Days 21, 22, 23

And so, after doing a photo/vid shoot for George Troop who's walking across America, I left New Orleans in a blast of wind-blown rain and primal lightning...unfortunately though, since I lost my charging cable during the Fuller Center week, my gopro wasn't charged and even though it turned on, it didn't catch any of the mayhem. Ah well, I had the wet boots to prove it...again...I got completely soaked for the 2nd time on this least this time the temps were in the 50's so being completely soaked at highway speed is at least bearable. My goal for the day was Bossier City which took me exactly by Prejeans, which, for those of you not in know...well, all I can say it is top notch Cajun food in the cradle of Cajun country...need I say more? And even though I've eaten at this place many a times whilst touring with the circus, THIS time my dinner was interrupted by none other than Newt Gingrich. Really?! Can't a tired and soaked motorcycle guy eat in peace? So, he walked through the restaurant and shook hands, when he get's to me he says "Hello I'm Newt Gingrich" and I say "Hello, I'm Nathan Slabaugh" I pointed to my helmet and said "I'm riding across the country" to which he replied, "that sounds like quite a trip, good luck." So, besides the fact that I washed my hands after shaking Newt wishing me luck a bad omen for the rest of my trip? (insert comments below) Maybe another way to look at it is, at least he got to hear a Ducati that day...and I think I scared some of his secret service guys when I fired up the bike...I saw a few reach instinctively for their guns...I blame it on my Leo Vince pipes ;-) The next day my goal was to reach Wichita Falls by nightfall, but I made a slight detour to meet up with Tom Melesky that contacted me over at the forum...what an amazing person. He's ridden bikes all over this country all of his life and then started racing professionally in his 40's. The guy is the real deal, we had a great time eating at his restaurant and swapping riding stories looking up possible routes up to Moab...most definitely one of the highlights of my trip. After spending as little time as possible in Wichita Falls, the next 350 miles was a good and solid day of riding...which of course included a compulsory stop in Amarillo at the Big Texan and Cadillac Ranch, but for food in my belly I choose the Hoffbrauhaus...very decent steaks AND one of the few places in north america that has the actual Hoffbrauhaus beer from Munich, Germany on tap. Having been to the original Hoffbrauhaus, the taste of that beer brings back good memories...unfortunately Texas never picked up the tradition of cute girls in dirndls serving pretzels and big as your head...ah well, the beer was still tasty. Destination for the night was Tucumcari, NM, a vestige of Rt 66...more on that in the next post