Surf's Up for the Crazy Canucks

Trip Start Oct 20, 2008
Trip End Feb 28, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, October 25, 2008

 On October 22nd
Hi Y'all ! We left Mike's brothers @ 7:00 in the morning and headed for the Natchez Trace Line, we've had enough of America's super slab highway's. What a relief to drive down this gorgeous highway. There was no traffic, no signs and great scenery. The road also offered plenty of gentle sweepers to keep our minds active. It was a little peculiar because the whole time we were on the Natchez all I could smell was garlic. We followed this route down to Jackson Mississippi and then headed for a town called Mandeville. After 13 hours of riding we finally arrived at Skip and Karenīs house. They belong to the Motorcycle Travel Network and agreed to put us up for a couple of nights. Skip was very excited to see us and gave us a warm welcome into his home. He had a couple of friends visiting. His friend's name was Bruce Matlock. Skip and Bruce were the surf board pioneers back in the early 70's. In fact Bruce was the 1973 surfing world cup champion. Cool ! Skip and I stayed up to talk for an hour or so, he enjoying his rum and I enjoyed a couple of glasses of "two buck chuck". An inexpensive but great tasting wine. Skip owns a KLR and is also a motorcycle safety instructor so we had plenty to talk about.

October 23rd
Our plan was to spend a day in the New Orleans area. While there we planned on having new tires installed on the motorcycles. Unfortunately no one in the area had them in stock and the earliest we could get them was a two day wait. So sadly we decided to move on. I ordered new tires from a company in Austin and made an appointment to have them installed on Friday. We decided to drive to Conroe a little more than half way to Austin from Mandeville. I called Clyde and Collen Hunter through the MTN and they said they could have us for the night. We didn't leave Mandeville until apx 12:30. We hit a little bit of rain and then it cleared up, it was a beautiful 23 degrees. Southerner's are great ! We are getting constant waves, thumbs up and peace signs as we travel through Louisiana and into Texas. We stopped at a gas station to fill up and get a coffee. The coffee was the absolute worst I have ever tasted. I'm sure the recipe is something like this... take 2 tsps of soy sauce place in frying pan at high heat until it burns. Then place 2 more cups of soy sauce into pan keeping at high heat until reduced to one cup, allow to cool and sit around for a day. Reheat in the microwave and enjoy ! While I tried to enjoy my coffee some folks in a car pulled up beside us asking if  ( insert southern accent now ) "Y'all drive those bikes from Canada?" when we told them yes they laughed and called us "Crazy Canuck's" We had a good laugh at that. We continued along the highway until we reached the Conroe cut off. Directions were not clear and we got lost several times. Then at 9:30 at night we hit a huge traffic jam that lasted about 45 minutes. I was almost hit by a car trying to squeeze past us. We finally arrived at the Hunter's at 10:30 and not to our surprise they were in bed. So there we are starving, as we skipped supper to get there as quickly as possible, no bed in the middle of nowhere. Mike asked if I wanted to go back to Conroe and get a room and supper. I didn't want to go anywhere. We pitched the tent and crawled into our sleeping bags. Mike and I laughing our asses off because here we are in the middle of America going to bed hungry and sleeping in a tent.

October 24th
                     We were awakened this morning by the voice of an angel saying" Y'all can go in the house now."
 We got up from our hard nights sleep laughing to greet Clyde and Colleen. Clyde cooked us a wonderful breakfast with some excellent coffee and conversation. We then showered and packed our gear up. It was interesting to learn but what we didn't realize is that we slept on an oil field. The directions say it all ( turn left on Exxon road then turn right at old Texaco road ) there was a gas pump less than fifty feet from where we slept. We said our good bye's to Clyde & Colleen and headed for Wood's fun center in Austin Texas which is where our appointment was to get the new tires installed. We have noticed that I'm getting much better mileage than Mike right now. He weighs 30 lbs more and he's also carrying 20 lbs more in gear ( he's never gone a long distance motorcycle trip before) and I also have a highway sprocket. So we are experimenting right now to see how much better. My guess is that I'm using 2 liter's less per 330 km's which is Mike's max range before refueling.
We arrived at Wood's an hour early and dropped the bikes off and went for lunch. About 2 1/2 hours later our bikes were done. Customer service was horrible and quite frankly I'll never go back there again. The weather is warm & sunny and temp is apx 25 degrees. The new tires are very slippery and a great deal of caution is required in the heavy traffic. We arrived at Mike's aunt and uncle in Lakeway Tx. They have a beautiful home that backs onto a golf course.
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