*ok, 3 loooong blogs should keep you going for a bit*
Since Lake Charles I have traveled 390 miles, crossing into Texas, with a stop so far in Beaumont and Austin. I’ve finally seen A GATOR IN THE WILD and it provoked a hankering for a hunkering down in Cajun country to dance Zydeco, wrassle gators and fall in love with life. And again, with the photo:
I stayed a brief 12 hours in Beaumont, TX, hosted by a hip artist who let me couchsurf. She was hosting another couchsurfer traveling on 2 wheels, Dan, Dan the sarcastic man. This fella was interesting and I took his sarcasm in stride. Apparently he wanted to pick a fight with me because I’m on a Peace ride-this is what he told me. But he never did and I told him it was pretty common that people try to do so. I had an enjoyable breakfast with them both, scrumptious egg scramble and warm pita. The night before found me in sleep before midnight, that has happened maybe 3 times since I’ve turned 18. Even with 8 hours of sleep, 7:30 is too early.
Dan is boldly cycling across the country, taking the lower elevation through the South, from St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying it much though and can’t wait for it to be over. We empathized with another on living out of a bag and checked out each other’s systems. I’m a bit envious how his stuff just clips in such a nice German performance way. Me-I’m messin with straps and bungees and hoping it all stays put.
The speed limit in Texas stays on the upper side of fast, so travel has been, well, FAST. I haven’t felt unsafe, but the abundance of road kill makes me wonder. The roads have begun to improve, thankfully. I’ve been rather focused on the road itself, since MS and LA, straining ahead for holes and cracks that can sabotage a 10inch tire. I’ve seen a greener part to TX than I imagined existed.
Crossing state lines has led to a rise in temperature, a warm Texas welcome, fer sure! Currently temperatures are in the upper 90’s. As I head West, my longing for a mesh jacket will only increase. Thankfully I have a Camelbak for hydration. I arrived in Austin on Monday night. Wanting space to myself and not hearing back from couchsurfers I made a reservation at a campground. Checking my mail later that night I found everyone wrote back and suddenly I had a choice of 8 places to stay!
I enjoyed the campground very much though, sleeping outside and not worrying if my stuff was in any ones way. I spread all my crap out and completely enjoyed having some privacy. The campground folks were totally sweet and apparently some of ’em were old hippies. They gave me donations, took a bunch of postcards and told me some stories and perspectives. Thanks y’all.
Austin is a blue, progressive oasis here in the Big Red State of Texas. It’s inhabitants are hip, weird, smart and apparently pretty Peace logical. I’m staying with Jazmin who told me last night she thought I was going to be a girly-girl uber hippy-paraphrasing there. This is not the first time I’ve heard such comments. Apparently with the hair long, women think I’m a girly girl and some people are still calling me sir. I get very confused when I stop to think about other people’s logic-so I’ve stopped trying to make sense of it.
Jazmin shares a great place with her man and just recently became a Buddy owner. I’ve seen a bunch of scooterists here and had the pleasure to meet a bunch of them through Urban Moto. Now last year the ride ended in Crawford but the party was here in Austin, at the shop. I don’t remember much of anything, only the glaring lights of the TV cameraman. And wanting a bed and a beer. At some point I was photographed with two in hand, so I guess it was a great night! Steve Guzman engineered most of the festivities and press. He’s a real local celebrity round here and I appreciate his company and his friends.
They are really on their way to owning a scoot empire down here. They love what they do and it shows, because there are always positive messages about them online in the forums.
Last year they hosted a fantastic BBQ and this year they also welcomed me back into town with one. Jazmin brought over some fajita meat, and we grilled out in 101 degree heat! She had to leave though because of a stomach bug and wasn’t up for hanging out. It was nice to meet everyone, especially many of the Modern Buddy scooter forum members, who I mainly know by their online handles. I met Casey, very sharp guy who is in recovery from a bad scooter accident back in April. Also there was Heather, with pink hair in above photo, who had ridden out to Crawford last year with Steve. They met me there and escorted me back to Austin.
The night ended early and since then things have been very chill. Sadly, not many Austinites can come out to play on the weekday, as has been the case in most places I visit. Now, if it were more of a vacation I would make a point to hit these spots on weekends, but it’s not. I’m enjoying Jazmin, she’s got a wicked sense of humor and she’s really trying to rouse everyone into action. I told her today, like Rusty my host in Beaumont says, “…lack no good-thing…” Meaning I am so very thankful for all I have and not a day passes without recognizing all the support coming this way. Thanks y’all
I’ve had a lot of writing to catch up on and I’m trying to organize photos. My photos are so horribly unorganized compared to last year. That’s because I spent more time alone in hotels/campgrounds last year. I’ve been working here and there on the second road.
The down time is great, as things are getting ready to get hot and heavy. I’m a little nervous about the border rides, but I know it’s important for the border to be included in the Peace sign.
The temperatures are triple digits where I am headed and Oh Yeah, suddenly it’s Memorial Day weekend, so I will be stuck in a lot of traffic. I have a bit of a schedule to keep, as my friend Katie is driving down from Flagstaff next weekend to see me and I have 963 miles to go until then! She’s going to trail me on some of the ride, so we can explore SouthWest Arizona together. I’m also volunteering in Mexico actually, if all works out.
I will hopefully help out an organization that helps children abandoned at the border.
So it’s nice to rest up in the meanwhile and do such in such an amazing town. Which, I should go explore….RIGHT NOW! Peace out!