Two hard days of riding to Louisiana. Leaving Conroe, TX I hitched a 30 mile ride on the interstate with a moving truck. The hold was empty except for 3 passengers who were found found lounging on rugs drinking beer and smoking. I lifted my bike to the hold and joined them in their celebration. These guys had just finished moving furniture from Conroe to Seattle and could now rest for a few days in their home state. I pedaled 75 miles from Cleveland to Beaumont. East Texas is a whole different country. Culture, climate and landscape, welcome to the swamp, and say hello to your friendly African-American neighbors. Except for the police force the whole city of Beaumont and Port Arthur were black, and super friendly. As smelly and as homeless as I look, women in grocery stores asked me about what I am cooking for dinner, tough looking guys in lowered cars blasting music stopped and ask me about where I am from.
In Beaumont I slept in the park next to the police station and was devoured by mosquitos every time I left my tent. Mosquitos are so localized in the grassy areas out here that I ate a can of cold beans in my tent to escape the wrath. For the second night in a row, it poured all night, I slept in bouts in a 80 degree steam bath under the tent fly.
High hopes! I will be officially out of Texas today! All I have to do is ride to the coast, and take the side roads to Louisiana. Easier said then done. I rode 30 miles on the interstate with a constant Mantra about cars abd trucks ” That was close, its ok, keep pedaling, you are almost there”. I struggled at times to keep my bike going in a straight direction,and was thankful when I got to Port Arthur. When asking for directions I made the mistake of saying that I was going to “Louisiana”. “Oh you’re going to Louisiana, I have been there, this is what roads I take to get there” local after local told me. After crossing the suicidal “rainbow bridge” I pedaled 15 miles in the direction of the interstate. “FuCK”!!! “You have to turn around and ride that brige back out of town”!!
After cycling back over the “rainbow bridge” I got back on the correct road and headed south out of Port Arthur. During my first 30 miles of Louisiana I encountered a 40 mph head wind and constant showers. I passed through Holy Beach which was leveled by hurricane Rita, and boarded the ferry to the city of Cameron, LA.
After perusing dollar general and buying a 2 dollar snickers ice cream bar I pitched my tent behind the local church. Rain soaked the rest of my dry clothes and I slept like a spider between the pools of water in my tent.
92% percent humidity! Once sweating your clothes don’t dry. When you get off your bike to ask for water people think that you fell into a pool! I am sweating so much that my saddle and handle bar tape are bleeding into my clothes and it looks like I poo’ed in my pants!
I am in Pecan Island, LA! The whole area is surrounded by swamps and marshes. Several years ago some of the locals broke a levee so that their houses would have an ocean front. I am heading New Orleans tomorrow, a few days in the French Quarter, and a stroll on Bourbon street will be my last resting point before heading off to Norway.