Monday, March 23, 2009


I woke up at 4 Saturday morning. I tried to get back to sleep for a while, but at 5 I got up and went downstairs to watch TV. It was then that I found out my crappy DVR hadn't recorded the finale of Battlestar Galactica. I hadn't noticed earlier because I'd been over at Jimmy's Friday night and didn't turn the TV on when I got home. I was pretty pissed. I watched other stuff for a while, then had breakfast and finished getting ready for my short trip to Shreveport/Bossier City. I left the house about 8, waiting for the sun to come up and start warming things up. I realized I had forgotten something half a block from the house, but waited until I got gas to check if I had indeed forgotten it to go back home and get it. After running back into the house I was finally actually under way at about 8:30. It was a pretty uneventful ride. The day warmed up as I went on, but not so much I had to take my jacket off, just open the vents. I got to the Shreveport convention center about 2, got a photographer to take my picture in front of the ABCs sign, and then parked. The downtown area looked pretty boring, and the HOG rally looked pretty much like every other one. I would have walked through the vendor area, but it was only for registered rallygoers, and was certainly not worth my $40. I looked for a place to have lunch on my phone, and decided on what turned out to be a glorified open-air shopping mall with a few midscale restaurants. I was going to eat at Saltgrass, but it was too crowded and I ate at Hooters. After lunch I went and checked into my hotel, which required going through a stupid traffic bottleneck. I laid down for a little while, talked to my parents, and then went riding again, stashing my jacket in my bag still on the bike. It was about 4 at that point, and instead of trying to go to both Harley shops, I just went to the Bossier City one, bought a t-shirt, and continued east toward the state highpoint. The access to the highpoint was from a church parking lot about 10 miles from the highway. The actual highpoint was further from the parking lot than I would have expected, about 0.8 miles one way. I set out at a good pace and got to the highpoint, marked by a bench and a signpost in a clearing in the woods. I set my camera on the bench to get a couple of pictures of myself standing next to the sign. I looked around a little bit, then headed back to my bike. I passed three college-age-looking people going the other way. I was pretty disappointed with how sweaty I was when I got back to the bike. I thought at this point I'd be in good enough hiking shape not to be phased by an easy mile and a half in less than an hour. I blame it on the heat and humidity. Getting back in the wind cooled me off quickly. When I got back to Shreveport, I went in search of a brewpub that Google showed, but definitely doesn't exist, as far as I can tell. I went back to the same mall to try Saltgrass again, but was again denied. I decided to go to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner, a decision I almost went back on a couple of times before I actually ordered a beer. After I was sitting there for a while, a woman came up and for no reason I could discern, moved a stool over right next to mine, so that she was almost in my lap. At first I thought she had a speech impediment, but after a few minutes I was pretty convinced it was just that she was drunk. We talked a bit, but mostly I was trying to focus on reading stuff on the internet. I had shrimp for dinner, which was okay but not great. It would have been a lot better deveined, since the ones I didn't devein myself were gritty. I got back to my dive of a motel about 10, and pretty soon thereafter fell asleep reading the newspaper.

I didn't sleep well, I woke up every hour from 4 to 7, but still felt reasonably rested. I ate a waffle at the lackluster continental breakfast, packed up and was on the road a little after 8. The ride home took a lot longer than I was anticipating, as it was a lot more circuitous than the ride out (and ~70 miles longer). I stopped a few times for some ABCs pictures. The ride through Texas took me through 5 new counties- Sabine, San Augustine, Polk, Trinity, and Walker. It also added one Louisiana Parish, Sabine. One stretch of road toward the end- TX 21 from Bryan to Bastrop- was pretty treacherous, since it was a high-speed 4-lane undivided highway with moderate traffic, made all the worse by strong winds. I got home about 4:45 and collapsed on the floor and watched TV for over an hour, then went over to Jimmy's for dinner. I got back home about 10 and fell asleep in front of the TV.

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