By Ben |

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.

When I rode through a little town just across the border, I met another cyclist: a boy in his early teens riding a stunt bike so small I swear it could be concealed in a trenchcoat.  We exchanged compliments and he asked the usual questions about where I was going and where from.  "How about you?" I asked.

"Oh, I'm from ... just down the road, and I was going about... 300 yards down the road."

"Everyone has to start somewhere," I said sagely, "but where are you *going*?"

"Ohh," he exclaimed.  "I guess I don't know."

"I've been there," I said, enjoying being the mysterious stranger in someone else's story.  "I'm headed there, too.  It's not a bad place.  Maybe I'll see you there."

"See you around!" he said and rode home to write a book or something.

I rode hard all day and still barely made it to Vinton by sunset.  Fortunately that should be the last long day for a while; I've chosen a route through Louisiana where the campgrounds are close together.

51.3 mi