Day 19: Silsbee, Texas

Elevation gained: 534 ft/Miles: 76/Total Miles: 895/Total Fast Food: 9

Sorry, about the lack of photographs today. I set something incorrectly on my camera and most of my photographs were unrecoverable. The one I’m most disappointed about was taken when I crossed over the Sabine River and into Texas early this morning. Well known Texan Eva Longoria met me on the bridge and personally welcomed me to the state with a very passionate embrace. But, like I said, the camera wasn’t working so you’re just going to have to trust me on this.

It rained last night and as a result it took me a bit of time to get going this morning as I had to dry out the tarp, pad and bivy sack, and wipe down the bike. I rode into De Ridder and stopped at a McDonalds for breakfast and to use their WiFi for my last post. At around 11am, I finally got started for the day.

Riding through Beauregard Parish, I could feel a change. The landscape was drier and filled mainly with pines. In several places, there were thousands of FEMA trailers lined in rows to the horizon, all staged for the next hurricane. Most of the traffic on this road (Hwy 190) consisted of logging trucks stacked with pines or trucks filled with pine chips heading for the Boise Pulp Mill. You could smell it miles before it came into view. After winding through Merryville, I crossed the river and there was Eva waiting for me. It’s really great how they treat visitors in the Lone Star state.

The difference in roadways is quite apparent when going from Louisiana to Texas. I’ve written enough about the former, but when you hit Texas, the roads are smooth, with wide shoulders and almost no trash. It makes one wonder about the amount of highway funding each state is getting and how it gets used.

As I approached Kirbyville, I came upon some road construction. A flagman signaled to me to stop and said: “Son, you look like you need a break and this is a good excuse.” He asked what I was doing and when I explained my route, he stuck out his hand and said: “Well, sir, my name is Joe. Welcome to Texas!” Then he reached into his waistband and pulled out his handgun to show me. (Ok. Maybe I’m making up this last part.) Joe informed me that Don and Jan were both a few miles ahead of me. Over the next hour, I caught up with them and Don and I rode the last 35 miles together into Silsbee.

When we arrived at the campground, we met another biker, Ben (a grandfather of two) who is riding a recumbent and pulling a trailer. He started in San Diego and is on his way home to North Carolina.

Over a BBQ dinner, we compared notes about what is ahead for each of us. Sharing information about places to stay, roadway conditions and alternative routes is incredibly helpful.

9 Comments

Filed under Biking U.S.

9 responses to “Day 19: Silsbee, Texas

  1. Hi Mike – I’m enjoying your blog! I rode that way many years ago on a geeked-out recumbent (the final version of which, BEHEMOTH, was built in a lab at Sun). I even passed through Silsbee…

    Anyway, there are a couple of utilities for recovering the contents of an SD card – before writing lots of new pix on it, you might google a bit. If you’re carrying a Mac, let me know and I’ll pass along the tools I found that work.

    Cheers!
    Steve

  2. Cheryl

    Hi Mike,

    I’m enjoying your blog! (Although given the amount of rain you have hit, I’m glad I’m not riding.) If you need any contacts in Texas, let me know; I know lots of people there.

    Cheryl

  3. Doug

    TEXAS! The cops have mirror sun glasses that face on the inside! The motto” Don’t mess with Texas!” Eat up and enjoy!

  4. I once heard that Louisiana doesn’t get any government funding for highways because they don’t comply with the federal drinking age of 21. Not sure if that’s true anymore, but it might explain the road conditions there.

    Enjoying your blog quite a bit, by the way.

  5. Brian Martin

    Mike:

    Looking at the other cyclists, it appears that you are missing a a flag….How about one proudly announcing: “Hi! I’m Mike”? Let me know and I will fedex one to Eva (who will likely be following you through the state).

  6. Polish Super Hero

    Mike,
    Eva! wow, too bad the camera wasn’t working. I’d rather have more picture of Don anyway. It’s days like these that will keep your engine fueled. A couple of us have signed up the the Tour of the Unknown Coast. I know you don’t want to think about riding more but you should join us May 8th and register for the ride…
    PSH

  7. John Augustine

    I have been enjoying your blog and am now up to date, waiting for the next post.

    Take care

  8. Karen Delgado

    Hi Mike,

    I just started reading your blog today (but am now caught up from day 1). It is like reading a novel that I can’t put down. I can’t wait to read each day to see what this is amazing and challenging journey brings you. What a life-changing adventure. I think we should all take a “WOW” moment in our lives to experience even a fraction of what you have on this trip. You never seize to inspire. Anyways, just wanted to say I will look forward to your posts each day. Take care, and be safe out there.

  9. Karen Delgado

    p.s. – the chihuahua’s in Texas are vicious 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s