Where Was I … Where Am I?

Oh … Baton Rouge already!

Critters
Critters

 

This little trip has been such a blur. With the exception of the frequent flashbacks to the spring tour with Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier Van One … brought on by a million memories of places passed … it’s becoming increasingly difficult to discern one day’s memory from the next. My routine has mostly settled into:

Wake up at 4 am and shower.
Cheerios. Honey-Nut when available.
Uncouple the RV from shorelines.
Refill the gallon water jugs.
Pack the cooler with ice.
Pick up the riders at their hotel at 5:00am.
Find a McDonalds for (their) breakfast.
And my coffee.
Transport to the day’s ride start for a pre-sunrise start.
Unload bikes from trailer … Send off riders …
Intercept riders and refill water bottles countless times.
Offer cold drinks. Reload fridge and cooler.
Occasionally send text messages: “you are off-course”. ?
(I’m GPS tracking their locations – really!)
Find food, drinks and gasoline..
Pick up riders before noon to avoid the afternoon heat … averaging 50 miles/day.
Deliver riders to hotel.
Find an RV park and plug in.
Check all tank levels: LP gas, gray, black, and fresh water, and top up or dump as required.
Unload trailer, check bikes, fix and/or adjust as required.
Reload trailer.
Do laundry when available.
Eat. Trying to avoid restaurants, and do more cooking in RV.
Prepare GPS track files going forward and email them to riders.
Find camping and lodging going forward.
Social media and weather reports.
Writing / Image editing / Video editing.
Clean up RV interior: dump trash, sweep floor, pack away the day’s detritus.
Facetime (when possible) video chat with Karen.
Charge all devices and set iPad alarm for 4am.
Die, usually soon after sundown.
The Rig parked at Pensacola Beach
The Rig parked at Pensacola Beach

Something like that.

We’ve also settled into a “Three days on, One day off” routine. Rest days are called “vacations”. That makes the other three sound like work, doesn’t it?

Everyone likes the rest days, but to date, I’ve only gotten out on Old Blue twice, in Gulfport Mississippi. That’s a whole story right there. Gulfport was ground zero when hurricane Katrina hit, and it shows. I got in about 50 miles and know that town intimately.

Old Blue - Beach Bum
Old Blue – Beach Bum

At this writing, we’re “on vacation” in Baton Rouge Louisiana. Mark’s wife Debbie arrived late yesterday at the airport. She’ll be traveling with us for the next three day stretch. She’ll ride with me in the RV and her company is appreciated. She and their daughter Sarah rode along for three days at the beginning and the miles really flew by.

Thoughts?

The far eastern “25%” of this route has been as “pretty” as expected … as I already know it. But I’m finding myself getting increasingly excited and anxious to get to the second “50%” on the other side of Austin Texas, where the landscapes begin changing in color, detail, density, and … ahem … altitudes. I’m hoping that losing the Deep South humidity to the arid heat of the west will help all of us move forward a bit more comfortably.

I’m guessing maybe a week of Louisiana and a week of east Texas stand between us and the Really Cool Part™ of the Southern Tier Route. I’m certain I’ll feel more motivated to put tasks aside till late, and go riding with Old Blue in the afternoons (nights?) when it’s dry again and particularly when I’ve got mountains to climb. One thing is certain. I’ll generate a lot more New Memories of my own once we reach the Hill Country.

Forward Ho!

Me 'n ma dawg!
Me ‘n ma dawg!