to Iowa, LA

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 01/18/2005 - 13:42

A short and uneventful day today.  I rode into Moss Bluff and used the Internet for an hour, then reached my campground outside Iowa, LA by 3:30.  The campground is overpriced for what it offers, but the manager at least showed me a place where I'd be out of the wind.

22.4 mi

to Sam Houston Jones SP

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 01/17/2005 - 13:37

Between the Interstate and the railroad and the freezing temperatures and the rooster who crowed every few seconds, all night long, I slept very poorly at the campground in Vinton.  I took my time getting up and didn't hit the road until around 10:00.

I rode into the town of Sulphur, LA, and asked about the name, since I rode through Sulphur, OK a few months ago.  This one was named for sulfur mines that were here before the town was founded.

to Vinton, LA

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 01/16/2005 - 13:35

J.P. fixed me a hearty breakfast this morning, and I was on the road by sunrise.  I had a minor adventure when I tried to follow a shortcut that was shown on my map, but that turned out to be an unpaved, unmarked road through an oil field.  I gave up and went the long way around.

There's a swamp along the border of Louisiana and Texas.  The road I took across was about 50% bridges and 50% infill.  The bridges weren't widened when the rest of the road got shoulders, so every time I came to a bridge I stopped and waited for a gap in traffic before pulling out into the lane.

Jan 15: A Week in East Texas

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 01/15/2005 - 09:59

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on January 15, 2005]

It's hard to believe it's been only a week since I left Austin! Here's what's transpired since I wrote last Friday morning...

Gypsy didn't get up until about 11:00, and she pronounced the weather unfit for a trip to Pedernales Falls, so we played a couple games of Settlers of Catan and then I rode on to Cat's. The trip took only a little over an hour, which surprised me and caused me to underestimate the following day's ride.

to Silsbee, TX

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 01/15/2005 - 00:00

Right after I wrote that it was "a beautiful last night in Texas," I lay down to sleep and smelled a horrible smell... at first I thought I must have put my tent down over a previous camper's cathole; then I decided the smell was more like rotting brussels sprouts, so it must be someone's old garbage.  (Either would be plausible; this was a very "primitive" campground with no restrooms or trashcans nearby.)  But a few hours later when I stepped outside the tent, I realized the smell was everywhere... the wind had shifted, and I was downwind from a paper mill!

to Indian Village

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 01/14/2005 - 09:50

A big rainstorm passed through in the night.  I was all snug in my tent by the time it started, and I felt rather smug -- putting in earplugs to sleep through the thunder -- until I discovered that an enormous puddle was forming beside and under half the tent!  I felt like the fourth little pig whose brothers disowned him because he built his house out of nylon.  Fortunately the bottom of the tent stayed watertight.

to Coldspring

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 01/13/2005 - 09:48

I spent the day passing in and out of Sam Houston National Forest, ending up back inside it.  The only interesting thing that happened was when I stopped for lunch in New Waverly at a concession trailer that had been designed for biker rallies.  The couple who operated the place were motorcycle bikers for a while, then attended rallies with their food trailer, and somehow wound up parked on the main drag in New Waverly, Texas, serving breakfast tacos to commuters.  We chatted for a while, and they gave me my ham-and-egg taco for free.

25.7 mi