Day 14: Franklinton, LA to Jackson, LA

Well, I've done it again. I forgot to write down the mileage. I do know I rode 83 miles today and you can do the math for total. I think it's about 900 and change. It's hard to believe I have come that far. It doesn't seem like I have been on the road long enough to have covered that distance. Wow. But today marks the second week, all but one of those days spent on the bike.

You know, I have noticed recently that bike touring is a big metaphor for life. Some days it's nice, the sun is shining, the wind is at your back. Some days you get dumped on, sideways, and the wind is trying, maybe even succeeding in pushing you over, and somedays you get a little of both, all mixed together. Today was one of the latter.

This morning started out beautiful and after a great night's rest, I hit the road by about 8. It started to warm up fast. Too fast. By 10 it was already nearing 80, and boy, was it muggy. I did the usual lunch routine of picking a comfy-looking spot on the side of the road and slowly-but not gracefully-letting gravity win (I'll get you next time!). Some beef jerky, a banana, and some peanut butter fueled me for the remaining 50 miles....barely. While I was snacking, a magenta pick-up carrying a nice couple heading east slowed to make sure I was alright. I love Louisiana! But I had been laying there too long. Time to get back on my trusty stead!

Onward I rode towards the great American west, the sun slowly disappearing behind clouds more often, its absences growing longer and longer until the sky darkened and threatened to burst with every turn of the crank.

Then, I felt it. The first raindrop. Oh no! Pedal faster, I thought. But then my lazy shoulder demon appeared. "Hey, for being lazy you are pretty punctual about these sort of things," I said. She replied, "Don't you worry your pretty little head over that. The important thing here is you are still 40 miles out and you're not going to outrun a thunderstorm. Conserve your energy. Take it easy! Live life on the medium-paced side. No one ever does that."

Good point. She might be lazy but at least she is practical about it. It was hot anyway and the rain felt nice. But then the wind kicked up pretty horribly so I took shelter under a church awning for about 20 minutes. Then I got restless and went for it anyway. I must say, riding in the rain is sweet as long as it's not cold out. The last miles went by very quickly.

And now I have landed at the home of Perry and Lep in Jackson. They are both carpenters and are currently finishing up their own home. They have a really neat set up for bikers, as they host about 100 per year. The coolest thing so far is their outdoor shower. Ohhhh man, yes. That's all I have to say. Supper was delicious: baked chicken thighs seasoned only with salt and pepper (so tender, so juicy), spinach and strawberry salad, and steamed broccoli. And two big tall glasses of milk. If my muscles don't get what they need from that meal they don't deserve to exist.

I don have too much else to add. The network is still slow so pictures probably won't work again so I'm not even going to try. But I can edit those in later. I'm still carrying that golden anvil, an anvil now for sure. I took the whole thing apart yesterday and cleaned it and I broke the check valve on the pump for the fuel bottle. It now shoots out of the end of that thing, unexpectedly. The stove did run after all that, even with the check valve. But it's like Russian roulette- you never know when your stove might blow up! So I haven't been using it but I'm not quite ready to send it home just yet.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot. I got chased by two very small dogs today for a very long distance. They spotted me from waaaaay off the road. I heard them barking and it took me about 20 seconds to find them they were so far away. Then, I saw them sprinting full speed toward me. Yeah, I was a little scared. But when I realized one was a tiny terrier mix and the other a dachshund, I relaxed a little and started smiling. Mistake. They are fast and relentless, those tiny dogs. I geared up and started sprinting myself and the dachshund followed....and followed and..... really, you're not tired yet? Watch out for that truck! I couldn't help it, I was laughing so hard, even as I prepared to unclip my foot to kick it in the face. But it finally gave up. Best dog chase ever.

Well folks, it is way later than it ought to be, which is to say that daylight savings time is dumb, which is to really say that I ought not be among those who burn the candle at both ends.

Cheers to Louisiana. You rock.

Until tomorrow,

1 comment:

  1. "...I was laughing so hard, even as I prepared to unclip my foot to kick it in the face."

    I love this quote!