Yesterday, with a strangely strong feeling of obligation, I rode the 110 miles south to Grand Isle, Ground Zero for the oil spill disaster. I was overwhelmed by the impact this disaster is having, present tense, on this community. Workboats sitting idle at the docks, no one on the beach, and angry signs everywhere expressing frustration and sadness. There was, quite literally, a smell of oil in the air.
I rode to the end of the road, to a point where the high water levels made the road impassable on a bike. Mine, anyway. Turning around, I felt as if I'd fulfilled my obligation, and having seen this for myself, I now understand this in a way that the media could never convey. A bomb couldn't have done more damage.
Linda, Charlie, and I ventured across the Mississippi last night in search of a Hooters, if for no other reason, to satisfy a need to hit one in every town. We had our wings, snapped the requisite photos (for Fred), and made our way back, with no help from my GPS which was determined to route us through all the ghetto 'hoods of Nawlins. Charlie's 50 dollar model saved the day.
And sometime this afternoon, I need to decide on a route back toward DC. Though it sucks, the decision-maker is weather and not the coolness-factor of all the places I wanted to visit. I'm still thinking Panama City, FL, for the next stop, and from there it's either due North or toward the Atlantic Coast. Kentucky could even sneak into the picture!
I'm trying not to count days, but this is maybe the most enjoyable time I'd had in my life and something I'll never forget. I hate to see it end.
And it hasn't!! Plenty more time.
Hey, sorry to lapse into that somber note at the beginning, but Grand Isle really hit me between the eyes.