Laredo, Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana

Please find the photos for this entry here: Laredo, Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana (Photos/videos should be pretty self explanatory, but just let us know if you have questions!)

Laredo, TX September 27, 2017

After paying $0.25 per person to the Mexican border guards, we began pedaling across the bridge. As we approached the other side some very unofficial looking cones directed us towards a semi-permanent looking tent structure. Surprised, I asked Cameron and Noah “are we in the United States now, is this Customs?” Yes, a checkpoint akin to what you might expect entering a stadium for the Super Bowl was all that lay before us. After the typical questions “Where are you going?” and “Where are you coming from?” the border guards looked at our passports and we were off. 

September 29, 2017

After having a gas station breakfast and coffee, we began pedaling further into Texas. Some of the first things we noticed different from Mexico, and most every other country, were all the new vehicles, which makes riding more pleasant as there are fewer exhaust fumes and vehicles are generally quieter. It is noticeable.

Nine months on the road and we had never heard a gunshot. Just a few miles out of Laredo, it began, the sound of semi-automatic gunfire rang out. We all looked at each other with nervous chuckles, recognizing the signs of being back in the United States of America. And everyone was worried about us in Latin America...

From Laredo we biked sixty miles to Freer, TX, beginning our ride toward New Orleans, where we would take two days off. After enjoying our first round of evening meals at the town Dairy Queen, we had our first opportunity to re-immerse ourselves in the small town America experience at the Dusty Boot Bar & Grill. It was Friday night, the Red Sox and Houston Astros were playing and folks were wearing cowboy hats; it could not have been better, except for the beer. The next day we returned to the Dairy Queen for breakfast. After too much weak coffee (supplemented with added Nescafe), biscuits, and what I assume was “just add water” gravy, we were back at it. The destination for the day, Beeville Texas.

It had been a long time since we had all camped out and we could not find any official camping on Google in Beeville. We decided to stop in the police station and ask if there was any place we could camp. Cameron had used this strategy a number of times in small towns while biking across the US in the past. But no luck this time, maybe the town was too large, as no officer on duty felt they could give us permission to camp in a local park. With it getting dark we needed to find a place for the night. The great thing about traveling so long is even the lowest cost sketchy roadside motel someplace in Texas will do great! So, with fifteen microwavable burritos we retired to our room for the evening, thankful just to know that the 'where do I sleep' decision had been made.

Two days later, we are sitting in a Chinese restaurant at eight o’clock at night and it starts to pour. After finishing our food, we biked the last six miles through Houston to our place for the night. The following day began really slow, waking up to rain after riding over one hundred miles the day before. After loading up the bikes we headed out to grab breakfast and continue East. Just twenty miles into the ride, Cameron gets a flat. Recognizing that we're already tired and not making the distance we should have by that point in the day, we find some cover to fix the flat and discuss our plan for the rest of the day. We decide on cutting the ride short and take half a day to rest with the intention of getting out early the following day and riding almost 100 miles to Starks, Louisiana.

October 4, 2017

It is beginning to get dark as we cross into Louisiana and is completely dark when we roll into the truck stop/casino/restaurant in the center of town. We know there is no official campground or hotel in town and ask the sheriff parked at the truck stop if we can camp some place. He explains that he cannot give us permission to camp anywhere, and when asked what his thoughts were on us dipping off the road into the woods, he responds “People shoot first and ask questions later around here." After some time discussing our options the truck stop owner offers space behind the establishment. When he initially thought this would not be adequate for us, he is excited to find we are more than happy set up camp there. After a dinner at the casino, and showers at the gas station trucker shower, we turn in for the night.

From Starks we planned three days to complete the two hundred and sixty miles to New Orleans. With a possible hurricane on the way, we focused on the two days rest we would have in New Orleans, after more than two weeks of riding with only one day off in Laredo Texas. Three days later, we found ourselves at the lowest point of our entire trip...we were below sea level for a weekend in New Orleans.

Please find the photos for this entry here: Laredo, Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana (Photos/videos should be pretty self explanatory, but just let us know if you have questions!)