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Rock in the Road

By February 18, 2011herb's eye view

The Silver Sub has been making a bit of a racket fo the past few weeks. It kinda sounds like it’s comin’ from the shocks. It’s a creaky sound. Like something might be loose or is in need of some WD-40. Anyway, it passed inspection and was deemed safe for a whole year by the great Commonwealth of Virginia, so I didn’t worry about it too much. I was just gonna go ahead and hit the road and play the shows and look into the matter upon returning home.

Yesterday’s drive up the Canaan Valley from Elkins to Thomas was quite delightful. The sun was shining, the hills were swaying in the breeze, and the temperature was a balmy 60 degrees or so giving us a deserved reprieve from this winter’s biting chill. Everything was going great — ’til I hit that rock in the road.

It was one of those situations where I was cruising at 60mph rounding a bend leaving the bright blinding sun and crossing into the deceptive shade. As my eyes adjusted from the sun’s light to the shade’s dark, the rock in the road slowly came into view.

“Is that a leaf? Naw, it ain’t movin’. That’s a rock! If I veer to the right, I’ll be driving into that gravel and would risk losing control at this speed. If I veer to the left, I’ll risk on-coming traffic from the blind turn. Lemme try to clear it. The Silver Sub’s clearance is higher than a normal sedan’s or wagon’s. I think I oughtta be able to clear it. Yeah! Cruise right on over it!”



I went over the rock and it sounded like it hit my chassis in 5 different places before I put it behind me. Ouch! Ol’ Hanson and I both wince as if our own chassis’s were being accosted by an errant road rock. (I don’t know how to pluralize “chassis”).

We stopped at Davis, and I checked underneath the Silver Sub to see if ther was any apparent damage. No leaks, nothing hangin’ off, no fires. Okay. I think we’re in the clear!

We continued on with our regular road and gigging routine: drink, eat, drink, rock, drink, drink, sleep.

The following day’s drive brought to our attention that the creaky, loose racket wasno longer audible. Hmm. Interesting. So, the rock dislodged whatever might have been loose and making the noise, or it banged it back into place, or the noise disappearing was just coincidental with me running over that rock.

This has been the deepest mystery of this trip so far.


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