Leaving New Orleans today.
Don’t really feel like it.
Don’t feel like it at all.
Not sure what I want to do, though. Apply for hire at this wonderful, little bakery and cafe that I’m currently writing this at and learn how to make delicious breads and vegan treats. This trip has just been so disjointed. Like a bloody asthmatic trying to run up a dusty mountain trail: all fits and starts and stopping to take breaths off the inhaler. I haven’t had a chance to build up any kind of momentum. I’ve spent more time in cities, mainly Tallahassee and New Orleans, than I have cycling. Frankly, I’ve enjoyed being in town more than I have cycling. The question is is that because I’ve cycled so little, i.e., the disjointedness of the trip, or is it because I just don’t really feel like cycling? And do I not feel like cycling because I have this deadline for the Australia trip that I don’t even want to go on, or do I just want to travel differently? Like via motorcycle, which I continue to think about. It seems to me that all these questions and considerations are tied in such a knot that one can’t find the cause of it all (and so never the answer), or that they’re all simultaneously causes and effects, and so intertwined with each other that they can not be separated. It is a fine day though, regarding weather, but I wish there wasn’t such an abundance of gusting winds—leavings from the rainstorm that blew in last night, I suppose, all upset for being left alone, and so thrashing about in their anger and frustration.
My next stop, briefly, is New Iberia, where the Shadows on the Teche, a 19th century home that has a special appeal for me, is located. I’m curious about it because Henry Miller visited there on his cross-country journey, which he recounts in his book The Air-Conditioned Nightmare. There are Warmshowers folks in town, so a possibility of staying with some people in a cozy home before my next and final stop in Houston. From Houston I’ll be taking a sleeper train to Los Angeles. I’m most excited about spending two or three days in Houston exploring, and then traveling in fairly luxurious style to L.A. over a period 36 hours, leaving Houston on the fourteenth at seven pm and arriving in L.A. at five am.
[Later that night]
Not the best day. Not the worst day. Just a much much much… much much much… MUCH too windy day. That together with leaving so late meant covering only fifty miles. On the other hand I have a great camping spot in the area of a boat launch. Wonder if anyone’ll be here early tomorrow morning. No matter. It’s nice here, and lit up and surveilled for my safety. The only company I have is the noise of passing cars and the neighbor’s air conditioner, the few mosquitoes outside my tent, and a backhoe which is propping up my bicycle. I would expect frogs, so close I am to a bayou, but nothing. Perhaps they’ve all been eaten.
So, as I said, today was rough. Clear blue sky and cool temps, but I couldn’t stop myself from cursing myself, Australia, and the wind. THE DAMNABLE WIND! AND DAMNABLE DEADLINES! And my foolish self. Foolish for being a fool, and foolish too for getting so worked up about all this. Well, in less than a week I’ll be in Houston, then it’s only a couple more days by train to L.A., then the flight to Perth. In the meantime New Orleans was great and I’m so grateful to Nico for giving me his apartment while he was away. Not sure what I would have done otherwise (probably left sooner). But New Orleans! It’s stunningly beautiful, even if most of the buildings are half-decrepit and rotting, molding, and falling apart from the constant damp and humidity and mild to hot year-round temperatures, and many people can’t afford to fix their dingy hovels, or some people just don’t care. Crazy too that one could see on a single block two magnificent specimens of Greek Revival architecture, one building being immaculate with fresh coats of paint gleaming in the sun, and a verdant, manicured lawn; and the other green with algae, lichen, moss, the concrete chipped, pillars discolored, lawn in disarray, basically looking like it’s been neglected for half a century. The food can be wonderful too, if one goes to the right places. I saw many lines of people waiting to get into certain tourist traps in the French Quarter. There are of course many excellent restaurants nestled in there; you just have to know where to go. Like anywhere else I suppose.