Simmesport-April 16-68 miles

Notes on this posting: I am in a library in St. Francisville, LA, working on this post.  I don’t have access to the pictures for this post.
Internet access in public libraries across the country has been a real blessing.  The St. Francisville library is a WiFi hotspot, great for folks who have their own computers.  I hope the Candler County library will be able to provide this service when it moves back to its building.Smile

Last night at the cue sheet meeting, our guides suggested that we have breakfast around 8:00 AM, and plan to leave around 9:00 AM.  Seems that a 68-mile day is now perceived as a short day!  Plus, the Sportsman’s Motel is not exactly to place to hang out for long periods of time.  I had a great breakfast of blueberry pancakes, orange juice and coffee to give me energy for the ride.
Getting out of Opelousas was a bit of a challenge, with morning traffic and roads under construction.  Finally, we turned onto a quiet, country road and enjoyed 10-15 miles of farmlands and country homes.  Fields were in various stages of preparation and growth.  We could still see the stalks of sugar cane left from last year’s crops, along with tiny stalks of corn popping out of the fertile ground.  Some fields were already green with some sort of wheat or other grain, but I was not sure what kind.  At the first SAG, Charlie Daniels was singing “Play Me Some Country Music” on the radio.  Quite appropriate music for the morning!  At the next SAG, there was classical music from NPR, also somehow fitting for the scenery.
The roads of Louisiana can be very smooth for a few miles, then, turn into a pot-hole nightmare, without warning.  I am very thankful for the roads in Georgia.  Signage is not the best either.  But, we did make lots of turns today without getting lost.
We stopped at Big Cane Grocery for yet another feeding frenzy.  I enjoyed a sweet roll, V-8, and some Powerade.  Apparently this store is a favorite for cyclists.  When the clerk asked us to sign her book, we saw entries from last year’s Womantours group.
I left the store alone, went only a few yards down the road, and out came four dogs, BIG dogs!  I got off the bike as they came at me from two directions.  The only defenses were my water bottle and putting the bike between the dogs and myself.  About that time, three riders came up and the dogs ran off.  Guess there is power in numbers!
Just past the dogs was a pond where crawfish are raised.  We couldn’t figure out why the water was so green.
We pedaled through several small towns before coming to Plaucheville, another place to eat!  It was here that we saw the horrible news about the shootings at Virginia Tech on television.  It is one of those incidents that you will always remember where you were when it happened.  I guess we will find out the rest of the story in the next few days.
As we have been riding over the past 2-3 days, I have seen what I think is some sort of spider lily in the ditches.  Finally, today I was able to get close enough to get a good shot of one.  If anyone reads this and knows what it is, please post it on my blog. (Note:  I will post it later.)
We finally arrived at our “five-star” lodging for the night.  I think the sign says it all!  But, they did put out a welcome sign for us.  That is the first one I can remember.  We were told that some Katrina victims were still staying in the rooms before we arrived.
(Picture posts later)
Tonight Michelle, one of the guides, played her guitar and sang for us as we waited for dinner.  One of her songs is “Jesus Loves You, But My Dog Still Bites”.  She is quite the musician.  As she sang, I thought about these final days on the ride.  While it will be good to get home, I will miss these women.  
We went back to our rooms reluctantly, When Donna and I turned off the light (no reading light-just one light fixture on the ceiling), we heard Spanish music from the next room.  It was so loud that Donna went to the office and requested that the management get them to turn it down.  They did, but it was back on again the next morning about 5:30 AM.  Then there was the train that came by, right behind the hotel, in the middle of the night.  We have truly experienced a variety of lodging “opportunities”.

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2 Responses to Simmesport-April 16-68 miles

  1. Kay says:

    Hi nance,
    It took me awhile to catch up to you. 😉 I spent the weekend in Knoxville with my Mom, then watched for 2 days the events unfolding in Blacksburg. This has been a terrible week for everyone…. but being in Virginia with so many Virginia Tech alumnae around us and so many families affected… it is awful. The stories that keep emerging… professors who blocked doors and died. Students who were so terrified as the shooter went from room to room. The worst possible scenario in a university. This week we are all Hokies!

    Love, Kay

  2. Don Phillips says:

    Hey Nancy, we received your post card. Yes, we are keeping up with your trip. Very informative blogs. The teacher in you comes out — getting lots of history lessons. Nice pics too. You will be coming near us at Marianna, FL next Thursday. We hope to see you there and will treat you to the best barbecue in town, if you don’t have other plans. We’ll probably be there around 6 pm. Email us where you will be staying.

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