By Ben |

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.

I ate lunch at a cajun deli in Sulphur where a constant parade of customers came in asking for cracklins and were turned away.  I kept expecting the cashier to say, "Yes!  We have no cracklins today."

Incidentally, I haven't heard anyone say "y'all" since I left Texas.  The pickup count is way up, though; we're running about 80% pickups on the road, compared to only 50 or 60% in Texas.

My map showed that US 96 merged with Interstate 10 to cross Lake Charles (a wide spot on the Calcasieu River) from Sulphur into the town of Lake Charles.  I decided to see whether there would be an access road or some other way for me to get across, but there was none; in fact the bridge over the lake is astonishingly high and has no shoulders at all.  I'm not sure what slow-moving vehicles do when they have to cross.

As I was studying my map to decide where I could travel safely, a driver coming the other way pulled over and crossed the highway on foot to give me directions to the state park.

Sam Houston Jones State Park is about 6 miles out of my way, but I had to detour around Lake Charles anyway, and it'll be worth it for the peace and quiet.  I got assigned a campsite right next to a lagoon -- literally 15 feet from the water's edge -- but as the only tent camper I chose another site instead.

It's supposed to get down into the 20s tonight, so I'm as bundled as I can get, and I'm trying Marisa's suggestion of hanging the space blanket from the ceiling.  Worst case scenario I move into the bathroom, which is hot as a sauna!

25.0 mi