Day 49 – Got Some Stuff. Ate Some Food. Heard Some Music. (December 20, 2020)

Night 49- New Orleans, Louisiana

With the idea of trucking across Texas in one push, we took a light day of riding with some sight seeing. There is plenty enough to do and see here, even during a pandemic. So today we would focus on the French Quarter. Julien had voiced concerns about bike theft in the area, so we unloaded absolutely everything, packed our small day packs, and took a lock.

Taking off, we only had 5 miles till we got there. This rest day was needed because my legs were feeling pretty heavy. Riding an unloaded bike made that very obvious. My muscles and knees were stiff and were used to pushing much harder to get rolling. Here I had to put more effort into moving my legs than I did actually pedaling. Also, without all the weight of our packs to dampen the hit, every bump was pretty jarring. Dropping 80 lbs does funny things to the handling too. It would take a few blocks, but I had to recalibrate back to “normal” bike riding.

We paused at a secret McDonald’s for a snack. I say secret because the sign was painted black. Chain restaurants are a rarity this far into town and this one was in a building it had no business being in. So I guess the stipulation was they couldn’t be overly bright with advertising.

Flying down the road we easily outpaced the street cars. They may have a charm to them, but we have places to be and bikes to get us there.

I’m not too sure how to describe the bulk of the day. We wanted to see some buildings and scrape a bit of the NO feeling from what we could and stay safe. Walking through the French market, we became the curiosity of vendors after explaining why we can’t take their crystal chess set…just 15 lbs of stone. One vendor called over one and 2 more showed up at one point as they asked more and more about our trip. I thought we were the tourists…

We made our way up and down and all around the Saint Louis cathedral. For a town who birthed American music, it was sad to see so little live music possible at this time. There were a few people on street corners with a guitar or just singing, but it wasn’t until later in the afternoon that we found the brass.

And these boys could play. Reminded me of Bubba Gaffney and made us both want to fly home to go play. I really want to jam. Drum corp has keep me active and playing, but it’s not quite the same feeling as jazz. I guess we scraped some of that feeling after all.

After a bit of ice cream, we scrambled along the river side to St. Claude and Bratz Ya’ll Biergarten where our dear friend Stephanie was hanging out with cousins of hers. Beer, pretzels, and music. A decent way to wind down the day. Stephanie goaded us to come hang out at her folks place, but because we had taken everything off our bikes, we didn’t have any of our lights. It might sound like a lame excuse, but the roads were bad and drivers less than caring.

It’s all good though, we will be around another day. So for tonight it was some Po boys at a place just around the corner from Julien’s, and bike maintenance. We may have rode 12 miles today, but that was nothing compared to normal and my appetite reflected it.

If this day was a sight seeing day, we saw some sights. Got some stuff. Ate some food. And heard some real music. Mission accomplished. But we have more to get done. So with the idea of the weeks that lay ahead of us, and the invitation of our host, we will be hanging out one more day. This will be a tricky week to find hosts. We will need the time to plan and set a route.

With that, have a great day everyone. One more day here will do us some good. I hope you have friends and family close by to share with and stay safe with this season.

As usual-

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