Jan 20: Winter in Acadiana

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 01/20/2005 - 09:41

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on January 20, 2005]

It was a mistake for me to call the night I spent in Silsbee "the coldest night of the year." That cold snap lasted for three more nights, and I continued camping out because my route was planned around campgrounds, and because I'm a stubborn fool! 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 Sunday night at the campground in Vinton. I took my time getting up and didn't hit the road until around 10:00.

to Egan, LA

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 01/19/2005 - 14:07

Today was supposed to be a slow and easy day, but after three nights of camping in the cold I was stiff and sore and tired.  I stopped for lunch in Jennings before heading via back roads to Egan, where my map showed a campground.

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.