Last updated 1/20/11
The morning started overcast, but not raining, making me regret my decision not to camp. I did enjoy the warm bed however, and made some headway in my book, where Rossi began his ascent to premier class stardom, and Mike the Bike was contemplating a comeback at the Island. It made for some good REM sleep as I imagined me and my XV taming the banks at Estoril, fully loaded with gear non-the-less.
It took me four full trips to transfer all my gear from the hotel room to the bike in the parking lot. Probably could have done it in three save for the gimpy wrist, but I was being careful not overload my right hand, and taking very close notice of where I put my feet. The bike all loaded and ready for the road, I stopped for a daylight shot in front of the hotel.
In anticipation of the rain that was surely to follow, I bundled my camping gear in a Hefty bag, and pulled the rain covers over the saddlebags. The bike started surprisingly easy this morning, if only it would continue to do so, but somewhat predictably, more drama was to come.
I stopped on top of this bridge on 87 heading into an area of refineries and marine facilities. On this side of the Sabine River the land was very industrial, in support the oil business, refining, and off-shore drilling. This area had been hit hard recently, by hurricanes and the gulf oil spill.
This particular refinery straddled the road. A lot of infrastructure here, and the parking lots were full with workers. It's an ugly business, but one that needs to be done.
I turned east on CR82 and crossed this bridge over to Pleasure Island. In stark contrast to all the development on the west side, this side of the bridge had a beautiful waterfront park, and a string of very impressive waterfront McMansions. On the map below, I'm crossing into Riverfront Park and running south on the island towards the bridge over Sabine Pass and on into Louisiana.
Crossing Sabine Pass into Louisiana. The bikes running great and I'm loving it!
I continued along through the marshlands on CR82 towards the ferry at Cameron. The traffic was light, the sky overcast, but not raining, the temp in the low 60s, the scenery beautiful. It was a great day to be on a motorcycle.
The road stretched along right next to the beach for miles. They had erected breakwater segments about 50' off the shore, and piled the sand between the water and the road, wonder how it works when the storms come?
I always look for the ferry crossings when planning my routes. It just seems to add to the adventure. I will say that most of the people I see using these ferries are not doing it for pleasure. They're in the work truck, headed to another job. I'll catch them staring at my motorcycle, wishing they could be doing the same thing, or thinking I'm crazy as hell.
The next leg of my journey would take me along the Louisiana bayou, through places like Grand Chenier, Pecan Island, and Forked Island.
In Cameron they were obviously very proud of their Tarpons.
I was travelling the Creole Nature Trail, an All American Road through Louisiana's Outback, as the sign says.
I heard he has plans to go two high, looks like he has the poles for it.
I had the best shrimp po-boy I've ever eaten at this place. They even had the Weather Channel on. I could see pockets of rain all around me, but still hadn't gotten wet yet. The motorcycling gods were smiling on me. I took the opportunity to stake my camera on the ground and pose for the picture below here in the parking lot.
That looks like a long way to go after such a big lunch, Abbeville to Grand Isle, 173 miles. The GPS says it's gonna take 3 hours, 37 minutes. I imagine it'll take me quite a bit longer than that. I like to stop, take pictures, and take my time. After all, I am on vacation, and I hadn't been on a trip like this since when I bought the TDM in April of '07 and rode it home from Salt Lake City.
In this part of the country they have to bury you on top of the ground.
All the little towns along the way had their Christmas decorations out. This was in a little place called Morgan City along US90 west of Houma.
As you can imagine, they weren't real fond of the current administration in these parts. Especially in light of the drilling ban that had recently been enforced. There was another sign I didn't get a picture of that went something like this, "If Obama had half a brain, his ass would be lopsided."
More Christmas decorations, these in a little place called Golden Meadow, on CR308 well on my way down the peninsula towards Grand Isle.
I'd finally reached Grand Isle, and more decorations, you could tell they were proud of the Super Bowl champs. The ride across the bridges at night from Leeville, past Fourchon, and into Grand Isle was spectacular. I didn't stop to take any pictures, but it couldn't have done the views justice.
City Hall was a trailer, but they did a real nice job decorating it. I couldn't find the state park where I had planned to camp, but I have to admit to not putting in too much effort looking. The weather forecast was for rough weather for the night, and it was already windy enough to make me not want to wrestle with the tent.
This is where the XV would sleep for the night, with me just above and behind it in a warm, dry room for the night. I hope I didn't haul all that camping gear for nothing. The guy in the background was cleaning a nice mess of sea trout. It was after 8 pm by the time I got there. I walked across the street for a nice bowl of gumbo and got back to the room to enjoy another few chapters with Vale and Mike.
My room for the night was right down at the end of the hall. They had WiFi, and I had the whole place to myself.
I sure hope that bike starts tomorrow.