Day 51 – Roadblocks and Mud Holes on the Trail (December 22, 2020)

Night 51- Lutcher, Louisiana

It was time to leave New Orleans. We had our fun and met some incredible people, but it’s time we got back to it. Forward progress on this wild lap around the country.

With about 100 miles to the city, we decided to head north west towards Baton Rouge. With only 2 warm showers hosts between there and plenty more in the city, we could either ride 50 miles or 75 with the rest for the following day. 50 miles it is.

This section was a nice start back on the road. Turns out there is a bike path that follows the Mississippi River for quite a ways. We were warned by our previous host, Brad, that there were sections that were destroyed by recent hurricanes. So we looked forward to figuring that out, but until then, we had a day of pretty nice riding.

That is, until Google tried to have us ride through a couple of parked trains to get to the post office on the other side… thanks Google. So we found another usps and rode along. Reroute and keep moving. We got to the box, sent out a box of unused equipment, and got some stamps.

A quick lunch at subway was all we needed before cranking out the last chunk of miles. Walking out of the subway, it would appear the fire system in the neighboring building had been tripped because police and fire trucks rolled up with sirens blaring as we rolled out. We didn’t see any smoke, but who knows. Maybe it was just a false alarm or training.

Most of the day was following the bike path. To our left, we saw more cargo/freight ships on the river than I imagined, but it made sense. To our right, a lot of factories, refineries, and enormous grain silos. There is a part of me that appreciated these massive feats of engineering and commerce…. then there was part of me that wonders what was here before we covered the land in metal.

Our first road block of the day was an actual road block. We reached a patch of public land that doubled as a spillway. Well last spring they had to open it and it ripped up a section of road. Off-roading folks were still welcome to traverse it, but the road had a few canyons now. So we push on through the mud and had to clean up at the end. It just stole 20 minutes from us.

None of that mattered though, because we had a host. A warm showers host who was out of town, but his daughter and son-in-law were home to help us out. Not only did they help us out, they took us to a family dinner at an “uncle’s” house. It’s pretty traditional to call older cousins uncle and aunt, even if they aren’t. But I cannot quite remember the actual connection. It was a nice time. Without these kinds of meals and the Christmas lights, I wouldn’t really know Christmas is in a few days, or what time of year it was at all. Not going into retail stores has kept Mariah Carey from reminding me.

So here is to the Christmas season with old strangers and new friends. Hope to see you all again soon. My fortune today was that the son-in-law is a coffee fanatic. Have a great day everyone!

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