April 18 - 20: Mississippi

4/18 - Franklinton (104 miles 2191 total)
104 miles from the butler greenwood plantation near st. francisville to the liberty inn in franklinton, LA
everyone was up before daylight to get an early start on a long biking day. but what a nice reward we got for our early-rising efforts. when i went out onto our porch this morning to check the temperature, i took this photo of the full moon & its reflection in the pond.
by about 6:45, most of us walked our bikes out the long gravel drive of the plantation to US hwy 61, where we began pedaling. within about 15 miles we turned off onto some backroads.....so far back that we even encountered some gravel (but less than half a mile of it).
in this photo, cynthia is walking her bike across a very old bridge whose floor was rickety wooden planks. you can see how heavily wooded this stretch was. perhaps you can also see the sign posted on the top of the bridge: "clearence [sic] 6'3."
even the roadways that weren't gravel were quite rough, including lots of potholes. this is another area where there's lots of logging; i'm sure the heavy logging trucks take their toll on these roads. we shared the roads with quite a few of those trucks today.
there are lots of azaleas blooming in this part of louisiana. i took this photo of the driveway to someone's home that was lined with blossoms.
catherine & michelle had lunch for us on the road at about 54 mi into the day's route. & it's a very good thing that they did, because i didn't see one restaurant the whole way today. in fact, we saw only 2 or 3 convenience stores. sari & i were the last to pull up to the lunch stop; we got there at noon. at that point, the riders who were going to ride the whole way had already been past here, & the folks who had already been picked up by the subaru or decided to stop riding at lunchtime had their bikes on top of the van & were ready to ride in the van into franklinton. so sari & i quickly had some lunch so they could move on.
several times today we got our hopes up when we saw what looked like a town name on our route sheet. usually, like here at richardson, the "town" looked something like this....a deserted gas station.
this photo also gives you a very good idea of how the terrain looked almost all of today.
we were very glad that the roads were usually shaded by the trees along the right-of-way; otherwise today's warm temps would've made our long day much more uncomfortable. there were some hills after midday, but they were mostly pleasant rollers. once in a while there were light winds, but never bothersome ones.
one town we rode through today has an unusual name....tangipahoa; i don't know the background of the name. it is a very small town, but there were people milling around one small store. the town is in tangipahoa parish. in louisiana, they use the word parish instead of county.
sari & i got to the liberty inn at 6 pm this evening. the supper line was just forming. we didn't even wash our hands, but just got in line. michelle made a delicious tofu/rice jambalaya....plus a salad, raw veggies, some cooked veggies (asparagus, onions, i don't remember what all). there was a pan of sauteed shrimp, chicken pieces, & slices of sausage that the meat-eaters could add to their jambalaya.
sandy & bryn ride together, & they had their own personal sag support team along today....sandy's son pierce & his friend alison. they visited at butler greenwood plantation, then followed bryn & sandy on the route today & joined us for supper tonight. in this photo, from left, are bryn, alison, pierce, & sandy.
vicky told us at suppertime tonight that we should wave nicely to any plane flying overhead tomorrow. her brother pilots an ultralight & is going to be following along above our route....& he will NOT be a crop-duster.
kathy grubb made tonight's BITCH socks presentation to kathleen, explaining that kathleen had made suggestions about bike-seat position that improved kathy's comfort while riding. kathleen is on the left in the photo. the new acronym label is Best In Tactful Coaching Helps.
& last but far from least....i'm happy to report that the easter bunny found us even tho' we're biking far from home. sari received a package today from her (& my) dear friend elisabeth spiegelberg (who lives near sari in la jolla). the box was filled with bunny cut-out cookies that elisabeth baked for us all; she tied a cute little pastel ribbon around each cookie's neck.
you can see, in the photo, that sari & i couldn't even wait 'til we changed out of our biking togs to open the easter package. all of us bikers will enjoy our special treats for dessert tomorrow evening as we celebrate easter eve.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail me with your request, and I'll save your note and get back to you after the ride. Stay tuned....

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