Hey! Throat isn’t slit open! Another fabulous day! What a wonderful feeling it is to be alive; to be able to wake up and be conscious of the first breath of air I take in is a good day in my book. I look beside me and see Amanda bundled up in her sleeping bag, her face as calm as it could ever be as she sleeps; this could be heaven right now. We break camp, thank our friendly neighbors for looking out for us for the night, and ride off. Just as I thought to myself “Glad the sketchy guy didn’t come by to see us last night,” we see that very same ratty-looking white Cadillac pulled over on the side of the road. “Hope he’s not in the car. Hope he’s not in the car. Hope he’s not in the car.” I kept saying to myself as we rode past him. Did he spot us? I hope not. I kept eyeing the rear view mirror until his car was out of sight. Phew. That was a close call. Next thing I know, Amanda zooms right beside me and yells “I think I saw him pull out onto the road! Hurry before he catches up to us!” You got be kidding me! This guy serious? Ok. Take a deep breath. Think. We could take one of these dirt roads and lose him in the forest? Too risky. It may lead to a dead end or worse yet; take us right into the village of blood thirsty cannibals. Besides, this guy probably knows the area far better than we do. Stay on the road. I take a look at the rear view mirror. Sh*t! There he is. Ok, if this guy wants to dance; let’s dance. We make a right on the next approaching street. A few houses in the area. Good enough. If things get dicey at least there’ll be witnesses or someone to call 911. We ride up a block, just enough to see if he continues onwards or turns to follow us. I unbuckle the holster carrying the canister of bear mace. We wait. There he is! He slows down…waves his hand out the window as if to say goodbye and continues onwards. I buckle the holster carrying the canister of bear mace. We ride onwards.
New Orleans is our next destination. Don’t know anyone or what to see there, so we pull into Starbucks for a hot drink and free Wi-Fi to get some intel. Turns out in order to gain access to the internet; you have to have an existing account with AT&T with some kind of password or something of that nature. What a gyp! That’s the last time we’ll ever step into Starbucks again.
Oh well, looks like we’re gonna have to do it the old fashioned way: Dive head first and ask the locals. New Orleans…Mardi Gras…Easy Rider. Those were the thoughts that entered my brain as we rode south along the Pontchartrain Expressway. Upon entering the city limits, we could see reminiscences of the damage done by hurricane Katrina. Must’ve been crazy times. Tragic times. We rode in looking for Bourbon Street because that’s where the party’s at; or at least that’s what we’ve been told.
Riding on Bourbon Street was a riot. People were hollering from all over the place; many of them intoxicated of course. There were women standing in front of doorways, scantily clad in g-strings; trying to entice the general public into entering their fine establishments. I wish I had taken pictures of it all, but I was preoccupied with the challenge of dodging drunken people walking on the streets. Just as we find a place to park, it starts to pour. We decided to take off because we didn’t feel comfortable leaving all our stuff on the bikes. Besides, it was getting late and we still haven’t figured out where to lay our heads for the night. We proceeded to head west, but got stuck in traffic while in the rain. Ugh, this sucks. We made it to Laplace, LA and stopped at Wendy’s to grab a bite and regroup. It also gave us a chance to get out of the rain. We met 2 guys sitting across from us who noticed our motorbikes out in the parking lot. We got to talking and they offered us a place to stay overnight at one of their places, but it was an hour drive north of where we are. We declined because we didn’t have anything left in us. We were just going to find a Wal-Mart nearby and camp. Before they left, they gave us two bottles of sweet tea vodka and t-shirts. Turns out they were representatives of Firefly Vodka and were attending a conference down in New Orleans. Nice. We could definitely use a drink to take the edge off.
GPS gave us directions to a Wal-Mart not far away. We get there and notice the area is a little too urban to pitch a tent in the lot. We also notice there aren’t any RV’s camped out here. What the heck. Doesn’t hurt to ask. Wasn’t surprised when Amanda came back with the bad news. They don’t allow camping. What do we do now? We could go to a 24-hour fast food chain and just sit there till morning. That’s an option. As I was pondering the possibilities, Amanda notices a van that belonged to a Christian organization that just pulled in. Doesn’t hurt to ask. Wasn’t surprised when Amanda came back with the good news. We’re saved!
Down in New Orleans.
Didn’t get a Mardi Gras Queen.
Need to reconvene.