Archive | October, 2010

update

10 Oct

new orleans was a  lot of fun. Tuesday morning i woke up somewhat early went down to the french quarter. i walked around for a bit, had a couple slices of pizza and a beer…it was like 9:30. walked around some more, got drowsy(the breakfast beer) and went back to ryan’s house, which is around a mile east of the quarter, took a nap outside. woke back up at 2pm went back out with the intentions to meet up with half of Pashley, but we had a misconnection, so settled on a bourbon st. strip club. I guess i shouldnt expect too much from a free admission/daytime nudie bar, but it wasn’t pretty. Being pressed for lap-dances,  i split to “put money in the meter”

waiting to meet up with pat and ashley i went back to ryan’s for more outside napping.

after 5 we met up and had a real good time.  they had prior engagements for the earlier part of the evening that included a riverboat. they extended an invitation, but i chose to walk around for a bit. saw some jazz, drank some beer, and pursued some bars of local flavor. this put me out at mimi’s  where i met back up with Pashley. we had some drinks, watched an awesome vaudevillian band, and said our goodbyes. pat and ashley are awesome. Good people.

woke up the next morning to a difficult next 24 hours.

i was about an hour into my ride, which at this time of day, put me still within the city streets of new orleans.

i was in the middle lane of a 6 lane highway when i heard the first tiny pop.   i  said “please dont let my clutch cable…”   SNAP! “shit.” Cars honking behind me, i pushed my bike to the side of the road.

that’s when Cheech pulled up. “what’s the problem dude?”     Cheech is a little over 60, with shoulder length gray hair. He sported a goatee, a faded black biker shirt, actually very stylish flared jeans, solid black all-stars, a green jungle hat, aviator sunglasses, and a camo-spray painted mail truck.

i told him my clutch cable snapped. he just said “yeah-p” and pulled over. With all my gear still strapped on, we pushed the bike in front of a house, and the lady at the door agreed to watch it while Cheech took me to the local Harley store. we opted out of the $60 cable from harley, and cheech sold me one of his with primary case fluid and gas for $30.

i guess it sucked to have my cable snap, but what are the chances of a seasoned veteran biker pulling up right behind me. not to mention, i had one snap in orlando a week before departure, and josh taught me how to replace it.

cheech dropped me off back at the bike, asked if there was anything else he could do, and then gave me his number in case i broke down up to 500 miles from his place. a true saint of new orleans.     i spent the next couple hours on a sidewalk fixing my bike. Its not the hardest job in the world, but it was a pain.

finally got her put all back together as the sun was setting. i rode till half past midnight, but as the temperature dropped to the 40’s(20’s on the bike) i couldnt take it anymore. i pulled into a louisiana exxon/casion called “big wheels”. my bike was making some noises that suggested something was out of kilter. i  adjusted the tension on my primary chain and clutch.

thats when i met bonnie. she was the attendant at the exxon and had stepped out for a smoke. died black hair and years of hard living on her face, she was the angel i needed.

i asked her if she knew any place to camp. she didnt, but offered me the trucker’s lounge till she got off work at 4:30am. i passed out immediately. and was sleeping hard till a voice said “ey, dat lady at dah fron said she leavin”.  Bobby was an old trucker from the bayou that kept me company till the sun rose. he shared with me stories of  “gatoh counrty truckin'” and directions.

i split the station bound south by southwest.

once it warmed up, it was a beautiful ride. i made it to texas that afternoon. only half way there to austin. took nap under a tree on the lawn of a hotel.

i hit houston at peek traffic. I got lost so i pulled off into a Crisp’s Fried Chicken. the restaurant lot was empty.    as i flipped the pages of my atlas, a half drunk old black lady, sitting on the stoop of the neighboring house yelled out to me, “boy, what you lookin’  fo?”   Barbra’s perch was just one of the many condemned buildings within the ghetto of houston.  i took a seat next to her and handed her my map. She couldnt make heads or tails of it.   I told her i was trying to get to austin, she scratched her head, and gave me a shortcut skipping all the traffic until i got to hwy 290. What she lacked in teeth and brain cells, she made up for with personality and very precise directions.

i met some awesome people within that 24 hours, and regret not having my camera battery charged.

traffic sucked on 290. i had lost my oil cap earlier that day, and the rag i had stuffed into the tank was only serving as an osmosis conductor for chain lube. oil was everywhere…still is.

i pumped gas and bought a gatorade. thats when it hit me. “I could fashion an oil cap out of my gatorade cap, a cap to a bottle of water, a bolt and some electrical tape.”   it worked…still is.

i made it to austin just around 9, met up with Harvey, had dinner at the sho room, and we were off to Barbarella. There i got to see loved ones Holly, Brad, and Miki, and meet some really great people. i danced a little and drank a lot.

the next morning harv and i nursed our hangovers with pizza and soda. we rode our bikes to the Austin City Limit Fest, where we caught fantastic performances from Miike Snow, Beach House, and Sonic Youth.

At barbs that night harv had me working the beer tub. made a little cash.

the next day back to ACL.   Silversun Pickups sucked, BUT…   LCD Soundsystems was the greatest show i have ever seen. Unreal; Harv concurs.  Completely sober, it felt like i was on drugs, and we danced as if we were.

Showered back at Harv’s million dollar condo, and met up with  the Registers to see School of Seven Bells at this awesome venue called Mohawk. I love the band, but short a sister their sound was a little empty. Went back to Barbs where me and Lauren danced all night.

Today we’re going to see Yeasayer, Flaming Lips,  Edward Sharpe, and the Eagles.

i love this city. The women are gorgeous, the food is amazing, the music is endless.

still surfing at Harv’s.   His place is awesome. Reminds me of Tom Hank’s from big. minus the trampoline and video games.  Its more than fitting for his fastidious palate.

i still will be traveling, but austin will be my new hub.

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5 Oct

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update

3 Oct

after the neil young concert and leaving panama city from cynthia’s house, i was half way to my dad’s when i decided to take a detour to my soul-sister ashley’s place in macon GA. I arrived about 9p.m. or so, at a bar where she was attending a wedding reception. i scarfed down some free b-b-q, drank a few beers, and we were later joined by her husband colin.

we left the bar im guessing around 2, maybe 3, and i was immediately pulled over for not wearing my helmet. charmed my way into a warning, and made it to their place avoiding a dui.

we woke the next morning, had some breakfast, visited indian mounds, paid our respect to the grave of an Allman brother or two, dropped by the otis redding memorial, ate pizza and split towards my dads.

spent a couple days visiting with family, mawmaw included.

right before heading out on friday morning, i remembered how imperative it was for me to spend some quality time with one of the best people in the world, starla skelton. So i unpacked the bike and accompanied her through her work night. She bought me dinner and got me drunk off of craft beers, and we exchanged stories of travel, love and loss.  it was in the midst of the evening’s debauchery when i agreed to join my dear friend Harvey, via text message, on a short trip to NY. Starla and i had mexican the following morning for breakfast, i met Koral(her totally awesome daughter) for the first time, said hello to old friends Jamal and Audra(or “Rodger”), and then spent the next couple days with the fam.

Tuesday morning dad dropped me off at the airport. i spent most of tuesday walking around various neighborhoods of the city, met up with Harv about 9, checked into the sublet, had dinner, and then saw the amazing Stanley Clarke with incredible Hiromi at the Blue Note. Harv and i spent the rest of the evening sampling “private” bars, that took Harv’s persistence and business cards to gain us passage.  The next morning we spent hunting down tickets to go see the Broadway spectacular FELA!  Then after engaging  “operation: cool hand luke” we spent the early evening hunting down a blazer for harvey.  FELA! was insane. FELA! was visually and audibly one of the greatest experiences anyone could ever have. Since Harvey is rolling in the dough these days, he offered to cover the bill on both shows…not to mention the sublet. What a great guy?

We met some really cool kids on the way to the airport, Asy and David, that showed us the way(got us lost) and arrived in ATL around 11:pm. There was a deportation on my flight, a cat from Nigeria. We spoke of Fela Kuti. He was a cool guy. Too bad America thought otherwise.

The next afternoon i split town westward bound. I ended camping half an hour into Alabama. I settled at the edge of a tree lined field next to a creek. The night was beautiful so i chose not to pitch my tarp of a tent. I stared at stars till i passed around what im sure to be 9:00ish. Woke up at 8:30 covered in heavy dew, packed the bike and hit the road.

Today’s ride was long and beautiful. In P.C.Beach again, probably heading to New Orleans tomorrow.