My 2018 concert tour is in full swing and over the past month and a half I have traveled in excess of 4,000 miles across 7 states, performing live on stage in venues ranging from wineries to RV parks & campgrounds to saloons and historic theatres. Seeing that this tour runs until December, one could say that I am just getting started.
The life of a touring musician who is on the road non-stop definitely has its ups and downs and this year has been no exception. It is a very solitary and often lonely existence. Yet the time spent day-of-show, meeting new people and performing live is the ultimate payoff and what makes the tremendous sacrifice worthwhile. LIke all of my past tours, I have been fortunate to meet some incredible people and forge new friendships this year, all while visiting some of the most beautiful locations in America.
Although exciting and therapeutic, "The Road" can sometimes also be a formidable opponent looking to defeat you at every turn and send you home with your tail between your legs. It shows no mercy and seems willing to remind you of its power at the most inconvenient times.
Such was the case as I was 90-minutes south of Glacier National Park late last Thursday night and was heading to my destination, an interstate rest stop where I would park for the night and prepare to make my way to Big Timber, MT, the following day. There an excited group of campers at Spring Creek Campground and Trout Ranch was anxiously awaiting my, "One-Man Rock & Country Music Show," scheduled for Saturday night. Knowing that this was going to be a great location and crowd, I was really looking forward to it.
I never made it to Big Timber for Saturday night's show because "The Road" had a different plan for me. 10 miles south of Browning, MT, my 37' coach with cargo trailer in tow experienced a catastrophic failure.
At around 12:30 AM MST and literally seconds before my "tour bus" and I were about to descend down a white-knuckle, 6% mountain grade, my oil pressure gauge dropped to zero, warning buzzers screamed and I made the decision to let off the accelerator and pull off the road to what I have now learned was the only place to do so for miles around.
Had I decided to continue down the hill and not stop my coach would have definitely began to roll as the air brake system would eventually bring its wheels to a grinding halt, and I fear that I would not be here to write these words to you now.
No longer able to continue and with the smell of burnt oil and metal in the air, I had no choice but to hunker in for the night, waiting for first light to assess the situation and make a game plan. Much to my surprise, I had a visitor camped outside my door when awoke several hours later. Watch the video at the top of the page to meet, "George the Dog," and stay tuned for Part 2 of this story to see what happens next...
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SCOTT HELMER is a musician, speaker, radio talk show host and Guinness World Records title holder for "Most Live Music Performances in 24 Hours (multiple cities)." Since 2012, his concerts have helped raise more than $2 Million Dollars for good causes across America ranging from military veterans and their families, first responders, equine and pet rescues, food banks, non-profit theatres, historic places, suicide prevention, special needs children and adults, high schools and colleges, and more. Sign-up to get his blog, news & more delivered directly to your inbox. Contact & booking here.