Night 55- Sulphur, Louisiana
So it seems that the plague of flat tires was reserved for Christmas and Christmas eve because we made it a whole day without one.
Stay tuned for our main story tonight as we tour the effects of this year’s hurricanes.
With that, today’s ride was pretty straightforward. We have become pretty relaxed with our pace. Or rather we just know exactly how long it will take without head winds.
Our normal routine of up and moving by 8 or 9 is only in place if we don’t know where we are staying. Arriving at a town around 60 miles gives us time to stop for lunch and panic (when needed) about finding a yard for camping. The late start also has the benefit of being outside of the work rush of cars and has given the sun plenty of time to warm up.
So when we have a host and the winds are low, we don’t feel the need take off till about 10:30.
So we took off at 10:45, but that was because checkout was at 11 and we wound up watching Flash (ahaaaa) Gordon long enough to become invested. But we eventually left for Sulphur.
The day’s route took us on a tour around Lake Charles. There was no easy way for us because our friend Route 90 had merged with Interstate 10… the forbidden bike lane. So we took to the country roads. There were a few patches of rough terrain. Some “dirt” roads made of quartz and shells that were littered with potholes or the black top with the texture of alligator skin. Fortunately they were only a few miles long each and had virtually no traffic.
Also, fortunately, none of them ended in a private passage dead end… those are the worst.
We did stop by a Walmart for more tubes. Unfortunately they didn’t have our sizes. So I got an oversized “backup” tube that would be used to roll my bike should I get a flat. We did get more patches though.
Now for our main story. Every inch of our ride today was accompanied by piles of debris. Deliberate piles. Piles 20 feet tall at times.
Literal, tones of sheet metal, insulation, some wood, some bricks, furniture, flooring, and much much more. And it seemed like every house had them.
The other piles were just trees. So many trees just ripped apart, pushed over, torn from their roots or entirely removed from the ground.
This area got hit by 2 hurricane eyes this year.
Our host was one of the affected. She still has most of her roof and her home is livable, but she has lived the nightmare. Not necessarily the storms, she evacuated with plenty of time, but with the recovery. Contractors, sub contractors, insurance, inspectors, and eventually she just outright hired an engineer out of the next town over in Texas to come in. But every action takes 1-2 weeks to accomplish and everyone is waiting on the money.
If you work contracting or cleanup business, the gulf coast is where the work is right now. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt the itch to grab a saw and offer to cut down some of these massive piles. Or roofing. Every single building had roof damage.
So now we are two month after the last big storm. Most everything is in piles and most roof repairs are at the paper and tarp phase. I didn’t take too many pictures, because they would be endless and it is all the same.
Personally, I’ll take the cold. I know there is some decent flooding back home right now, but it can be avoided. Hurricanes seem to suck pretty bad. Especially the week or two of super humid heat that follows the storms.
So here we are, in the middle of the fallout, getting to hear the stories and see how it progresses.
Now we break west for Texas. I say we are looking forward to it, and I am, but I also know we are in for quite a lot of Texas.
So we go, to Texas.
Have a great day everyone. For once, I’ve already had my breakfast and coffee. I slept really well and woke up feeling a bit eager for the day. Here’s to some good weather.
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Buy us dinner, help us find a host, or help pass along our story. Everything and anything is appreciated.