Saturday, February 15, 2003

MTF Lunch - Bossier City, LA

I woke up Saturday morning after a long night of trying to figure out why something on the computer wasn't working like it was only 3 hours ago. What the hell did I change? I was missing something, but it was eluding me. So I took a breather and came back to the computer and, bam!, there it was. So my stupidity cost me some sleep - again.

A few of us met at Jim's home away from home - the fire station house at Irving Blvd and Story Road. Shortly after 7am we saddled up and headed for the Owens Restaurant by the freeway. After all, you can't start a ride on an empty stomach. After a hearty breakfast, we blasted down the freeway toward Bossier City and another meal at Ralph and Kacoos. While gassing up in Canton we decided there was enough time for a detour through east Texas. Dave had a map with the top 10 roads in Texas marked and there was enough time to hit number 8 - highway 852 between Winnsboro and Gilmer.

I was nominated to lead this motley crew at this point so I decided to take it up a notch. The good thing about Texas farm roads is that there's relatively little traffic and the speed limit on most of them is 70. From Canton we headed north on 19 to Emory where we hooked up with 515 east. 515 is a nice little road that crosses Lake something-or-other a couple of times. It's a typical Texas lake - man-made with trees still sticking up out of the surface and fishermen all over the place taking advantage of the ideal conditions. When we crossed the second bridge over the lake we were treated to some thick fog which was very cool.

We got to Winnsboro where I saw signs for 852. As we traveled on down the road we found ourselves at a T-intersection. Son-of-a... We must have missed a turn. Have I mentioned that we were just winging the directions from a state map and my GPS didn't have detailed maps loaded for the area? Oh well, we're just chillin', relaxin' and ridin' anyway. We found 1647 not too far down the road and took that south to hook back up with 852. While we missed the first few miles of 852, the rest of it was a nice, country road through northern east Texas. While I wouldn't travel hundreds of miles to ride this single road, in relative terms it's a very nice road for that region of Texas.

We gassed up in Gilmer. Here are a few pics from that stop:

click to enlarge

Jim, Dave and Dawn


Dave and Dawn


After filling up and taking a few pics, it came time to boogy to Bossier City for lunch. We took a leisurely route down to I-20 for the final blast to Bossier and get there in perfect time to see and meet a few folks before sitting down for lunch. As always, it's really good to see new folks show up and join in on the food and fun. It's also good to see some of the familiar faces that, for whatever reason, feel inclined to ride across time-zones to be there and break bread with people of like mind.

The food at Ralph and Kacoo's is fantastic. I didn't hear anyone complain about the food or for not getting enough to eat. I know I was a packed pup and the meal I had was awesome. It was called The Ruby and consisted of two baked filets, with crab, shrimp stuffing and Holandaise sauce over the top. Mmmmm and definitely good.

Here are a few shots from there:

click to enlarge

Russell, Uncle John, Terry and Mike

Dave and Jerry

Bo and Dawn
Richard, George and Uncle John
Holding up the Wall

Russell and Dawn
I think Dawn wants a GS

Getting Ready to Boogy

Dawn's POS in a Trailer

The Downer-of-the-Day award goes to Dawn and her not-so-trusty Nomad. After riding through east Texas and the bike firing up on the spot without hesitation, the doggone thing wouldn't start after lunch. What a real bummer. A few folks who are more mechanically inclined than I (which isn't very difficult) tried a few things. The bike started a few times, but never had any guts to remain running. Dawn called a local dealer who stopped by to tow the bike to the shop. I reckon they'll take a look at it and, who know's, perhaps they'll be able to find a problem that no one else has been able to find. Time will tell.

We ran into some pretty heavy rain on the way out of Shreveport. The speed limit went up to 70 and I decided that was the least I could do so I twisted a little harder and finally broke through the rain around the Texas border. Dave caught up with me soon afterward. As the sun settled, it began to get cold. Thankfully, I had stored my fleece liner in the saddlebags and was toasty warm for the ride back home.

Overall it was a great day. Thanks to Larry and Martha for thinking of a great place to eat and making arrangements at the restaurant. And thanks to everyone that showed up. It was a great time and I look forward to seeing everyone again sometime soon.

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