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.
[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on January 22, 2005]
Hi, folks! I know it's only been a couple days since I wrote, but a lot has happened. Louisiana is certainly turning out to be a different traveling experience from the other states I've passed through!
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.
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.
[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.
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.
A short and uneventful day today. I rode into Moss Bluff and used the Internet for an hour, then reached my campground outside Iowa, LA by 3:30. The campground is overpriced for what it offers, but the manager at least showed me a place where I'd be out of the wind.
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 at the campground in Vinton. I took my time getting up and didn't hit the road until around 10:00.
I rode into the town of Sulphur, LA, and asked about the name, since I rode through Sulphur, OK a few months ago. This one was named for sulfur mines that were here before the town was founded.
J.P. fixed me a hearty breakfast this morning, and I was on the road by sunrise. I had a minor adventure when I tried to follow a shortcut that was shown on my map, but that turned out to be an unpaved, unmarked road through an oil field. I gave up and went the long way around.
There's a swamp along the border of Louisiana and Texas. The road I took across was about 50% bridges and 50% infill. The bridges weren't widened when the rest of the road got shoulders, so every time I came to a bridge I stopped and waited for a gap in traffic before pulling out into the lane.
[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on January 16, 2004]
Long message this time... some remarkable things happened!