I awoke late at 9:30, a couple hours later than planned after sleeping through my alarm at 7am. This was a result of the dirty sixth, makers mark and the Irish. I guess I could take some responsibility for it as well.
I hit the road at just after at 10, hoping to get to the state capital of Louisiana, the Red Stick in time for the game which kicked off at 6pm. To achieve this I broke my rule of using interstates between destinations. Turned out this worked in my favour.
I wasn’t aware of the storm that was enveloping Texas. A town not too far north of me was hit with 20 inches (50cm) of rain over the weekend. The downpour was consistent for the whole of the ride, the only brief respite to the pounding drumroll on the windscreen and roof was as I passed under bridges.
Interstates are great to get places quickly although not very interesting, combined with driving rain, big trucks, limited visibility and a cracking self-inflicted hangover meant even the bugle couldn’t cheer me up.
I powered on flanked by endless advert imploring you to fill up or to call now or to eat this. Along the way I passed through Houston, a huge city. In fact the fourth largest in the US of A. Miles of roads crisscrossing over one another.
Before too long I passed into Louisiana and quickly noticed two main differences, bumper stickers changed from either a Texas-based sports team to either the LSU Tigers or New Orléans Saints stickers. There were fleur de lis’ everywhere. Secondly gambling is big business, there are endless signs promoting this casino coming up soon and the limitless happiness the will result in turning off at the upcoming exit.
The last 20 miles or so were quite interesting as we drove along a huge bridge over continuous rivers and wetlands.
As ever I was happy to arrive at another Airbnb, found the key under the mat and realised that I had made a mistake. It was a disgusting place, but I didn’t have the energy look for something else. A word of warning, only go to places with a few reviews. I didn’t have many options due to it being game day, it was so disgusting.
I called an uber and made my way to Tiger Stadium, the home of the Louisiana State University Tigers football team. They play in the 9th largest stadium in the world with a capacity of 102321 people (a college amateur team!). Even in driving rain and against 2nd tier opposition the stadium was very busy.
The stadium is nicknamed Death Valled and traditionally is introduced as “welcome to Death Valley, Chance of rain: Never”, lies. The football was fine, the chanting was good but the band I think were the most impressive as halftime. So many people are so carefully choreographed while playing was very impressive.
I left a little early as I had enough of sitting in the rain and found somewhere warm for some food before retiring for the evening back to my vile pit, which was at least dry.