With an hour of sleep behind me I made the 5 and a half hour drive to Phoenix. Arriving at GothSam's house, I threw even more coffee down my throat and we drove to Changing Hands Bookstore. The lack of sleep didn't bother me ... yet. Once I get going, I tend to do okay. We arrived at the bookstore and I was floored by the attendance! Every seat was filled, and more people were coming in! The events coordinator had to open the doors between the two conference rooms to accommodate everyone. At this point, the lack of sleep, food, and crowd overwhelmed me. Five minutes before showtime I went into the bathroom and cried. Utter tears of joy, mind you, but they just poured out of me uncontrollably. I had never been so tired, hungry, and happy in my life :)
Afterwards we (GothSam, Johnny, and Zelda) got some amazing burgers and beers. Zelda and I went back to her place and, while I did my best to stay up and catch up with her, was knocked out cold by the food and drinks. I passed out around 8:30 pm and slept until about that same time, am, Sunday. Zelda took off for work and I took off for the 6 hour drive to Albuquerque. Due to five different construction teams on the highway I was an hour late to Blue Eagle (where I was giving my talk), so I didn't have time for pictures or anything. It was getting late and I thanked everyone who stuck around, despite my tardiness. Got in my car and drove towards Austin, where I would be speaking at Scarlet Woman the next night.
I crashed in "Farwell" New Mexico, which is right on the border of that state and Texas. I didn't realize that I had parked in a freight train yard parking lot and was woken up almost every hour by loud train whistles going off! So, again, no sleep. Woke up at 8 and started the rest of the drive to Austin, which took waaaayyyyyyy longer than googlemaps had indicated it would. In retrospect, had I not gotten three hours of drive-time behind me, I would never have made it to Scarlet Woman on time.
We had expected a low turnout due to flash flood warnings that night (safety first!). With that in mind, and weary from the road, I walked into the venue and perked up when I saw a dozen folks there! I thanked them all profusely for braving the weather to hear my stuff! Gave my talk, and then went out for burgers and beers (yes, again!) with one of the attendees, Hunter. Got to my car, and crashed out for 12 hours.
The most ambitious part of the tour, four talks in four cities, in four states, was over. I did it! Next stop, Dallas!