If you’ve never seen this before, it’s a map that you can change to show the states you’ve visited. I added Louisiana and Mississippi today. Tomorrow, I’ll get Alabama and Florida colored in and then as I go to Madawaska, I’ll get everything but CT, MA, and RI. I’ll pick them up after Nova Scotia (and Newfoundland and Labrador (if I can get Newfoundland and Labrador). I can’t remember if I mentioned that the ferry to Newfoundland is closed to tourists right now. Hopefully it’ll be fixed by the time I get there.
I’m at the Motel 6 in Gulfport, MS, after stopping in Baton Rouge, LA, for an oil and filter change courtesy of Tim Wilke, a fellow NT-Owners Forum member. Bill Butcher (Big Bill on the Forum) was also there. It was great to meet Tim and Bill and it was great to have Tim’s wonderful wife prepare us a great sandwich, a delicious smoothie, and refreshing iced tea. I enjoyed sitting on my butt while Tim did a meticulous oil change (I think he maybe got three drops of oil on his clean garage floor — his garage may not be quite as clean as Chuck Henderson’s [“chucksklrst” on the Forum], but it’s danged close. Plus I got see what a clean NT looks like … and a clean Wee-Strom.
I think Tim may have photo-shopped the pix he took because Dudley looks cleaner in those pictures than he is in real life. 🙂
I got sprinkled on a bit on the east side of Houston this morning, but not much. I had been pleased that in the first hour after leaving Bob and Kathy’s I covered 58 miles. I was over a 60mph average when, just west of Crowley, LA, I saw ominous clouds, very low, very black and accompanied by a “roll” cloud that frequently indicates a particularly nasty squall line. I pulled off and went to a McDonalds so I could take a look at radar on the computer and it looked like Crowley was the target of everything nasty.
I think I ended up in Crowley for about an hour and a half before the rain finally quit coming in waves.
I rode across the Atchafalaya Basin on the causeway and enjoyed seeing the swamp.
My lens cover didn’t completely open for this picture, but you can get the idea. The Army Corps of Engineers has been working for years to keep the Mississippi River in its current channel, but some experts say that it’s always looking for the easiest route to the Gulf and “one of these days” it’ll jump over into the Atchafalaya.
I would have gotten to Tim’s earlier than the 5:30 I actually arrived, but I didn’t look long enough at the map I had on S&T and bailed off of I-10 about two miles before the split with I-12. Then I took a long square-ish detour through some of the more interesting parts of Baton Rouge before I stopped at a little grocery store and went in to make sure I wasn’t completely lost. The man I was talking to knew exactly where I needed to turn to get to Tim’s house. I didn’t ask him if he knew Tim. 🙂
The oil change went smoothly (Thanks, Tim!) and if I hadn’t enjoyed the conversation and the food so much, I could have been riding a lot quicker.
Left to right: Tim Wilke, Bill Butcher (who reminds me of a missing friend from my time in Ogden, UT, a guy named Bill Koenig), and me, the old fat cripple. 🙂
Bill and I left Tim’s at the same time and Bill was in front of me when I got onto I-12, but I never saw him again. It was a nice ride through the night. The moon is shining here now. I hope that bodes well for tomorrow’s travels. I’m going to pull off of I-10 to swing by Marianna, FL, a little town where I lived from the 5th through the 8th grade while my dad was a civilian flight instructor for the Air Force at Graham Air Base. Then I hope to get south into Florida far enough that I can get to Key West on Friday and maybe get part way back off the Keys. I’m probably going to need to get a tire somewhere in Florida. My rear Michelin Pilot Road 3 is looking pretty worn.
Stats: Day, 444 miles (two-thirds of the “Number of the Beast!!”); Trip, 11,939 miles; Year, 17,646 miles; Total, 69,835 miles. I’ll roll over the odometer to 70,000 miles tomorrow!