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 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, 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 east side show 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 one the greatest shows 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. It fits his fastidious palate.

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

4 Responses to “update”

  1. Nathan Roberson October 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    OK, first off, you got that idea for an oil cap from making a gravity bong.

    Secondly, glad you got to see LCD Soundsystem. You described it perfectly: “Completely sober, it felt like I was on drugs, and we danced as if we were.” Saw them for a second time this past Tuesday here in Orlando and felt the same. I wasn’t sober for the first round so I went into round 2 wanting to see if it was truly the best show in the world or if an altered consciousness made it so. Turns out, it really is the best show in the world. It also seems that everyone who sees it agrees. I think we’ve got something quantifiable here!

    Enjoy the rest of your journey!

    • jtravelle October 11, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

      hey buddy! thanks for the words… yeah man phenomenal performance!

  2. Kate October 10, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Wow- Stone and I had a blast reading this! I lived in Austin for 6 years, and it is a really lovely place to be. Have a margarita at Polvo’s for me.
    On your way out of town, try and stop in Johnson City. It’s a tiny town with an amazingly weird little spot right off the highway. Look for the water towers topped with armadillos and the house with boots nailed all over it. And right after J.C. is Fredericksburg. Check out the cemetery, which is full of old old old German immigrants’ graves and little tiny boxes filled with beaded flowers.
    We’re carving out a little spot for you to crash when you make it to the west coast. Safe travels!

    • jtravelle October 11, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

      i’ll keep your recommendations in mind. i’m hanging here for a little bit trying to replenish my cash. see u in November!

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