August 7, 2022 on

Day 91 – NOLA

Saturday November 5, 2022, New Orleans, LA (NOLA) Both Karen and M.A. were working today, so I was on my own. Eeyore returned in force with drenching rain and occasional thunder. It was actually the first time in three months that I put on rain gear, which for me consists of the little $1 ponchos you can buy just about anywhere. Why not full rain gear? (1) I have to carry it for the 98% of the time it’s not raining, (b) I find it much more comfortable than a waterproof jacket in which you sweat so much on the inside you may as well be wearing nothing. The poncho keeps the rain off but lets the air flow, (3) I expect my legs and shoes will get wet anyway, and today I had on Teva’s, so no socks to get wet either, and (d) the poncho fits over a small backpack I take along when I don’t have my panniers attached.

Three months on the road today! It’s been a great three months circling the country and as of today, getting 3606 riding miles and 4684 train miles behind me.

I headed out just as the rain started. Very windy, too. I went to the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve (which is the official title of the park where Karen works) and spent an hour drying off and reading, watching, and listening to the various exhibits, including New Orleans pronunciations: Burgundy Street is bur-GUN-dee Street and Calliope Street is CAL-lee-ope Street (but the musical instrument on a Steamboat is still a ka-LIE-oh-pee, even though Webster’s says that a CAL-lee-ope).

There was a French Quarter Cultural Program at 11:45: The Crescent City Collective featuring Queen Reesie, Princess Ariya (video below), and Spy Boy Ace, a multigenerational storytelling presentation on the history and culture of the Guardians of the Flame Maroon Society featuring ceremonial dress, sacred songs, narrative dance, and spirited percussive rhythms. Very moving and entertaining.

I then went to lunch at Mister Ed’s and had a bowl of Creole Gumbo and a shot of bourbon. I was cold from the wet and the wind and the temperature had dropped about 5 degrees, so both the gumbo and the bourbon hit the spot. I went back to the park for a Jazz Concert featuring New Orleans jazz pianist Steve Pistorius and New Orleans and West Coast based jazz drummer Benny Amón, and clarinet and saxophone player Joe Goldberg. They were, of course, great, but I only listened to three tunes because I had a date. And even better, the rain had stopped.

Lisa Wandel of Boalburg has been riding the Adventure Cycling Southern Tier since October and when she first started out, she asked if I would be in the southwest and perhaps we could ride together. Well, I was three or four weeks behind her start date, so I thought that probably wouldn’t happen. However, checking her Facebook posts, I saw that we might actually be in New Orleans at the same time. I sent her a FB message and we exchanged phone numbers and started plotting our meeting up.

Lisa had a 50 mile trip from her Warm Showers host to the donut/beignet shop where she was to meet Peggy Johnson and her dog Teddy (also from Boalsburg), who have been sagging Lisa across the deserts and mountains of the southwest. I was originally going to ride out to meet her about halfway, but the storms killed that idea. She did get a lift from her host though, and was able to cut off 10 miles. We finally met at a Whole Foods on Magazine St. and rode back to District Donuts where Lisa had a slider and we shared two of the most decadent donuts I’ve probably ever had. Good thing for all those calorie eating miles. Lisa and I exchanged road stories and experiences while Peggy walked Teddy. Unfortunately, it was too wet to sit outside so Peggy and Teddy had to miss all that, but Lisa took a turn with Teddy and Peggy came in for a while and we did get a chance to catch up ourselves. It had started sprinkling again, and Lisa was still wet from her drenching ride in, so they went off to their motel in Slidell and I headed back to M.A.’s and Karen’s.

Back at the house and after a dinner sandwich, M.A. took me to d.b.a. where the band Tuba Skinny was the first act. They were great and we watched some very talented swing dancers of all ages trip the light fantastic. Good local beers, too. The best thing was the band’s volume was just right to fill the place and hear everything, but not enough to overpower the eardrums. We stayed until their act was over and as the main act band was doing a sound check, it was pretty clear there would be some ear-splitting volumes, so we finished our beers and headed home. Looking forward to that extra hour of sleep tonight.


  1. Hendrika Spykerman

    Wow 3 months on the road. What an epic adventure. Congrats Paul. Love reading your journal with my morning coffee. Miss the riding but plotting next year’s route.
    Be well and safe travels and keep swinging☺

  2. Hugh Mose

    Hi, again, Paul. Just now got caught up on your newsest posts. You continue to amaze! Sounds like you’re still having a wonderful time. It was sad reading about the folks you had just met who subsequently died in a head-on collision. On the other hand, I just loved your video of Tuba Skinny. That’s my kind of music! Continue having a great adventure, but STAY SAFE!

    • Paul Rito

      Hi Hugh, Yep, I’m in the deep south now — Mississippi and Alabama today. Safety first, always, but a good deal of luck involved, too. Paul

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 Paul's Touring Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑