Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring preview

We were finally able to slip away for a few days of sunshine, enjoying southern hospitality.  Trailered the bikes to Franklin TN, headed south from there.  Travelled via the Natchez Trace Parkway from Franklin TN to Tulepo Mississipi, on to Natchez.  The top end of the parkway is somewhat like the Blue Ridge, nice sweepers with beautiful little bridges, cement drainways, natural forest all around.

Daffodils have bloomed, random drifts at the side of the road.  Red bud trees in full blossom - have to get one of those for my yard!!!  Wisteria is also in full bloom - lots of it growing wild in the parkway as we go.  Alerted to the upcoming flowers by the wafting aroma as we pass by!  A little further south, bougainvillea is also in full bloom - love these beautiful flowers!

As the terrain flattens, the trace becomes very tranquil.  Very mellow driving on this piece - had to turn up the Led Zeppelin to stay awake!

Then on to Louisiana, enjoying a tour of New Orleans - cruised Bourbon Street.  Loved the fella carrying his bass violin with him!  Cross the causeway over Lake Ponchartrain - a 26.4 mile-long bridge!  There are separate bridges for traffic going each direction, with a few 'crossovers' (complete with Causeway patrol cars).

So, what I want to know - who decided that 57,690 pounds (some very specific figure like that) constitutes a 'heavy load' - no more than that on trucks.

I would also like to provide a heads-up to the Mississippi and Louisiana sign crews, there are 4 bridges of the hundreds we crossed, that do *NOT* have that warning "bridges may ice in cold weather".  Good grief - every bridge?  Must be a little like having to put 'coffee may be hot' on take out cups?? But in Louisiana? Really.

So, can add Alabama, Mississippi and Louisana to our 'Been There!' list :)

PS... had to test the bank angle sensor on the bike again - yes, it still works.  Along the Gulf coast there's quite a bit of construction, some stretches closed and some in very nasty condition.  Including one stretch where there are only bits of solid underneath piles of sand - ever try to ride a motorcycle in sand?  Not fun.  And my beast decided to head for the water ... couldn't pull it back.  Over it went, just off the roadway and into wet sand.  Reverse doesn't pull it out, not strong enough.  Luckily, the construction/beach safety patrol fella happened along, and another couple on bicycles.  All hands were able to push it back up onto more solid ground, none the worse for the wear.  Damaged ego, jammed shoulder and knee, bruises only, so back on and away we go!  Carry on bravely - another six hours to our destination for the night.

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