The gang is preparing to leave New Orleans at noon today after a day off. More on that in a minute.
Our rest day in Austin was wonderful! While our group was out an about, I managed to get caught up on some paperwork in my makeshift office.
But I did get out for a bit to research a quiet bike passage out of the city, join a group for dinner, and listen to a bit of live music in the “Music Capital of the World”.
It’s been a blur since Austin. Perhaps the rain and fog we’ve experienced since Austin has clouded my glasses too much? We left Austin in the rain, but later in the day it cleared … just in time to enjoy a gorgeous ride through the Bastrop State Park with narrow winding (left to right AND up and down) roads and zero traffic. The park was the site of the most destructive wildfire in Texas history and it shows. Sadly, I took no still photos, though I might have some helmet cam video of the area. Regardless, I will always remember the scene. And the ride!
We spent a night in Navasota, rode through Anderson and Richards, and I remember the towns like I was there yesterday. But it’s been a YEAR since I was here while attending Adventure Cycling’s Leadership Training Course at the Mexican Hill Ranch in Richards. Great memories of a great experience and wonderful, like-minded cyclists. That weekend changed the direction of my life and I’ve been thrilled and filled with excitement every minute since.
We’ve stayed in a variety of lodgings since … in a church, a motel next to a casino, an RV park right next to a busy highway, a church camp, and even a small town historical museum park complete with southern cooked meals and an entertaining shootout by period gunslingers.
We’ve been making new friends along the way …
… and having a great time, even with the unusually frequent and flooding rains we’ve been getting.
It’s been warm, so most of the time, the rains have been cooling and not cold. But we’re also sad that we’ve lost two more from our motley crew. Just minutes after starting out from Kountze Texas on a foggy morning, one of our gang fell and suffered a concussion. The rider’s wife was nearby and they took and ambulance ride together to the hospital. He will recover, but they decided to end their trip. So with a heavy heart, I later found myself looking for a get well card, rather than the congratulations card they SHOULD be getting at the coast. Now we are twelve on the road, but still 15 in spirit!
Here in New Orleans, the gang scattered all over the city on our rest day, but I’m certain many spent time down the street a bit on Bourbon Street.
Me too. Uh … what happens on Bourbon Street … Let’s just say that it involved music, crawfish, and Cat5 Hurricanes. Nuff said.
So today, we return by van from “NOLA” to Jackson Louisiana where we left our bikes and gear. Tonight, we’re staying at Perry and Lip’s place; Warm Showers hosts who see hundreds of cyclists every year due in part to their strategic location, but also because of their legendary hospitality! When we arrived at noon Saturday, Lip was already cooking for tonight’s meal of authentic gumbo! As if I hadn’t had too much to eat on this adventure already …