The road to Lafayette ended up having a huge impact on my journey.
I started the day in the rain, which I don’t mind and even enjoy ridding in it most of the time, but it was a concern when I approached the Airline highway bridge over the Mississippi river. No shoulder as well as being very long and steep, making it hard for cars to see me until they are right up on my trailer.
I pulled over at a gas station to plan my approach when a man in a truck offered to give me a lift over the bridge because he was concerned for my safety.
I’m certainly thankful for big favors!
After that, the highway become progressively more treacherous until I was finally at a point where the speed limit was 65mph on the only route through the Sherburne/Atchafalaya Wildlife Management Area that wasn’t the interstate. I ended up getting buzzed by a semi-truck that forced my trailer off a steep shoulder and broke the frame though I didn’t notice until after I had detoured to some pretty rough farm roads.
The route I deviated to took me through three small communities. One I passed through and didn’t see a soul.
The next one I was followed by a truck, though fortunately, I picked up on it before I left the town for a pretty remote stretch so I doubled back a few times to confirm that the truck was, in fact, following me before I pulled over in a parking lot and waited for whoever to get out or move on. A person with ill-intent is much less of a threat outside of their vehicle. The truck parked across the street facing me and this stand-off lasted for about 5 minutes before the truck gave up and moved on.
The last one before I hit Lafayette was full of friendly people that where very curious about my bike and trailer and thrilled when I told them what I was doing. Looking back, the balance between my experiences in those communities is pretty intriguing.
I finally arrived at my host’s, Josh, Emily, and Jordan, house, late in the evening. A cool friend I made back in Baton Rouge set me up with them. I lucked out because it was a very music oriented house. We played lots of music together and they taught me a lot about audio recording and in-post audio. Like I normally do, I also spent a lot of the time catching up on work, editing video, and doing mechanical work.
I made an attempt to fix my trailer with a U bolt, and it did last until Lake Charles, but by the end of that road, the trailer was swaying so much it was trying to sling my bike into traffic or off the road depending on the starting point of the yaw oscillation. I didn’t realize the impact the broken trailer would have until I reached Lake Charles…