Day 40: Franklinton, Louisiana to Poplarville, Mississippi – 44 miles


No one stopped the rain in M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. A wet inevitable rollout of Franklinton, Louisiana. Radar was unforgiving and so by 8 a.m. I rolled in full Gore Tex again. The only difference from yesterday I was in it all day. Mile 21 had us in to Mississippi. The rivers and bayous off the rivers were beautiful.

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No where to hide and I was sweating on the inside and wet from the outside. I seemed to have created a balance keeping my legs moving. Flat front tire at mile 31 or so. A retread wire. A quick fix and away I went. A great lunch in Poplarville, Mississippi. Great seafood gumbo and grilled cheese. On to armory for hot shower.

Day 39: St. Francisville to Franklinton, Louisiana – 86 miles

Who will stop the rain? A rainy night at camp with lightning and thunder. There was an intermittent rain when we awoke for breakfast. I rolled out in full Gore Tex to have it all stowed by mile 6. We had a lot of wind and it did not seem we would get out of its way today. We entered East Feliciana Parish and the cute town of Jackson.

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Rolled on into Clinton and had the usual county courthouse.

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Rural and narrow roads with truck traffic got us into the lunch stop in Kentwood.

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The ride was kind of a slog all day with a long hilly windy overcast backdrop. Everyone was really battling to get into town.

Day 38: St. Francisville, Louisiana – REST DAY

Big sleep with a great breakfast of eggs, cheese grits, sausage, ho cakes and hand made Nutella croissants. Got a ride into town because it appeared it was to rain and took the guided tour at the Myrtles Plantation. It was great.

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Went into town and saw Grace Episcopal Church. The second oldest church in Louisiana.

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Old historic cemetery.

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Rain has come and sitting it out. Easy afternoon with long day tomorrow.

Day 37: Opelousas to St. Francisville, Louisiana – 67 miles

Another pretty roll out from Opelousas. We had 2 local riders at dinner last night and they talked about the cycle Zydeco weekend, 4 day and three night ride, that had just gone on through this part of Louisiana. It sounded great. I will investigate next year. Loosyana is cool. Much better wind day with only a few tough spurts. We had a chance to ride a closed old 190 east route through the swamp, Achtafalaya National Preserve, and it was beautiful. I cannot seem to use that word enough lately.

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We stopped at the Point Coupee Museum, in the town of the same name and found a very cool 1780s overseer’s house that was the museum on the False River. Did not get a picture of the house but got the river.

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Went to lunch and on to cross the John James Audubon Bridge over the Mighty Mississippi.

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A short ride after to the Myrtles Plantation In St. Francisville. It was beautiful. Very interesting history.

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We arrived at a nice Girl Scout camp, Camp Maryland. A needed rest day tomorrow. Thanks as always for all the great comments of love and support. Peace.

Day 36: DeRidder to Opelousas, Louisiana – 91 miles

Another early roll out due to a cultural event that was only happening today from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and we a little over sixty-three miles to ride, so away we went. There was a headwind most of the day without much break. The scenery was beautiful and uniquely Louisiana. We got to the first SAG and shed some clothes. We did go through some rivers were canoeing was popular.

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We got to the small town of Oberlin for the second SAG.

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We passed through many crawfish and rice fields.

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Then we left there to get to Mamou, Louisiana and a hot spot of Cajun Music at the famous Fred’s Lounge.

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It is open Saturday mornings for 5 hours and the local radio station has been broadcasting this music every Saturday for over 40 years. It was a blast and I even shook a little tail feather. This fellow is our elder statesman, his name is Fred, and he is from Toronto. He is 82 and our treasure.

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The band was incredible with a great vocalist who played the accordion that was used in Cajun music, pedal steel guitar, violin, electric bass, drummer and a guy played a triangle. It was the “real deal.”

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A fairly windy long ride home with the booty feelin a little rough. Fred’s made the miles worthwhile. It is my 28th anniversary with the girl of my dreams who makes this all possible. Thank you Mariella.

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Day 35: Silsbee, Texas to DeRidder, Louisiana – 73 miles

Jesus just left Chicago and he is bound for New Orleans. Another cool but beautiful rollout into the town of Buna, Texas and the first SAG of the day at “The Donut Palace.” May have been a franchise because the next one was in the next town of Kirbyville. The wind had decided to come at us some angle most of the day. The final east Texas scenery was still nice.

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There was a transition occurring with more water laying around on the ground. We C2C group had been riding together in small like-pace bunches and still some on their own. It was handy to have a few friends today and I did. We crossed the Sabine River and into Louisiana we went.

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We stopped at Fausto’s Fried Chicken in Merryville, Lousiana for the two-piece dark dinner. Could have been just like my Grandma and Mom made. It was great.

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A stop at a visitors center for a Louisiana bicycle map and a 19-mile slog into the wind to Deridder, Louisiana. A very cool little town. A hotel night makes the camping a little easier to bear. Another big day of 91 miles tomorrow. Thanks for all the support.

Day 34: Shepherd to Silsbee, Texas – 61 miles

I have been asked by many commenters when will I finally get out of Texas. After 18 nights, including tonight, we will be leaving Texas tomorrow for Louisiana. Whew! It was a cool but, beautiful roll out to a quick first SAG then a long, flat, beautiful and remote stretch to the second SAG.

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A nice lunch at Mama Jack’s in Kountze, Texas. Then on to camp in Silsbee, Texas.  Thanks again for everyone’s support and the lovely article about my trip. Peace.