Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dallas Trip - Part 2


I got kind of a late start. I got tied up on a conference call and didn't get on the way until after 12:00.
In North Florida.

It was hot, baby.

After 200 or so miles I came to a realization-
I love my bladder.

I picked up a 2 liter Camelbak bladder. They are usually an integral part of an entire system, but you can buy them separate from the fancy backpacks they are usually associated with.
I filled it with ice & water and put it inside my tank bag... I periodically stuck the bite valve up into my helmet for a refreshing sip.
It really makes a difference on a long ride on a hot day.

I made it over to Mobile Alabama, usually a lunch stop, but in this case an early dinner.  I hit one of the seafood houses on Battleship Parkway.
All you can eat peel & eat shrimp for 9.00? Yes please!

I had a great view upon exiting the restaurant...

That's why they call it Battleship Parkway.
The USS Alabama in all her glory. Really wish I had a better camera for this shot.

I overnighted in Biloxi and was back on the road pretty early.
Google Maps said it was 4 hours to my lunch stop & I have a propensity for stopping when I see something interesting.

Like outside Roxie MS.

Riding on the 2 lane blacktop I caught a flash of yellow in the side yard of a house that was surrounded by old junk cars.

Holy crap!
That's a 72 Dodge Charger back there...
I stopped and shouted at the house, but there was nobody home...
I'm going back there and get that car and restore it.
Soon, I hope.
(edit- maybe not. Just talked to Pete- sent him a pic of the car...

"I could get a nice car out of that....with $20,000."

On one of the Food Network shows Alton Brown shared a location where, he said, you could get the best fried chicken in the USA...the Old Country Store in Lorman MS. After a little Google-fu, I found several other references to it, so I thought I'd give it a try.

It was a little out of the way...

Between Jax & DAB, Lorman was kind of on the way...

I made it to Lorman by 12:30... It was almost deserted inside.
Only 3 tables were occupied.

It doesn't look like much, but man, it's worth the trip.
For a place that supposedly has the Best Fried Chicken in the USA, I was expecting a line out the door and a 30 minute wait to get a table.

I got a table, ordered a large iced tea and headed to the buffet.
3 Bean salad, potato salad, collard greens, squash and a nice chicken thigh for my first trip... Everything was great- amazing flavors, especially the potato salad and the collards.
On my second trip through I had a little more potato salad, dirty rice, a spoon of chicken and dumplings, and a big slice of country ham.
Trip three was just for chicken- a wing and a breast...

Best fried chicken in the USA?
No. (That will be another post.)

It was pretty good. Crispy, somewhat moist.
I like juicy chicken, and most of the time chicken breasts are so dry you have to eat them in the rain, as my man Pete would say. But continuing-
Good flavor in the crust, a hint of seasoning. The wing and breast were fresh out of the fryer... Piping hot and very tasty, but just not "Best in the USA" caliber.
What was truly awesome was the peach cobbler with ice cream my waitress Tanisha talked me into. Great Googly Moogly it was gooood.

All in all, if you're anywhere near Lorman Ms, make the trip to the Old Country store. You will leave full and happy.
Unless you're some kind of commie-pinko-slacker-hipster-whiner.

An hour after lunch I was pulling on to I-20 in Vicksburg and put the hammer down heading west.

Damn... I don't know who has the worst roads...
Dallas was awful...
The last 50 miles of I95 in South Florida is really bad, as I discovered last Sunday... But that's another post.)

The slice of I20 from Vicksburg MS to Shreveport was bonshakingly painful...
On two wheels you try to pick a path that has the least amount of variation-
sometimes it's right in he tread-path of a car's tires, sometimes you want the center of the lane since car and truck tires can cause big irregularities on he road surface where tires hit the road seams.
On I-20 there is no happy medium. The road beats the crap outta you no matter where you are.
I was about 10 miles east of Monroe LA and the road went from "damn my arms hurt" to "What the FUCK, over?" in about .003 seconds. Luckily I was in the right lane and traffic was fairly light...
It was a little after 2 in the afternoon and hot hot hot...
I wrestled the machine to the shoulder and got off. Front tire had de-treaded and the right sidewall was gone.
After the adrenaline surge wore off and i was able to hold my phone, I looked up Yamaha dealers in the area.
(Thank Koeschi for smartphones!)
Bayou Powersports was down the road a piece and they said they had a front tire in stock...
A pickup shortly arrived, we loaded up and after 90 minutes of listening to the service manager expound the virtues of UL-Monroe football (granted, they ARE kicking ass..) I was a couple hundred dollars poorer, but I had a spanking new tire between the front forks. Woo hoo.
Back on the road - and about 40 minutes later the first rain started to fall...
By the time I hit Shreveport it was a full-on downpour and it was getting hard to maneuver. I bailed 10 miles short of the Texas border.
I'd had enough.

The nice folks at La Quinta (Spanish for "Next to Dennys") had a dry spot for my bike, and a clean bedbug-free room for me. The rain was coming down hard in the morning, but the radar showed it passing the area by 11 so I took it easy and got on the road before noon and rolled into Dallas just in time dump my bags, change into dry clothes and head to dinner.

Next Up: Campo Verde Showdown Chowdown



Borepatch said...

Yeah, I-20 in LA really sucks.

Nice pic of the Battleship, though. Need to take #2 Son on a road trip to Mobile some weekend.

Old NFO said...

Glad you got there in one piece... and yeah I-20 SUCKS!!!

Bob S. said...

Haven't ran I-20 through LA in 6 years. Sounds like they haven't done any work on it since then.

Glad you got some good advice before buying the Charger.

Theredneckengineer said...

I ran to Macon, Georgia, and back earlier this year, overnight.
I-20 SUCKS in Lousyanna. The road is nothing but bumps, waves, potholes, and puddles.
It was surprisingly free of roadkill, though.....