Last night my stomach was violated by what apparently was bad gas station carnitas, which is why yesterday’s lackluster 300 word entry even exists. Being pro choice, I considered aborting it —- the crappy blog entry, that is. The carnitas? They came out in two different manners, kept me up much of the night in pain, and continues to keep my stomach in a not very happy place right now.
Eventually, after much motel toilet time, we get a roll on what seems like an early start. The time travel known as daylight savings time is mostly to blame for that. As I cruise out of Kountze, I notice the other motel in town has a fully loaded touring bicycle outside. It’s definitely not Chelsea and Taj — this rider must be going the other way. We haven’t seen many other bike tourists on this ride and I’m super eager to chat with some. I find it intriguing how just a matter of minutes or yards could mean meeting someone else out here or missing them. I’ll stay at that motel “next time”.
After seventeen days in the state they loudly call Texas, we are racing to get our asses on out of here. It feels like everything is and has been against me on the quest. Wind. Dust. Cold. Hills. Indigestion. Road conditions. Heat. Humidity. Impending thunderstorms storms. Mild food poisoning. Slow flats. Closed campgrounds. I even have the fucking hiccups right now. What the fuck? We press on through the last few towns; the first one is called Bleakwood. It’s bleak. We take a break at a shut down store.
The few towns’ names sound like “Farewell” or “Bon Voyage” in some Texas way. I feel like I’m being mocked or provoked in some way. I’ve been envisioning getting out of Texas for quite a while. In my dehydrated mind, I envision how suddenly once in Louisiana everyones house will be on stilts and all the loud pickups will go away. Knowing it won’t be that drastic; wanting it to be.
When the time comes, there’s a massive stone Texas sign going the other way, and just a Beauregard Parish sign for us. From Newton County Texas into Beauregard Parish Louisiana without much fanfare. I’m ok with that, I like your under-stated style Louisiana. You’re the only one with parishes anyway, so we we all know what time it really is. The bayou is upon us, I get some sparkling water (which has accordingly gone from to Topo-Chico to Perrier) at a stop about 15 miles from our long day goal. We mark our first state seventeen days with a rare selfie.
Clouds start to gather and the winds increase as I make way into DeRidder. Mandie, our gracious host, has invited us to crash her in spare bedroom and get our the storm moving through overnight. We get to meet her and her mom as well as two of their five dogs. Five! If I had five I’d name them after characters in Reservoir Dogs. Mr Black, Mr White, Mr Orange and so on.
My stomach is marginally feeling better so I partake in the taco feast Mandie’s mom has prepared. Fortunately, there’s lot of green leaf lettuce, so I assemble a majority salad style bowl and it is wonderful. I doze off in my chair and eventually hit the bedroom to get some much needed sleep. During the night the rain come sun heavy and leave an afterglow of fog in the night.