Day 36(Tuesday, May 24):Sulphur to Eunice, LA–61 miles
May 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
First, many thanks to John of Sulphur, Louisiana for ferrying us across the Lake Charles Bridge in his pickup truck early this morning. Second, I have new place names to accustom myself to. No more “Hollering Woman Creek”(I looked for the male counterpart, but was unsuccessful. Where is the equality in place names?). No washes of dusty, dry dirt; instead one bayou after another. The roadkill is different here, it looks more slithery; I am on the lookout for a real live alligator or snake. I will be sure to let you know. A big black hairy tarantula slowly traversing the asphalt counts as my Texas Highway Trophy(visual only–no harm done).
Furthermore, Joe is correct; the constant high winds from the SE are unusual around here. John, our ride savior this morning, confirmed this–it’s been near constant winds since April 20. Nonetheless our optimism persists; each morning we expect or at least hope for a west wind.
We ask everyone about the flood; luckily in this part of Cajun Country it is not a concern.
If any of you are interested, there are about 1,000,000 alligators in Louisiana AND the population is still growing. Great! Camping out is definitely off the list.
Joe finally admitted yesterday that his legs feel as if they may pop if he pushes too much more. I suggested he try easier gears and a more moderate pace. I even offered the option of a real rest day if we are in an interesting town! He’s been religious in taking Naproxen, an anti-inflammatory. Amazingly, I am taking nothing; not even my customary Diet-Coke. Yes, I have gone cold turkey. The treasured Good ‘N Plenty candy remain unopened in my pannier.
Presently we are in Eunice, Louisiana for the night. It was a great day. As John graciously ferried us across the Lake Charles Bridge, we see monstrous oil refineries in every direction-a surprise to me.
We start our riding day on now familiar 90, but within 10 miles head north on 165, a Hurricane Evacuation Route with huge shoulders perfect for us. After 20 miles we make a left turn at Kinder and a quick stop at what may be the friendliest McDonalds in the world. The staff are great and literally everyone in the restaurant stops and wishes us safe journeys. Our next stop is Basile, the “Home of the Louisiana Swine Festival”, for more fluids; we meet Cheryl and chat awhile in the cool of her store. Only 11 more miles; the temperature is 90 with an equally high humidity. The road remains perfect: six foot, perfect asphalt shoulders repaved just last year;wide,green, perfectly groomed right of ways;the shade of hundred foot tall conifers and a nice cloud cover to keep the temperatures down. We barely notice the 18 mph southerly crosswinds; everything else is so heavenly.
Eunice seems huge; there have been police everywhere on the road since Kinder. Here in Eunice, one of them used their loudspeaker to tell me to get off to the side of the road. In town there are no shoulders; I have nowhere to go. Nevertheless I am unnerved. Why are there neither shoulders nor sidewalks in town?
These towns are friendly to cars, not to people.
Joe asks if my mother told me I used too many words. No. In fact I was a very quiet, studious child according to my second grade teacher, Miss Luedtke. A nod of disbelief from Joe. Regardless, all of those words he does not like are swirling above my head, vying for a position in my thoughts, on this page. I hope you are enjoying the result.
Tomorrow we ride toward the areas flooded by the Mississippi. If the winds are with us, we will finally make it across the Great River….