Jan 26: New Orleans

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 01/26/2005 - 09:02

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on January 26, 2005]

I should have known better than to write you folks after having a bad day... my friend Joni once told me that "The only difference between a comedy and a tragedy is where you choose to end the story." By writing when I did, I left you with the impression that things are going badly, when really I just had a lapse in my usual good fortune!

to New Orleans

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 01/25/2005 - 16:12

I was in no hurry to join the rush-hour traffic on US-61, so I watched two Buffy reruns over breakfast.  I followed 61 through some scenic bayous -- with generous shoulders all the way -- until I reached the suburb of Jefferson.  There I joined the River Road for a while and finally got up on the levee, where a paved bike path took me most of the way into town.

To LaPlace, LA

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 01/24/2005 - 16:09

I left the Haymakers' shortly after sunrise, having planned a couple possible routes for the day, determined by where motels were available.  One would have me cross the river on a ferry and stay the night in Donaldsonville, which is only 1/3 of the way to New Orleans from Baton Rouge.  The other route stayed on the east bank and took me as far as LaPlace, about 2/3 of the way to New Orleans.

Baton Rouge

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 01/23/2005 - 16:08

I rode into town this morning and got to church well before the 9:30 service, so I rode to the nearby bike shop to see when it would be open. Come to find out it's closed Sundays, so I just went back to church.  I introduced myself during the first service and then settled in to socialize during a pancake breakfast fundraiser for the youth, who recently attended the Houston Rally.

to Baton Rouge

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 01/22/2005 - 16:04

I had no trouble riding into Baton Rouge this morning; I crossed the Mississippi around noon.  I got off the highway onto the Business Route, which was named on street signs as Scenic Hwy.  It led me past all sorts of refineries and auto scrapyards and other scenic places on the way to downtown.

To Livonia, LA

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 01/21/2005 - 16:00

Today was one of those days when nothing goes quite as expected.  I woke in the morning to find Opelousas blanketed in heavy fog.  I had a short day of riding ahead of me, so I decided to walk to a restaurant and get breakfast while waiting for my tent to dry.

I asked a few passersby for a restaurant that might have some local flavor (as opposed to McDonalds, which was the first place they all named when I asked about breakfast) and wound up at a greasy-spoon diner a menu that could have been anywhere in the country.  I put Tabasco sauce on my eggs.

to Opelousas, LA

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 01/20/2005 - 14:09

Today's ride was upwards of 40 miles, so I budgeted the whole day for it.  Fortunately I slept soundly and woke refreshed an hour before dawn.  I was on the road before sunrise and reached my lunch stop, Rayne, before they had started serving lunch, so I just rode on.

Jan 20: Winter in Acadiana

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 01/20/2005 - 09:41

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on January 20, 2005]

It was a mistake for me to call the night I spent in Silsbee "the coldest night of the year." That cold snap lasted for three more nights, and I continued camping out because my route was planned around campgrounds, and because I'm a stubborn fool! Between the Interstate and the railroad and the freezing temperatures and the rooster who crowed every few seconds, all night long, I slept very poorly Sunday night at the campground in Vinton. I took my time getting up and didn't hit the road until around 10:00.

to Egan, LA

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 01/19/2005 - 14:07

Today was supposed to be a slow and easy day, but after three nights of camping in the cold I was stiff and sore and tired.  I stopped for lunch in Jennings before heading via back roads to Egan, where my map showed a campground.