Thursday, April 30, 2009
New Orleans to Birnimgham
Today was a fairly long haul. We got up, lazily got ready to leave, and headed out to the north. We had decided to ride across Lake Pontchartrain just north of New Orleans. It is a long causeway (although it's truly a bridge in my nomenclature--all is above water) about 28 miles long running due north across the middle of the river.
The sky was very overcast and it sprinkled from time to time all day. Temperatures were very reasonable; high 70s to low 80s. Some wind, but from the south. So, it was a very good day, weather-wise. It was a neat ride, the furtherest I had ever ridden on one continuous bridge. Nothing but water in every direction as far as I could see.
After crossing the lake.we looked at maps to see how we wanted to go to Birmingham. After some looking, we decided on a plan of smaller roads that step-staired across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. They went east and then another one north, then east, then north. Very little traffic, so the riding was easy.
Hit several decent rain showers, but they did not last long enough to be a problem. The Bumblebee did it's job in keeping me dry.
Late afternoon, Montezomas Revenge hit me, in the middle of nowhere. Needed a bathroom bad, but we were close to nothing. After what seemed like an eternity, a welcome sight was seen; a gas station/convenience store/restaurant appeared on the horizon. A welcome sight! We stopped, and I made it to the necessary room in time. Was glad I didn't mess up my pants. It hit me one additional time along the way, but I think it's now over. I imagine it's from some of the very unusual diet I've had over the past few days.
I saw one very disturbing sight along the way today. We were on Hwy 45 not too far from I-59, when we came upon a wreck that had happened not too long before we got there. Hwy is a 4 lane road, 65 mph limit, with side roads that opened directly into the Highway. At one of those intersections a car and a tanker truck collided. The car was flattened, and debris was all over the road, so I had to focus on the road to miss the glass and metal pieces on the road. What I did see were paramedics working on someone, giving CPR.very violently on someone. I've just never seen it actually being given to someone, and it was not a pretty sight. Very unnerving, to say the least. I could also see more bodies on the side of the road. Couldn't tell what condition they were in.
We were running a little late, so we decided to get on the Interstate and run on to Birmingham.
The ride on the Interstate was uneventful. Got to the hotel just before 7 pm,rested a few minutes, walked, and went to dinner.
Total mileage for the day was 399 miles.
Tomorrow--Barber Motorcycle Museum!