NOLA

From the balmy campground in Pensacola Beach, I rode through Alabama and got blown around the highway in Mississippi on my way into New Orleans. Jeff, a fella I met when we lived in Atlanta and truly befriended when we both lived in Portland, was back in the city where he seems most at comfortable. His home looks like his brain exploded in it: a warehouse studio filled with his art and pinball machines. Within that building, I had friends to catch up with, a safe place to park my motorcycle, a cozy room to myself, and keys to come and go as I pleased. Perfect!

Jeff talks about pinball.
Jeff talks about pinball.

It just so happened that the Mono moped gang’s rally was kicking off that night. I was invited by one of their members whom I met at the home of another attendee while I was in Baltimore, met two more folks who would be attending while in Richmond, and a friend from San Francisco was coming into town for this shindig, so I had to drop in. I’ve told y’all how much love these Moped Army folks have shown me, and it kept being rad.

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Can you spot the motorcycle?

There was a breakfast meet-up at one of the Mono Swamp Mama’s homes, which was to be the starting point of a huge group ride through the city. My big ol’ motorcycle and Aerostich were a little out of place and not as nimble when it was time to weave through traffic, but folks were stoked to have me there, so I joined in on the fun.

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Even if it’s hot and humid, I wear all the gear all the time.

Jeff sent a text to inform me that the Krewe of Boo would be parading through the French Quarter. Brett, one of the rally attendees, and I decided we had to check it out. From the top of an electrical box on Canal Street, we caught cups and beads (sometimes with our faces) tossed from huge floats pulled by tractors. Costumed dancers and brass bands marched past, sometimes stopping in front of us to bust out a routine. The 610 Stompers, ordinary men with extraordinary moves, were our favorite group. Watch this adorable video sometime.

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Sad news: most of the pictures I took were stored on the SD card in my phone and it seems to have been corrupted. I’ve tried recovering the files multiple times. Some were found, many are gone forever. You, sadly won’t get to see the picture of me after riding a half mile in the pouring rain, when the water pooled in my crotch, resulting in my pants-less time at a bar or Brett’s sugar covered face at Cafe du Monde or the Darth Vader Honda Ruckus that randomly joined the ride.

Good times were had in New Orleans. Hell, I even washed my grody Aerostich. After four nights, it was time to get to Texas.

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