Day 37 and 38, Mamou, LA to Simmesport, LA & Simmesport, LA to Jackson, LA
Hey everyone, sorry I missed a day, but we had quite the adventure last night associated with losing some keys, so by the time we finally got settled down at a hotel, it was just so late, and I was too tired to type! So, on day 37, we left Mamou in a light rain, and it rained for about the first 10 miles or so, but the temperature wasn’t too bad. Felt much better than I had the day before, so that was a plus. Within the first 4 miles I had been chased by 4 dogs. For the day, I was chased by 11 dogs, and there were at least two times when Deb saw dogs outside, and acted as a blocker for me with the truck so the dogs couldn’t see me or get to me. Not sure what is up here in LA with the dogs, but I had given my fast-twitch muscles a good work out! The rain faded, and became an occasional drizzle, so not too bad. It is amazing how much more enjoyable the ride is when your body is feeling up to par! Despite the dogs, day 37 wasn’t bad. We rode through a state park, and wow, that was so quiet, didn’t see another car the entire 10 miles. Everything was wet, and it was so quiet I could hear everything. The biggest thing absent was any sign of wildlife; not even a squirrel. Lots of rolling hills, and lots of roads without a shoulder, and of course, logging trucks. Roads without shoulders always means more work for Deb looking after me. Did see some pretty sights along some of the Bayou in the park, but otherwise, all sugar cane fields. We lost the keys to our trailer, and at the end of the day, when we realized they were gone, we took everything out of the truck trying to find them, and when we realized they weren’t there, I suggested we go back to where we had lunch since Deb hadn’t been out of the truck since then. We found the place, and no keys, so Deb had me drive along the shoulder slowly, and bang, there they were. Deb rushed out and when she turned around I knew it wasn’t good news. They were our keys, but they had obviously been run over, and over, and over, by a big truck, and they were all mangled up, and the one for the trailer had been sheared off! At 6 pm, nothing was open, but there was a Wal Mart, so I bought an angle grinder and an extension cord. I though I could possibly plug it into the outlet in the truck, but no go. We ended up at the Tractor Supply, and they let me back my trailer up to the back of the store and use an outlet. They also gave me some goggles and gloves to use. Got both locks off, and there we were! Now we have 2 keys for the locks!
Day 38 – no rain, but a chilly start. Another day of dogs, but only 4-5. More fields of sugar cane, and more light rolling hills. We also rode along a levee for several miles, and also rode through several small towns. Again, I felt really good, so that makes handling all terrain, and dogs a lot easier. Had a nice breakfast at the hotel, so got a little later start. As I was riding along, I saw a couple other riders on the other side of the road, and we exchanged greetings. I rode on, and then after a bit, I could see their blue jerseys way back in my mirror. I noticed one was getting closer, and as he got up to me, we greeted each other. His name was Wally, and his riding partner was Joyce. She was still well behind us, so I assume he had tried to catch me. Anyway, we caught up with Deb, and then Joyce caught up. Turns out they are part of an Adventure Cycling group that left San Diego 3 days before us, and a group we have heard about all along our ride. They had started out as a group of 16, but are now down to 8. Not sure how we caught up to them, but finally cool to meet “the group ahead of us!” They rode off, and perhaps we will see them again before we reach St. Augustine. Very nice people! I crossed the Mississippi just past New Roads, LA, and it wasn’t long before we rode into Jackson, LA. I have a longer ride tomorrow, so hope I will feel strong again like these last 2 days. Amazing how we can recover and overcome discomfort, even pain, to do what we have to to reach a goal. Please keep pushing forward toward your own goals, and never let an obstacle get in your way; there is always a way around! See you after day 39!