Miles today: 68
Total miles: 986.9
Ride time: 5:52:39
Avg speed: 11.6
Max speed: 25.3
Weather: 68, not a cloud in the sky, wind out of the NW, 5-10 mph
Dog chases: 2
Terrain: hilly until after crossing the Mississippi.
I woke to a chilly Louisiana morning after a great night's rest in Perry and Lep's camper. Super comfy! Dragging myself out of bed was tough but I managed the feat by around 7. I had some oatmeal, yum, and started packing up.
I had my entire bike loaded and ready to go. The only thing left to do was put some more air in the tires.....only, the rear one had a hole in it. My first flat. How cute. The culprit: A small but very sharp rock had embedded itself in my tire.
Got that all fixed up and finally hit the road by 9:30 and what a beautiful day it turned out to be! Tire held up just fine and within about 20 miles I was boarding a ferry across the mighty Mississippi.
It was a quick ride of only about 5 minutes. A nice couple from Baton Rouge chatted with me about my ride and were delighted to tell me I would be arriving in hill country just in time for the famous wildflower bloom. I'm real excited about that.
Once I crossed the river the terrain went from rolling hills to completely flat. My route for the rest of the day wound by farms along the river on state highways that I had almost to myself. Cars were few and far between.
I stopped for lunch in Morganza where I met an old man named Solar. Dressed in flannel an suspenders and having coffee and a cigarette outside the local gas station, he told me about his time in the marine corps in Okinawa. He was really pleased to hear I am doing this ride and worried about the effect of all that head time. I said I was doing ok so far. He told me, "well, we love you and we'll be prayin for you." I went inside to use the restroom and he was gone when I came back.
The rest of the day was kind of magical. I had Mason Jennings in my ear and yellow blossoms covered the levee as the moon began to rise over top.
I made it into Simmesport around 5:30 and made a beeline to a restaurant called Cajun Chicken where I had the biggest plate of food I've ever seen and a giant glass of sweet tea. Three big pieces of catfish, shrimp, fries, coleslaw, potato salad, and a roll. I'm not sure if my arteries will ever recover.
I'm in a hotel tonight. I got here too late to check in at the town hall for camping in the park. But I don't mind all that much. If you twist my arm real good, I'll sleep in a real bed any day.
Speaking of which, it's about that time. I leave you with a few more images from the day.
Louisiana has the coolest road signs.
Obligatory dangerous self-portrait on the move.