The ride from Crowley, LA, to Houston was scheduled to be the shortest day of the ride -a mere four hours. I wanted to enjoy dinner with Trang, now a doctoral student at the University of Houston, so I planned to take my time, yet still have time to get into my motel room, then ride to her apartment.
From this photo, taken in a tiny town near the coast, can you tell what area I am in? Its Cajun country - the "French Culture" as they refer to it. The small town of Gueydan is in the heart of the state's rice growing area and calls itself "The Duck Capital."
(If you can't read the top line of text on the sign, click on the photo and you will see a larger version.)
As I ride through the rural American South and in many rural areas of West Texas, I see places like this. Seeing them makes me curious - what is the story behind these old broken homes? Was there a family fight when the family scion passed away? Did the kids move away from home to find a job? Did the former owners just get tired of floods and hurricanes? I'll never know, of course, but it is fun to let the imagination run wild while riding.
But I soon came to Lake Charles, Louisiana, and I got on the Interstate.
Yuck - how I dislike the Iinterstate when I'm riding. Oh, the bike does just fine, but the noise of the big trucks when they are right next to you is deafening. People drive too fast - or worse, too slow - and nobody seems to see the world outside their windows. I crossed the river and the state line, then got off the super slab and back onto some small roads. I found a Mexican cafe for lunch, then launched into Houston traffic, headed for the area around Hobby Airport on I-45. Again - the definition of craziness is the interstate highway.
As always, it did my heart wonders to spend time with Trang. Strangely, we didn't go out for Vietnamese food as I didn't want to ride all the way over to the Bellaire area. It spooks me to have her on the back of the bike without her wearing real protective gear.
As I rode back to my motel room after saying goodbye, I thought about the next leg of the trip was ahead. Eager to get home, yet truly enjoying the trip.