Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oct 18th - Tallahassee or bust

I slept like crap.  I think i'm just too out of shape or i was spoiled by recent hotels. meh.  Maybe my body is really starting to feel the affects of riding.  Maybe i need a massage... most likely i need a chiropractor.


nothing it seems... taken from inside the tent looking out.  since i got up really early, i took my time this morning, i knew i had a ton of time to make today's destination before nightfall... Tallahassee.

I couldn't pee in the swamp as they don't want you to put greywater on the ground, so off to the washrooms i went.  I saw this on my way there and laughed.

Funny isn't it? maybe you can't make it out fully.

That's a woman.  On the left is a Great Dane, and in the Middle, a Chihuahua.  Made me laugh.

There are only 4 words that come to mind when i see this
The sun was coming out nicely, and since i had taken a ride around the campground the night before, i knew there would be some nice photo-ops to be had.  I was also looking for wildlife... haven't seen much on this trip, then again, i've stuck to the roads, and the most of what i saw were dead... I did see an armadillo dead too.  first one of those :)

Off for a walk i went.  I know, big shock... Al goes for a walk

i like these trees.

my favorite of the series... top of the trip i think.  I like it.
It was quite surreal, the trees, the still water, the lighting, the slight fog...

There were these fish (i think they were fish) splashing about at the surface of the water.
Since i saw an old movie when i was young (Piranha) I wasn't about to test the waters.  Never know what's in there.

I finally saw some wildlife, most probably what was making a rukus and creeping me out the night before.  Right when i was about to take a shot, it runs away!

Stupid squirrels.  heh.  As much as i like the tree rats, that's all i saw for wildlife near a swamp.  Meh.
My set up before the tear down.  Right behind my site is the swamp.

welcome to the swamp.  I wonder if they like to eat fat canadians.

I had to take my greybeard picture of the day.  It's filling out quite well.  I should be looking like Captain Caveman in no time.

I packed up and headed to starbucks for Wifi. well, ,coffee to (which i where i am now, well not really, about 425 miles west of it)
I updated the blog and looked at the time. CRAP.  I wasn't going to make Tallahassee before sundown.  I really need to get my ass in gear for this trip or else i won't have time to do anything... I'll have to take a direct line home.
I had decided on taking the causeway that goes directly across from where i was to New Orleans.  It's a toll way, but for $3 it's worth it.

it's so long, you don't see the other end
this thing is about 24 miles long.  and straight.  Good thing is that the speed limit is 65 the whole way through, the bad thing is that if you speed, there are many... and i mean many cops waiting for you.  I kept my speed at 70.

not sure which of the 2 above i like better...

New Orleans! or... Nawlins! whichever you prefer.
Bourbon street at canal. neato


I rode down bourbon street, looking for a place to park and maybe get some 'local' cuisine.  Well, there wasn't anyplace to park right in front of somewhere and there wasn't any way i'd leave Beast by himself here.  It's my ticket home, it's all my belongings in the world.. etc.  Would you leave your wallet at a curb a few blocks away hoping someone wouldn't screw with it?

Riding down, i spotted a place called "Arnaud's".  I must come back just for that alone! hah. I wonder if they'd let me drink for free due to my last name. doubtful.  Does that mean i have Cajun/Acadian roots?  dunno.

New Orleans is one of those cities i must come back to visit.  The others being Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. apart from that, cities sucked. OK, i'd go to Green Bay again... felt like home somehow... very comfortable.

On the way out of town i kept my eyes open for a local place to eat. I found this place.
Sammy's Food Service & Deli
It was filled with locals.  It took me a few minutes to decide on what to order.  Meanwhile i was being stared at by locals, black and white equally.  Never seen a spaceman before?


So i ordered this.  A soft shelled crab poboy sandwhich.  It seemed local enough and it was on as one of their daily specials.  

Fries are hand cut, the bread fresh... it was really good!!  I don't like fish, but i do enjoy seafood.  This was pretty good.  I'm still not a huge fan of the innards of the crab, but i did my best to finish it.

As i was leaving, 5 cops came in.  If the local cops come here to eat, you know the food is good.  always a good sign.

Belly filled, i headed east.

First Emma come, den i come, next, two asses, den i come again...
It's from an old joke of an Italian guy trying to explain how to spell a certain state...

Mississippi! (revisited)
Lunar lander!

The reason there's a lunar lander is that there are NASA tours (free) that shuttles from here.  Seems it's the largest rocket test facility in the USA.

I got some maps and info and left.  I got through Alabama, and noticed something different right away.  State troopers.  many of them.  twice i saw 3 troopers have a guy in cuffs on the side of the road.  holy.

I wanted to see what Mobile was all about and when through downtown.  Actually, i was looking for coffee, but it's a good enough excuse.  Downtown was dead.  no cars, no people.  creepy, so i kept going and i accidentally took this tunnel.  All i could think about was a bad Sylvester Stallone movie called daybreak. heh.

Luckily for me, it took me right back to I-10 east, so not much time wasted.

Gusty as hell, and there are quite a few of these bridges/causeways.  couldn't take many pictures.

Got to the Visitor information center in Florida.  Got some info and noticed that the vending machines here are a bit different.
The visitor centers all had these in Florida. Odd.

How cool is that?  Never seen one before and they are a great idea!  I took the bubblegum Popsicle to cool me off as it was quite warm in the sun.

It's a dumb picture, but it shows more bridges and it shows my really tall shadow.  That means one thing only. Dark is fast approaching.  crap.  This is going to be fun.  I actually like to ride at night, just not on the interstate.

As you can tell, it's not fully dark yet, only dusk.  If i took a picture you wouldn't be able to make it out. Keep in mind my visor isn't clear either and it's dark.  Want to know what i see?  it's pretty much like the below.

This is the Atari 2600 version of Night Driver.  I played it quite a bit in the day.  The only difference between Night Driver and my Night Rider is that I only have 1 life, and no one keeps score.  otherwise, it's pretty identical.  Good thing i rocked that game.

as the sun went down, so did the temperatures.  I was freezing.  I should have put the liners in, but i packed them up in the duffel and didn't want to risk debalancing the bike.
To note:
I inflated the tires to 32-36 instead of what it should be (21-27?)   There is still a front end wobble, but it's quite stable now, unless i go 85mph, or when i'm passing big trucks.  Those rigs displace a lot of air and the KLR, loaded as it is, is a giant sail.

I stopped at every 2nd rest stop as i was cold, and to relax. I was going to be late anyways, why keep up an insane 80mph race in the dark?  It also helps that at one point while passing a string of cars, I passed a deer not 4 feet away from me eating grass on the shoulder.  Maybe i shouldn't pass cars so wide... meh. I lived. heh.

I picked up this energy drink earlier that day because i knew i'd need it.  it's like all the others. Tastes like crap.

Beast in the moonlight.

I finally hit Tallahassee at 8:30pm... wait 9:30! crap. Forgot the timezone change. Oh well, at least i don't have to change timezones anymore as i'm staying in this one.

I got myself a coffee to warm up and then a room at a cheap econolodge.  Yay for wifi at the motel.

There's not many ma and pa places nearby so i hit up an IHOP for a second meal that day.
As i walked in, some young woman asked me if i came off the interstate because of my suit.  hah.  I told her i was on the interstate earlier and i've had the suit on for 8700 miles. heh.  she seemed shocked.

The food was actually not bad.  tasted better than i had hoped. Sirloin tips, eggs, has browns and pancakes.

didn't know what kind of sauce/syrup it was, but it was the odd one out, out of the 3 to choose from.  Was pretty good.  rule of thumb.  always go for the most different and never tried before foods.  how else will you ever know what it tastes like and if you'd like it?

Got back to the room and wrestled with the Wifi for 3 hours trying to use and update the blog in vain.  I lost it all, hence why i'm at a starbucks now.
10 am.  crap.  it'll probably take me about 6 hours to get to Tampa the way i ride :(

Sorry Tim, i'll only be able to get there at about 4-5pm.

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