Day 4 – 6/5/11

As I sit here writing this, my boots have a hairdryer stuffed inside them – more on that later …

I left around 7:30 this morning to try to beat the heat.  Within about 5 minutes, I had crossed the Mississippi River and into Louisiana.  The difference in the landscape was immediately apparent with hills n the east side of the river and flat farmland on the west side of the river.   I rode north n Rt 82 and then turned west n Rt 2 all the way across Louisiana.

It was quite comfortable riding until around 10:00 when it started getting hot.   By noon, it was in the mid 90’s again and getting hotter.   It was a nice leisurely 55mph ride through farmland and small towns.   Towards the western part of the state, I saw a number of small pumpjacks pumping oil out of people’s front yards.

As I crossed into Texas, the first thing you notice is that the speed limit is 70mph on the secondary roads instead of 55mph.  You have to be careful and pay attention because the road is a basic two lane road with crossroads, driveways, and all of the other normal road hazards and 70 mph seems pretty fast for these conditions.

About 2:00 I decided to get on to I30 to see if I could get past the hot weather.  According to the weatherman, it was a bit cooler northwest of Dallas so I decided to get on to the interstate and try to put the oppressive heat behind me.   I stopped at a gas station to fill up and get some water and there was a guy on a new CVO Road Glide Ultra that had a flat tire.  He was on his way to visit a friend in Dallas when he ran over a chunk of road debris.  He was calling his friend to come from Dallas and pick him and his bike up because his roadside assistance would only tow it t the nearest dealer.

Looking down the road, it looked like there was some nice cloud cover not too far down the road.  As I got back on to I30, I was looking forward to the clouds providing some relief to the hot sun.   Unfortunately, about 2 miles down the road, the lightning started and then the rain started coming down in bucketloads.  Luckily, there was a rest area 1 mile ahead so I pulled in, dodged the pear-sized pinecones flying out of the trees, and ran for shelter.    Click here to see where I was when the storm hit.

A couple of other guys on bikes had also just pulled in and after a few minutes, the hail started coming down.  We had moved our bikes under some picnic shelters (a tin roof over a picnic table).   The wind was blowing and the rain was coming down horizontally.  It cooled down quite a bit too and I actually started to get a bit of a chill because I was completely soaked from head to toe.   The rain lasted about an hour and then finally let up enough to get back on the road.

About 20 miles from the rest area, it was back to 100+ degrees again.  My shirt and pants dried pretty quickly but my boots were still full of water.   As I rode through Dallas and Fort Worth, the thermometer said it was 106 degrees.  I stopped for the night about 10 miles west of Fort Worth and got a room.

This brings us back to the hair dryer in the boots.   I didn’t bring an extra pair of shoes so I needed to get my boots dried out and the hairdryer seemed like the best way to dry them out.

Well, that’s it for today.  From hot, to cold, to hot again.  Maybe tomorrow will bring some tolerable weather.

Miles Today: 534
Total Miles: 2,341
States: MS, LA, TX

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