Day 29: Shreveport to Ruston

Hills and headwinds make me grumpy.

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I had to keep arguing with myself today. ?”Ya know,” the devil on one shoulder said, “you’re?way ahead of where you thought you’d be. ?Just pull into the next little town and call it an early day. ?Maybe tomorrow the wind won’t be as in-your-face.”

The angel on the other shoulder countered. ?”Oh bullshit. ?The wind will still be here. ?The hills will be here until the Atlantic Ocean. ?You didn’t start this to ride 30 miles in a day, then sit your fat ass in a hotel room and read RSS feeds. ?Quitcher bitchin’ and keep riding, Fat Boy.”


The above segues nicely into this:

Yesterday, a very sexy lady asked me about?The Ride: ?”Are you having fun?”

It was the wrong day to ask that question. ?Yesterday was the day of the Six Mile Fucking Sand Road. ?While I was pushing a bicycle through sand I was?not?having fun.

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I can’t say I’ve had any fun dealing with equipment breaking. ?Especially since all this equipment was?brand new. ?None?of it?should have broken.

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I’ve been frustrated with my own stupidity, ?carelessness, and human frailty. ?Losing a vital credit card. ?Losing my Camelbak. ?Thinking I’d lost my bicycle pump. ?The continuing shit that’s going on with mouth pain.

But I don’t want to give anyone the impression I’m miserable. ?I’m not. ?I’m?enjoying?what I’m doing. ?I realize that it truly is a trip of a lifetime. ? I’ll have memories and stories of it for the rest of my life. ?A?lot?of those stories — hell, probably the best ones: ?the ones I’ll embellish over the coming years, ha! — will be all about the shit that went wrong.

It hasn’t all been fun, but what human endeavor could last two months and be fun for every second of those 60 days? ?The?overall?experience has been enjoyable. ?I’m enjoying my time on the road.


Things I Saw Today

As I was leaving Shreveport, I ran across the David Motel. ?Their sign made me laugh out loud:

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The Hub Bar / Lounge promises to be . . . adult day care. ?I’d be interested in knowing what toys the adults get to play with . . .

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I badly?needed chocolate donuts?this morning.

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I wish I could have snapped a picture of the crew inside the donut shop. ?I was surprised that everyone working there was Asian. ?I’m not sure?why?that surprised me, but my first mental image of a donut shop proprietor doesn’t have her speaking Mandarin.

There was one lady who greeted me and filled my order. ?But behind the counter, there must have been 8 to 10 other people, just sitting around and talking in their native language. ?Obviously, I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. ?As I was walking out the door I overheard one of the men say (not to me — to the others in the group), “[Asian language?Asian language?Asian language?Asian language] Cincinnati Reds,” and everyone else cracked up. ?That made me smile.


Not a quarter mile from the donut place this dentist business was on my side of the road.

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As my mouth?again?acted a fool at about 2AM this morning, I thought I’d try for a Hail Mary with House Family Denistry.

No, they didn’t take walk-ins. They had no appointments available.

I got a great consolation prize, though. ?The receptionist, in music-to-my-Southern-ears, in a mellifluous Louisiana Southern Belle drawl, gave me a heartfelt, “Aw, bless your heart! ?You be careful now, y’hear?”


I’ve seen several of these banks. ?Ya know, if they’d simply put the first letter of Louisiana in front of the rest of their acronym, every Hollywood actor would rush to deposit all their?enlightened?money.

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I’d seen mileage signs for Dixie Inn for some time. ?I’ll be honest, I thought Dixie Inn was some landmark hotel that Louisiana felt duty-bound to put on their road signs. ?Imagine my surprise when I found out it was a real town.

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Not far from the city limit sign was:

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How could I resist? ?It?was?lunch time and those donuts were hours ago!

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The hamburger and fries were?meh?at best. ?Not really worth the nine bucks I spent on them. ?However, the fella who took my order and the owner of the place had to be the friendliest folks I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing business with. ?I swear to God, they treated me like I was a long-lost relative. ?Like it?pained?them to take my nine dollars, but “times is hard, and we’re just scraping by, don’t ya know.”


Two completely different schools just a few miles apart:

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I had just tweeted out this:

(And got several responses! ?Thanks to everyone who filled me in!)

Here’s a picture of one. ?It’s basically a fancy daffodil.

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I turned the corner to continue on US 80 and ran smack into?this?place:

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Whooooa! ?Ok, I’ve got to check?this?out!

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How cool is all that?

I’ll be the first to admit that 99% of what I know about Bonnie and Clyde came from the 1967 movie of the same name.? (You do recognize Uncle Jesse from?Dukes of Hazard?is the lawman @ 1:48 in the trailer, right?)

This is Perry:

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Perry owns the museum. ?What an interesting guy to talk to. ?I asked him how he did owning the place. ?In other words, did it pay the bills. ?He assured me it did and that it was a hell of a lot better than working in a warehouse for someone else.

Perry told me that the owner of the building wouldn’t repair the roof. ?That anytime it rained, it leaked like mad all over his stuff. ?He’d talked to several news stations in an effort to get the word out to anyone who might be able to help fix the building / buy the building so it could be fixed.

He then told me that he was one of God’s own and God was keeping an eye out for him. ?It had only rained three times all summer long in Gibsland. ? Almost like God was protecting Perry’s museum.

He wound up with possession of the business because the previous owner knew that Perry was “family” with both the Barrow and Parker families. ?And that he really wasn’t in it for the money. ?He did it because he felt like he was the keeper of the history.

I most definitely had fun today talking to Perry and hanging out at the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum.