Great day today. Good weather, scenery, a long ride and lots of time to explore. Also passed through Alabama; this is the 49th state I've visited (only AK left - maybe next summer?) and 47th I've motorcycled through (only AK, UT and HA).
The morning started along the Gulf Coast on US 90. At first the towns were small, remote and a little rough. Once I came to Panama City it was busier, and fancier. There's an air base near the town and as I was driving through two war planes took off with after burners on; without a visual and with ear plugs they sounded as though my bike was falling apart beneath me. I must have looked half crazed to the other motorists as I was looking around frantically for the source of the noise.
Along the way I observed a number of signs, which is a kind if pastime on moto trips:
- a sign with an image of a mother bear and her cub crossing (didn't know there were bears in Florida);
- "Primitive Baptist Church";
- "CEO shrimp for social security prices";
- property for sale signs, a lot of them;
- "Live Tiger Exhibit";
- "Many accidents involve trees" (this one was a complete non-sequitur and featured an image of an auto wrecked into the trunk of a tree); and,
- "Live Wrinkle Free...BOTOX".
I pulled into New Orleans around 4pm. The streets were relatively quiet and it seemed like a lull in the action particularly since it is Halloween. I remember watching an episode of Treme that profiles Halloween in NO and how it is second only to Mardi Gras in the extent of the party. I hung around for a while and it didn't disappoint.
The other thing I do to pass the time is by trying to think of song about the places I'm passing through. Glenn Nuotio's song about Biloxi occurred to me when riding through that Mississippi town. I heard a jazz band play When the Saints Come Marching In (they must be sick of that one) which I'd hummed earlier in the day. Steve Earle's song about the roughneck who lives in Lafayette was ringing in my helmet when I rolled up to my motel there for the night.