Friday, April 10, 2015
Day 35: DeRidder, Louisiana
Easy route to follow; all highway riding.
Smooth roads; lots of debris. Logging trucks move quicker than you would think, which is not a comfortable feeling when riding anywhere near them.
Home before the rain; it so far has not materialized.
Another hotel this evening; one tomorrow also!! Life is good.
Milestone: We crossed over the Sabine River into Louisiana, state #5. Unfortunately, the sign welcoming us to Louisiana was knocked down this year, so we cheated a bit and used the photo from 2 years ago. Chandler, our mechanic, gave Lisa a Texas flag polo shirt about a week into our adventure across Texas. She wore it over her bike jersey today on our last day in the state and took it off at the Louisiana border. She is very proud to have this shirt to commemorate the trip--thank you Chandler!
Two years ago, Jeff and Lisa decided to skip the lunch stop and go to find some southern fried chicken. We found a small place run by a kindly elderly lady. It turned out to be the Best Fried Chicken we have ever had. Now, mind you we are in the South and they love their oil and deep fryers here, so we had fried chicken, french fries, and topped off with a fried apple pie, but OMG it was dee-licious!! This year Bubba had us try to recall where the restaurant was, what it was called, etc., and we had none of these details. Thanks to Google Earth and some help from Bruce and Ed, we got it narrowed down. Sure enough, while biking through Merryville, LA, there was Fausto's. We walked in, and it was as if time had stood still. The little elderly lady was behind the counter taking orders, and the special of the day was 2 piece chicken, fries, slaw, and a fried pie-- Great lunch stop. Hopefully, this will be an addition to the route for all C2C's to come. All who ate there today enjoyed it as much as we did. They have been in business in little Merryville for 22 years!
Uneventful ride until the last 10 miles.
Ken came inches away from running into the end of a traffic barrier (guard rail).
Lisa almost had an accident when her yellow safety vest blew up covering her head.
Jeff chased down a logging truck to chat after said logging truck and his partner truck nearly ran us off the road and laid on their horns right beside us to boot. When Jeff caught one of them at a stoplight and asked what the problem was (paraphrasing, of course!), he was told "we are driving through here, y'all need to move off our road." Uh, yeah, there is so much wrong with that phrase, I do not know where to begin. Bikes share the road with vehicles, we follow the same laws and we were riding single file, as we always do, without a shoulder--I guess we were supposed to snap our fingers and become invisible for these gas guzzling, ozone killing machines. Just sayin'.
The RV park we stayed at last night had a lot of sand, which, when combined with damp grass will attach itself to your lower extremities and every part of your bike. Throughout the day we tried to shake it loose, but the bikes were still a mess. Much to our delight, our bathroom included a detachable shower head that we used to washed our bikes in the shower and then clean out the tub of all the sand.
Dinner was originally scheduled for a local restaurant giving the chef a much needed day off after 18 straight days cooking for us. However, the restaurant messed up the reservation - thought it was next Friday. I imagine tour director's deal with this stuff on a regular basis. Bubba shifted the dinner plans to a pizza party which will probably be quicker, giving us more time to prepare for our 91 mile ride to Opelousas, Louisiana.
How much pizza to order for 40 hungry riders and staff? All but two pizzas disappeared.