Day Seventy-seven, Date Saturday, May 16, 2009
Time in Saddle: 6:01
Distance for the Day: 61.81 miles From New Orleans, LA To Waveland, MS
Accumulated Trip Distance: 3385.66 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 274’/306’, Highest: 427’ Accumulated: 1621’
Speeds: Avg: 10.2 mph, Max: 39.1 mph
Weather: 74° in AM, warming to a semi-humid low 80s by mid-morning
Got up around 7:50am for almost 3 hours of sleep. Skipped breakfast, and began gathering my stuff together and packing it in preparation for departure. Ray and Emily gave my trike a tryout to see what it was like. They thought it was pretty cool, but the psychic in me doesn’t see trikes in their near future; they can tour just fine – even better – on just bicycles, and don’t yet need the comfort of a trike. We took pictures of each other, shook hands, and hugged, and I took off. Thanks, you two, for opening your home, hearth, and hearts to this over-ambitious cycling enthusiast. You helped me see what has now become one of my favorite cities in all the world, and for that I’m very grateful. And for your canine friend, Texas, I’d just like to say, “Good doggie!” Friendly from the start, he accepted me as readily as his owners, a trait he no doubt picked up from them.
I stopped a little ways down the road to check StreetAtlas for any nearby hardware stores, when Ray and Emily pulled up in their car and asked what was up. They gave me one last parting bit of info – an Ace hardware store on Magazine St. that wasn’t far off. Cool! I found it, and bought the rope I needed to be able to hang my hammock. I got talking with a local about my trike and trip, and *he* offered me refuge at his home just a few blocks away. I let him know I was already set and ready to leave town, but, wow – now that I don’t need it, they’re falling into my lap! I took off at 11am on the route StreetAtlas picked to get out of town and on-route to my next destination: Pensacola, Florida. Unfortunately, I took a wrong turn, and started headed down a wrong highway, but recognized the error early enough to correct it fairly easily.
One surprise along the way out of New Orleans; I found the Cajun Encounters swamp tour outfit’s location, again. The first time I went, yesterday, I hopped on a tour bus and we took highways and freeways to get there, so I had no idea of its actual location. Imagine my surprise when I rolled up to it on my trike at 3:26pm! I continued eastbound on Hwy 90 towards in the heat and humidity; in the next 1.5 hrs I stopped 3 times to buy cold drinks; I got a Coke at a bar (I must have looked particularly overheated, as one of the patrons paid for me – that was nice), then twice more for $1.50 each. I also had my first run-in with deer flies – medium-sized nasty orangish buggers with an annoyingly painful little bite. I found that I couldn’t shoo them away (they seemed to swarm more if I did), but that I could kind of outrun them by pumping up to 14 mph, so I did that for a while, until I seemed to be out of their territory (mostly). By 4:10pm, I made the state line between Louisiana to Mississippi; my first time to the state of Mississippi! By evening, I found a stealth camp location behind a business building under construction. I was able to hang my hammock, so had a comfortable and restful night.