We woke up, had a little of that continental breakfast and got ready to head out. Today was different, and I’ll be honest it had a bit of weight to it for me. It’d be our last day riding.
Tonight, we’d be in New Orleans. The 2 places on the Easy Rider Route that I’d never seen we’d see today, but I’ve gone over them a million times in my head. I was excited to see those places, but I knew I was going to miss these people I’d spent the last 2 weeks riding with. I felt pretty determined to enjoy the day, like I’d enjoyed the last 12. I did.
We loaded up, and headed out.
Louisiana has a completely different feel than Texas. After 3 days in the Lone Star State, I was still getting a bit adjusted mentally to this place. I really liked Texas. I wanted to like Louisiana. This is the deep south, a little Lynard Skynard was in order for this adjustment I felt. Maybe a little more southernish rock would do the trick. It certainly didn’t hurt.
The road ahead was funny. We got into a funeral procession. Cars were randomly pulled off to the side of the road, and the speeds were erratic. When you take up 1/4 mile of road, you don’t always know whats going on head. Some old boy in a 1979 Toyota Courrier veered into our lane when we tried to pass. I wasn’t sure if it was because we were tourists, or because Paul and Martine had a yankee flag on their bike. It was time to get my shit together. I’m not one to let my imagination get away with me.
About an hour later, we pulled into Eunice Louisiana and got fuel.
We fueled up and watered up. The weather for the first time this trip was fairly ominous. It was looking like rain, but 60 miles in we still hadn’t hit it. Maybe we’d luck out. At this point, I didn’t really care. The weather this whole trip had been perfect. If it rained, it rained. There were things to see, and places to go.
I still couldn’t quite shake this “last day” thing. Krotz Springs (the final shots of the movie) were in 40 miles. I’d maybe tell the last of what I knew about Easy rider there. Graham and I both talked about it when were getting gas.
Big D was dying for another turn at riding Captain America. He spent the next 40 miles into Krotz Springs, being as obnoxiously happy riding as anyone I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t help but openly smile about it. He revved it up at intersections, cracked it wide open and was just thrilled to be there. It was pretty awesome. John had his helmet cam on and tried to catch him on the long runs. Big D was pulling away at 100 mph. Big D is awesome.
We hit Krotz springs. Missed the turnoff, and that was cool. I wanted to cross that bridge anyway. We looped back, and up the couple of miles, north of Krotz Springs. This is where Easy Rider ended.
We were there. In that exact place. It hasn’t changed much since 1969.
There are a lot of ghosts here. I tried to explain a few of them:
I remember Graham in death Valley, 2 weeks earlier. Seeing Captain America round those hills and corners with us in tow, and feeling a sense of pride that we were doing the inaugural tour. I gotta think that Captain America hadn’t been here, on the full ride since 1969. I knew this day was coming. It was in Death Valley that I figured I wanted to ride Captain America out of Krotz Springs. The movie ended here, but the tour wasn’t ending for us. I just wanted to ride that bike out, where Captain America Didn’t. I got that chance.
We doubled back through Krotz Springs, along the levee road that contained the Atchafalaya river. The road became a gravel road, and we slowed right down. The captain America bike has a helluva long rake. I had a few times where the front wheel kept one track, and the back tire kept another. A little squirrely, for a bike I’d spent all of 10 minutes on. At one point I was going to be the guy that took her down, but she held steady. Steve was nervous for taking us on this road. I was just happy to be there to be honest. I knew noone was going to take this bike on this road again for EagleRider, so it was all good.
After about 3 or 4 miles, We finally hit some pavement.
It started raining with the sun out. The captain doesn’t have front fender, and without it, all that water goes right up into your face. Like, right into your glasses. I could barely care. I was on the Captain on a Louisiana backroad. Try and wipe that smile off my face….What else would I rather be doing?
We rolled into St Martinville, and ate at a cool little restaurant in an old house. I had frog legs and Alligator, for the first time. We talked and Laughed. This was to be a good day.
I must have coasted the Captain in on fumes. She wouldn’t start. Brandon had my back. He put a gallon of gas into her, and we headed out. The rain had stopped by now.
A little AC/DC fueled the way.
There was a dinner for us in New Orleans, and we had a deadline.
My only regret of the entire trip is that we didn’t get to explore Franklin more. I had things to show there, but we were rushed to get to the hotel for the farewell dinner. I wanted to see more of it, and my thought was I’d ride back to it the next day and take some pictures. I never did that.
John rode the Captain out of Franklin. He got some great footage of it.
What it looked like in 1969. This footage was from Coyote New Mexico, to Franklin Louisiana.
107 miles to New Orleans. Took in the scenery, twisted the throttle and tried to take in as much as I could. Listened to a little Zeppelin along the way. It hit the spot.
Dr Phil was on the captain, it rained a little, then stopped. We rounded into our Hotel at New Orleans.
We’d seen a lot this day. It was almost 7 PM, and we had a half an hour to get cleaned up, and be in the lobby for the limo to go and eat. We all rallied, and made it on time.
I had a blast. The band even sang me happy Birthday, along with everyone else. Some Cajun music and food, then we retired to the back of the restaurant where it was a little more quiet. Is this the way to Amarillo?
The last day of Riding on the Easy Rider Inaugural Tour. Best 2 weeks ever. Big D got MVP (well deserved), and we all got patches.
We left Mulates, and walked down to Burbon Street. Graham and I had some fun, and saw the sights.
I couldn’t believe it was almost over.
Day 12 – Easy Rider Movie Locations Tour – 299 Miles
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