Monday, August 07, 2006

Pensacola, Travel Missive #1

Today I am in Pensacola Beach, I can see the Gulf of Mexico from my room and I feel much better after many days of traveling in the 100 degree+ heat. I feel somewhat sunbaked like a diet potato chip. Radio in Pensacola is pretty bad unfortunately. They have no college radio, no community stations, no high school stations... not even a couple hippies with an LP license. they got nada for radio... but a great view.So I broke out my little Belkin TuneCast I FM transmitter hooked into my laptop and am broadcasting to the clock radio in my room at what is supposedly an allowable wattage. Of course we have all learned recently many of these devices operate over the allowable limit some even at 100,000 times the legal limit. So it is also possible I am not the first pirate in Pensacola beach. But I'm playing 1Gb funk mix I made so I don't expect anyone to complain. Everybody likes the Apollo Commanders...

I got here after a three day drive between Pennsylvania and Texas. I did a similar drive in reverse last February. You can read about that the and radio here in the A.R.T. archive.
Route 81 south is a piece of work, it stretches from Harrisburg to Knoxville, where it dumps straight into 40 West which runs deep into the land of the Texians.

Route 81 South mirrors the much bumpier and hillier Blue Ridge parkway. For the smoother ride you sacrifice the best view any American highway has to offer. as it was 81 hit no major cities between Harrisburg and Knoxville, that's a stretch of about 500 miles. It passes through the minor cities of Winchester, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Roanoke, Radford, Marion and then hits Bristol before things get into Deliverance country. 50% of all radio stations in this stretch are christian or gospel, the other half are country. If you ever make this drive... bring a couple Mix CDs. 9I should note that I did drive right past the humble studios of WCRR-AM which pretty much has the town of "rural retreat" to themselves.

Here in Pensacola the most interesting radio stations are the local gospel outlets. WRNE-AM 980, WNVY-AM 1090 and WNZO-AM 1230. Last night I heard a real Jim Jones screamer-type preacher on WNVY. He was wild and honestly I could not understand a word he said until I felt compelled to purchase kool-aid. Fortunately I was still full from the king-size Ruben I had just eaten from Mcguires.