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.