Day 13: Poplarville, MS to Franklinton, LA

Note: My connection is slow so some of the photos are missing.

Miles today: 53
Total miles: 834.6
Ride time: 4:16:52
Avg speed: 12.3
Max speed: 26.9
It was a foggy morning in Poplarville as I left the home of Steve and Tanya Panella, my great warmshowers hosts that I totally forgot to mention in last night's post. Sorry, guys! Their hospitality was great and I got to take a shower in one of the most beautiful bathrooms I've ever seen. But that's not the best part. Steve makes really good pizza and super delicious homebrew!!!! It was fantastic. They really have a great place there with lots of animals running around. I was served four farm fresh eggs this morning courtesy of their many hens. I don't think I've ever eaten that many eggs at once before. But I'd do it again. Yum yum!
Two bridges on my route out of Poplarville are out so I had to go around on the normally very busy highway 26, which has a tiny shoulder that is completely filled with the most heavy duty rumble strip you will ever see, continuous until the Louisiana border where they don't take driving on the shoulder as seriously I guess. But luckily, being a Sunday, traffic was light. Along the way I rescued a turtle who was chilling (or warming) in the middle of the road and at one point I thought I was at the crossroads where Robert Johnson famously sold his soul to the devil for his fantastic blues guitar skills, but I was wrong. That is much farther north in Mississippi.
18 miles later, this:

Yay! Louisiana does the state line up proper.
I pedaled on through the town of Bogalusa, where I got turned around at one point and thought I was going north when I was really going south (the right direction, as it were), and turned around and unnecessarily backtracked five blocks before I realized I was a big dummy and should better learn to read maps.

After I made it out of town I stopped for a break next to a storage facility. There was a coke machine and I just couldn't resist. This little guy was there to keep me company:

He was camera shy.

20 miles to go and feeling good. Highway 60 took me farther into rural Louisiana through private timberland, almost all of which had been clearcut in the last five to ten years. But the road was nice and the hills were kind, gentle rollers spaced almost perfectly so I could roll down one and maintain enough momentum to make it almost all the way up the next with little effort.
My map showed a campground in Franklinton but it gave no address, said to call ahead and listed a number for a guy named Hunter. I'll admit, it did seem odd and I was a little sketched out for a sec but it has turned out beautifully. Hunter and his brother own this "campground" together. Here's the thing: it only gets used one time a year during the annual Washington parish fair in October and sits empty the other 51 weeks. I have the whole thing to myself. Best part: there's a little cabin shack (very nice for what it is) with bunk beds and a bathroom. And yeah, that's where I'm sleeping and yeah, for free. It really is amazing how kind people are to total strangers down here. Southern hospitality is not a myth. Thanks, Hunter!
Here's the view from the porch:

Not too shabby.

And now, as the sun sets and the breeze dies down, the Mosquitos have found me so I have been forced to close the door on this balmy Louisiana dusk. Those bunk beds are looking ever more inviting anyway.

Tomorrow's destination is another warmshowers host named Perry in Jackson, LA. I heard of her hospitality from Steve and Tracy yesterday on the road. They insisted I didn't miss out on that spot. And it cuts off about 14 miles of an otherwise 81 mile day. Fine by me! Those will get added on to my trip to Simmesport on the 15th, which was supposed to be a 55 miler. 70 miles a day average, holding strong even with the rearranging. Four more days and I'll be in Texas. One week and I'll be in Austin! Which means I fly to AWFC in 9 days. So exciting!! I really can't wait. And then hill country will kick my ass. But I'll blog across that bridge when I get there.
Some more photos and then I must go do something else a little less digital.

Fun with rain fly in the wind/tiny glimpse of killer tan bicep tan line

Tiny dinosaur cousin

Oh yes, before I forget. Thanks to donators Tory DeAngelis, Brian and Nancy Loeppky, and Alex McAuliffe. Rock on, guys!


1 comment:

  1. i'm a friend of Shelby. If you happen to past near Broussard Louisiana I'll buy you a meal and/or give you a place to crash! Just let me know!