Saturday, June 7 - Kinder, Lousiana to New Orleans, Louisiana
Andy’s peeing leads to the scariest flat tire situation to date. On a bridge. Seemingly endless. No shoulder, four lanes of semis and trucks leaving Texas, 65mph speed limit. Nearly a mile of riding on the flat and praying for the bridge to end quickly, the tire blows completely and we’re on the rim; continuing is not an option.
I’m waving the slow moving vehicle triangle reflector and directing traffic into the other lane. The drivers don’t seem to understand. Andy changes the tire and we throw the burning hot flat on top and zip away in under 3 minutes. The bridge continues on for at least another mile. At the end of it are dozens of torn up tires. Frightening.
Almost as terrifying as the Louisiana driver who is waving at us, tailgating, pulling in front and signaling us to stop. He wants to look at the kart (isn’t he already?). He’s missing teeth. “I’m a mechanic,” he shouts. “That thing is awesome,” his wife yells next to us. “My daughter wants to see it.” We’re already behind schedule and Kendall is expecting us in New Orleans. And you guys are approaching this situation rather strangely, no?
After 5 miles, he curses at us, revs his engine next to us on the two-lane highway, and flips a U-turn. I notice our windshield is cracked.
Andy’s friend Kendall is a welcome relief from today. And she’s bringing us to her grandmother, Dorothy “Gigi” Coleman, without showers or clean clothing for more than 48 hours.
Gigi floors the kart around her neighborhood. She’s having a hard time understanding that we’ve traveled from California on a kart much like her own. But she’s quick-witted approaching 90 years and founded the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts — she knows exactly how to touch our hearts.
Miles traveled today: 185
Total miles traveled: 2098