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"We had to close the tent site because of the snakes."

People, you just can't make up stuff like that.

I saw my guys, Willie and Robert, again in the morning before I left Lafayette/Carencro, and it was good to get the lowdown on the remainder of the evening and to say “so long”. Loading up on as much free ice as could fit in the cooler, I pointed the rig north to head to my next stop in Shreveport. The layout of the land had changed a bit as I progressed, less of the low-lying wetlands/bayou-type stuff and more of the standard wooded/country areas.

The front tire on the bike was essentially brand-new, having been installed just before the trip began, so it was tracking straight and true on all but the most uneven of surfaces, or when a tractor-trailer went blowing by. I noticed that I needed only a fingertip’s worth of pressure on the handlebars to make in-lane corrections, so I got to thinking about the next, comfort-based, modification I would be making.

Although I didn’t need any gas at the time -- just my luck -- I passed a station that was having a “Roll Back The Clock” promotion.

As I’ve mentioned that I’m driving much more slowly than usual, I find that I often have time to spot a bug flying through the air ahead of me, allowing me to handicap whether it will be pushed well above me by the air wall built up in front of the windshield, or if it’s about to skip just over it and force me to duck (or risk catching it in the face). Well, I observed something else very interesting in the zone in front of my windshield, just before the town of Alexandria, wherein I saw a moth fluttering about, followed suddenly with a House Sparrow (passer domesticus) in rapid chase right behind it. As the two moved from right to left, into the left lane, the moth twice ducked and weaved, and the sparrow put on the brakes and veered immediately after it in lock-step formation. Then I was past them before I could see who had emerged victorious in the battle -- the sparrow, satiated for the moment, or the moth, surviving. I thought about how a Boeing 747 needs over a million miles of wiring to allow it to merely glide through the air, while this 3 oz. thing with a brain the size of a ball bearing can stop and turn on a dime in mid-flight. I thought about how the events of those 1.5 seconds were all that existed in their little universe at the time, and I wondered whether they were any less or any more important than anything that existed in my universe at the time. Or at any time. Right?

Finally, I thought that if ever you need a sparrow killed, you call this man without delay.

I-49 exited to I-20 via what must be the highest flyover I have ever been on; I mean, we were UP THERE. I found the KOA Shreveport campground with no problem and  pulled in, reminding the owner about her “snakes” comment to me when I had called on the phone. She and her husband assured me it wasn’t meant for humor -- a recent period of heavy rains had followed a long dry spell, first drawing cottonmouths and water moccasins to the surface, and then for whatever reason dissuading them from going back down. I joked that I wanted my money back if I didn’t see one during my stay, though we all know that I probably would have seen one at just the wrong moment and have had a heart attack on the spot.

Now, Shreveport originally was, then was not, then finally was again on the itinerary, an extra day having been “freed up” when my two night stay in Grand Isle, LA was, um “waved off” due to the ongoing beach replenishment process. This allowed me to make plans for three shorter riding days (~200 miles) instead of two longer ones (~300 miles), and put it back on the map. After joking about the snakes and chatting a bit, they said I was in “Kabin One”, as they “kall” them at the Kampgrounds of America. (“Kute”!) I asked if it was the VIP kabin, and naturally they said yes, but this was no laughing matter, people, for look at those photographs: I had the (air konditioned!) kabin klosest to the pool, to the laundry room, and to the showers -- each of which was in wonderfully klean kondition. (The KOA in Tellico Plains, TN, was in fantastic shape, but this one was even better.) Plus, I kould pull the rig right up to the kabin steps. Seriously, kould this place have worked out any better?

Seriously, no, it could not have. Excellent!

I selected a packet of the “El Capitan Three-Bean Chili” for a late afternoon snack and, sadly, proved that I still had not regained the touch for lighting the camp stove as smoothly as that first time back in NC. In fact, it took me about fifteen matches before I could even get a sustained flame. Once accomplishing that, however, I must say that I pulled off my best wild west “Cookie” routine, as the chili required pan heating, not pouch preparation, and it turned out to be rather good. So now there’s only one food item left that I haven’t yet sampled, and the other five have been good to very, very good.

I took a few moments to secure some cord to two zip ties (along with beer, food and velcro, pretty much all a body could ever need) onto the handlebars, for reasons which we would later decide whether to have been justified or not.

I stayed up until well after the last chili bean had been consumed, very late, all for you folks, doing web updates. I hope you’re happy. And no, I never saw any snakes.

Roll Back the Clock

KOA Kabin

Nearby Pool

Rig Parking

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Zip Ties