Day 13: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Elevation gained: 148/Miles: 79/Total Miles: 722/Total Fast Food: 5

Don caught up with me at the campsite late last night. Over multiple beers, cheese and crackers and the worst freeze dried stew imaginable, we swapped stories until late in the evening. His were definitely more interesting than mine.

We watched as lightning drew closer and called it a night. Don and I are examples of the opposing philosophies of touring. I’ve been going minimalist with only what I can carry in the panniers. Don is prepared for everything and carries it all in a trailer he is towing.

Last night his team won. After we went to bed, the storm hit us hard. Don slept well in his 3 person tent. Me? I was awake almost all night. In the confines of my bivy sack, I felt like I was in a large trash bag with multiple pressure hoses spraying me. I remained dry, but could feel the water hit my body through the sack and sense the coolness of temperature. And in the midst of this, I kept hearing an annoying sound like air escaping from….a leak in my Therm-a-Rest pad. Still, it was much more fun than another evening in a hotel.

It took several hours to dry things out after breakfast. Then we packed up and right as were shaking hands in farewell, my rear tire went flat – the valve stem was broken. Such, a day I’m having already.

After I changed the tube and repacked my gear, I rode the Tammany Trace to Covington and then took Hwy 190 for the next six hours. What a stressful ride. Heavy traffic, no shoulders and abysmal asphalt. In places, I had to jump my front wheel over cracks to keep from losing control.

I rode until I arrived in Baton Rouge around twilight and began looking for a hotel. I stopped several times asking people for directions. It seemed no one could tell me where one was. Finally, I rode toward Hwy 12 and found a place. Tonight, I’m going to disassemble my bike and gear and get it all clean. Or, I may just drink a beer and fall asleep. Tough call, that one.

6 Comments

Filed under Biking U.S.

6 responses to “Day 13: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  1. Brian

    Glad you’re back on your pedals, MIke, Krispy Kremes cure all! Love the posts, thanks so much for sharing them.

  2. your conscious

    Thinking to myself, tonight when I take my bike apart, instead of reassembling it I could just pack it in a box?

    I hear its sunny in CA. I could come home and commit to riding 100 miles a day for 25 days so it would be the same distance. Right?

    I could eat at donut shops and fast food so it would be a similar experience, I could set up a tent in my yard and sleep in it every other night. Right?

  3. Polish Super Hero

    Mike,
    This brief decription…” I was awake almost all night. In the confines of my bivy sack, I felt like I was in a large trash bag with multiple pressure hoses spraying me.”…makes me think, “I am so glad I’m not with Mike.” But you enjoy your trip!
    Love,
    PSH

  4. Mike,
    Krispy Kremes bring back some really good memories. I rode cross country in 2008 and on Day 1 there was a huge box of sugar coated doughy goodness provided along with lunch.My immediate thought, “I’m gonna like this bike ride”
    Ride on
    Iron Mike

  5. David Stabler

    MD:

    Glad to hear you are mobile again. Pictures are great. Boats shot is suitable for framing.

    You might consider picking up a few strands of Mardi Gras beads to send to Father John and U Dick to replace worn sets of Worry Beads.

    Your reporting is spot. You are making me homesick for the South.

    Be on the lookout for a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
    http://crackerbarrel.com/

    Pretty decent down-home southern cooking. Company started in Lebanon TN and is now spread across much of the south. Does a good job for a chain–mainly located at Interstate exits. If you are still in Baton Rouge there are two. Try the cornbread.

    Hank Williams Sr. (Alabama native) wrote these two songs. If you listen and can get past the twang, pay close attention to the words on both, especially around 2:08 of Settin’ the Woods on Fire. Jambalaya is a perfect song for your present locale-’bout as Cajun as you can git.

    Jambalaya on the Bayou

    Settin’ the Woods on Fire

    Remember Huck when you cross the Mississippi. Please send some shots of your crossing and the Atchafalaya Basin.

    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, “Taming the Bicycle”

    It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. ~Ernest Hemingway

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

    Gear Maintenance…cold beer…gear maintenance…cold beer…cold beer…cold beer…easy decision…Cold Beer…There is always tomorrow Scarlett.

  6. David Stabler

    MD:

    More local trivia:

    Forgot to mention to be on the lookout for crawfish (mud bugs) ponds. The ponds appear man-made, not hard to discern and have wire mesh traps scattered throughout that can be seen above the water line. The harvest boats are flat bottom and rigged with special equipment to bring in the traps. Harvest time is Feb-June.

    Keep those spokes tuned!

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