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Addendum & Louisiana Road Trip

Upon completion of the Trail of Tears Permanent—wait, that’s not quite right. After finishing the Trail of Tears Permanent, no, that’s not right either. Let me start again. Okay, okay, okay, okay, so, after we gave up roughly two-thirds of the way through the Trail of Tears Permanent we went, as one does, to Chattanooga, Tennessee where we slept for the night in an abandoned/converted train station. Which event inspired this lie: “Yeah, so the deal with this hotel is we all get an unlimited pass to ride this trolly car train jammer they have here in town, it goes all over downtown, and it’s free, and you can go to the bars, like it stops at them, like they’re all on this route, and it’s included in the cost of the room, and you can just drink and and ride the train around Chattanooga all night.” Which lie was believed by all that stayed in the van during check-in—which was everyone that came out to Tennessee—and which lie was categorized as disappointing and cruel. Some even called it, and I’m quoting here, “mean-spirited.”

 

The next morning we drove to Birmingham, Alabama on the way to New Orleans, Louisiana. In Birmingham we found, with the help of a friend of Ty’s who lived in Birmingham (who rode the Great Divide with Ty), a place to eat called Saw’s Barbecue. It’s the best barbecue in the world. It’s a scientific fact. NASA and Aristotle and the Pentagon and Soviet Space Program all agree, Saw’s is the best.

 

Because the van was already full—Kelli, Ty, Cole, Hahn, Kevin, Daniel—and because we were picking up Moi & His Bike in Louisiana the following morning, and because the van was seriously already really fucking full, what with our bikes and gear and vacation-related sundries, we needed to get a rack. To put the bikes on the “outside” of the vehicle. We had extra wheels and a plan, a bike shop across the street, and a dream, we just needed it to all to come together. Then we went swimming.

 

If you try really hard, you can, in just one day, in the town of New Orleans, go to the Backstreet Museum in the Tremé where you will learn the difference between the Uptown and Downtown Indians, and about what it means to Dip-in and Dip-out from Sunrise to Sunset, day-time drink, eat beignets on the Mississippi, get a haircut, go on an expensive and disappointing swamp boat tour where your creole Bubba Gump guide will talk to you about the EPA and marshmallows and swamp boat tour-related deaths, eat a Corexit-infused shellfish dinner in a gothic garden outside a hipster winebar, and eat ice cream cones on Bourbon Street while drunks will sexually harass you, a lot.

BIRMINGHAM, AL

Yonder Journal forgot to bring a bike rack, so we stopped at Edgewood Cycles in Birmingham, AL (across the street from Saw's BBQ, go there, too) to broker a deal. He gets a pair of Raleigh wheels and a spare rotor, we get a Hollywood rack. Thanks for saving the day, Vince!

OAK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK, AL

 

 

Founded in 1927 with the State Land Act, Oak Mountain State Park built a golf course and an assortment of cottages in 1971.
The beach at Double Oak Lake has a concrete curb at the water's edge. There is a snack shack on site for refreshments.

NEW ORLEANS, LA

The museum is the foremost collection of materials related to the city's African-American Indian processions, along with jazz funerals, social aid and pleasure clubs, and various other area traditions.
Go to the Backstreet Museum in the Tremé Neighborhood. Eight bucks gets you admission and an ad hoc "tour" with a docent or two, who will walk you through the two rooms.
You're only supposed to take five photographs per room, but we were given an exception.
Moving in New Orleans is made difficult by oppressive heat and humidity. Resting out of doors, however, is not the most effective strategy for avoiding discomfort—indoors is the way to go, since New Orleanians take air conditioning seriously. For example, when it's 96°F and 99% humidity outside, a bar with two sets of barn doors opened wide to the outside air is approximately 65°F inside, like you can feel yourself entering a new climate zone when you cross the threshold.
Bring cash to New Orleans!!!!! Don't even think about getting that credit card out. Also, Bourbon Street smells bad.
Kelli got a haircut.

LAFITTE, LA

Our tour guide insisted that he was not, in fact, a football fan.
Supposedly marshmallows pass through gators before they have a chance to really digest them, so throwing them into the water doesn't disrupt their normal/healthy eating habits. A few weeks after our trip, authorities told all tour boat companies to stop, so take that as you will.
No less than 176 photos of gators were captured on our forty-five minute tour.

NEW ORLEANS, LA

It was approximately 123°F and 99% humidity overnight in New Orleans. Also, Cole's bed had a slow leak.
We stayed at a friend of Hahn's who was out of town, a wildlife biologist who apparently owns nothing aside from three air mattresses and a few water glasses.
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