Texas team, and making a Walmart stop to buy chia seeds and avocados, Steph and I spent the first 4 hours of our ride looking through our combined 8 years of Instagram. Now we’re tired. We’re still driving in Texas. Texas will never end. I will be here forever.

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Day 31: Godley, Texas

Today was a giant yike.

Our food truck got stranded in San Antonio. We got 2 hours of sleep. I then took a nap and when I woke up, I was having allergies so bad one of my eyes could hardly open. So I took a double dose of Benadryl and slept pretty much until dinner, with a couple random wake-ups to help with big tasks (like finding food for 200 people when you have no food truck and the nearest Walmart is 28 minutes away because you aren’t actually in Dallas, you’re in a very small suburb in the fields of Texas, an hour outside of Dallas). 

The wind also wasn't our friend today. I thought I got used to the wind tunnel that was our Spring Training site, but the wind in Godley was so strong that it blew away one of our half-full Gatorade jugs. You just can’t make this stuff up.

After dinner, three of us ran to a gas station across the street to buy coffee for everyone because the food truck had all of our coffee and we realized that was probably part of the crankiness. Coincidentally, everything after dinner was great. I ate a bunch of pickles and was back to feeling like not-dead Chloe. We did EPL (Eat Pack Load) really smoothly. Then we got on the road and at 1:46am we crossed into not-Texas! (a.k.a. Arakansas) 

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Day 32: Little Rock, Arkansas

We finally made it out of Texas! (I loved Texas...but I need a break. We drove through the night and I got to watch the sunrise with a pretty cool view.)

We went to Target for a random members-need-things run. There were apartments in that parking lot and I'm pretty sure that in another life, that's where my mother would live. Shoutout to my mom and her love for the St. Matthew's Target. 

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Day 33:  Little Rock, Arkansas

Arkansas was pretty cool. Admin was slammed with work getting ready for our first show this weekend. I sewed a special effect into all of the guard flags, got uniforms put together, built some stuff for the props, organized info for member shirts, did some financials, and worked on planning.

War Memorial Stadium was such a beautiful place to get to live a crazy 48 hours. We’re back in the road again, headed to Missouri. I’m starting to get into the lack-of-routine routine that is tour.

Luckily, nothing caught fire today. And sometimes you have to celebrate that.

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Day 34: Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Sewing. Sewing. Sewing.

Ripping out velcro. 

No phone service.

Probably didn't mention enough sewing.

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Day 35: Dayton, Ohio

Not gonna lie...driving through Kentucky to get to Ohio was probably the most emotional I've been so far. We passed the St. Matthew's Mall on the highway and the gravity of everything hit me. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss consistency. I'm so so so happy that I'm living this experience, so it makes the tough things (like being a little homesick) totally worth it. Still, I stayed awake through all 6 hours of our middle-of-the-night drive through my home state. 

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WE MADE IT TO OHIO. I've never hyped this state this much in my entire life. Suddenly I find myself with oodles of midwest pride.

We woke up at UD arena. That's cool. 

It's the first place I've been in over a month that I've actually recognized. For weeks and weeks and weeks, I've been with people I didn't really know in places that I'd never seen before. It made everything feel like a giant dream. Finally seeing something that I know for a fact exists marks a turning point in my understanding of this entire experience.

Lots and lots and lots and lots of sewing got done. The first show is tomorrow which was an exciting motivator. As stressful as it's been getting everything ready for it, I'm super pumped for the world to see all of the work this team has been putting in. The members, teaching staff, and admin have doing an incredible job pushing through the constant crazy that this activity brings. The show is beautiful and it's finally coming to audiences. 

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Day 36: Akron, Ohio

Today was our first show day. We arrived in Akron at 5am, and got some floor sleep time. I spent 4 hours working on fixing guard uniforms and running around doing last-minute show prep.

We drove to the show site and unloaded pretty smoothly. A prop fell apart while walking to the field but we just drilled it in place on the field during the walk-on. The show was awesome. I teared up at the end. I was trying to hide it, but then I realized that half of the staff was in tears. 36 days of eating and sleeping and breathing this show finally came to some fruition.

Some people’s family came to the show and getting to take reuniting pics was awesome. Seeing that many smiles was contagious.

I saw a few Morehead people working with and watching other groups. I also saw indoor friends. It's the beginning of the sweet post-show hugs and catch-ups that show season brings. 

Another day, another phase of our summer coming to a turn, another night thanking the stars for letting me be a part of this experience.