Didn't Mess with Texas
It was enjoyable being in the land of Spanish moss draped oaks and fields of cotton. The warm sunshine made the timber stands of Loblolly pine small sweet on the southern breeze. I managed to wind off the highway and traverse much of the state on back country roads and forest logging cuts. In some places it reminded me much of eastern Washington with miles of rolling hills and clearcut operations. After crossing the Red River and appreciating one of the Corps of Engineers Parks, I spent the night with Kammie in Natchitoches (Pronounced Nack-a-dish). We caught up on our busy lives and I enjoyed relaxing on the couch and hearing stories from her well-travelled friend Mark.
Come morning, I was thankful for the cup of coffee but happy to be back on the road. On LA Hwy 1, I pause to make coffee and feel a wobble in the rear tire. Sure enough, the main nut has started to work loose and the wheel isn't securely seated on the spindle. There is a bit of play in the grooves but I don't dare inspect. I probably should sometime soon. Instead, I torque it down with my 22mm wrench and limp over to Despino's tire shop. Their kind mechanics let me use their cordless impact gun and 22mm socket to bolt the wheel down tight. No more wobble but I'm sure I'll play hell the next time I have to remove it. While there, J.R. who was paving a section of the parking lot, began chatting me up about the scooter and trip. "Go on!" He'd say at each outlandish milestone and breakdown. It's a Midwest slang kind of thing but I've heard the Canadians say it too. I manage to preform all the work of removing the exhaust and reinstalling while chatting, each two things I know so well about. Before I leave, he hands me a $20 bill and says "Go have lunch on me, treat yourself." Despite my protests and attempt to return his money, I finally accept at the risk of being disrespectful. In all my travels that's the first time it paid to break down.
The dotted line of Texas is on my GPS ahead and I'm ready to be back in the Lonestar State.
I came across 5 chickens in the road crowding around this Rattlesnake. They seemed to be ushering it across the street and all were within striking distance. Never seen that before.
The Natchez Trace: A faster, flatter and straighter version of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A great place for 35mph cruising
A few months ago, a weary paddler climbed up the bluff to overlook the river and charge a phone. Today I ride La Tortuga in to town on the Trace, an idea that formulated when sitting in this very same park. It is amazing how fast the scenery passes and one trio overlaps another. The same thought flashed in my mind yesterday while crossing the Tombigbee in Tuscaloosa for the 4th time.
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 69'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.