I crossed the Mississippi River today – what a huge, majestic river in this part of the country!
I rode from New Roads, LA to Amite City, LA today. A ride of 70 miles and just a few more hills than I saw west of the Mississippi River - 800 ft of climbing today
The route: This was easily the most convoluted route that I’ve taken thus far (but a pleasant ride!): the ride started out on Hwy 10 out of New Roads and across the bridge that spans the Mississippi River. Then for the next 40 miles I rode on some great (ie, very few cars and generally very smooth) back country roads: Hwy 61/964, Hwy 964, Hwy 955, Hwy 412, Hwy 67, Hwy 959, Hwy 63, Hwy 63/37, Hwy 63. For the last 20 miles I was on more of a State Hwy with a bit more traffic, but still not that much: Hwy 16 which crossed over I-55 (which runs North/South) and into Amite City.
Flat tire #6 today. A tiny, tiny piece of glass – the first flat that I’ve had from glass (which is amazing to me given the amount that is on the side of roads). I’m getting better at changing tires, roadside – not quite an Indy Car crew yet, but I’m improving! I had two separate cars stop by to see if I needed anything. I was good-to-go but it was nice to see the Southern Hospitality kicking in!!
The weather: very nice day. It was sunny most of the day and the humidity was much lower than the past couple of days. Temps started out a bit cooler in the morning – low 60s - and mid 70s in the afternoon. I had a bit of a headwind all day; 5-10 mph from the East.
Basically the entire ride was through forests, countryside with a few homes, lot’s of Baptist churches (many of which were out in the middle of the countryside) and a few farms with cattle, dairy cows and horses. Very pleasant! About halfway through the ride, with so few cars I finally realized that it would be nice to pop out my headphones/music and ride along without them – I could hear birds, crickets and other wildlife the entire day, without too many interruptions from passing cars.
The highlight of the day for me, was passing over the Mississippi River – the most important waterway in the country – great milestone for the ride.
On to the pictures!
Sunrise this morning at my motel in New Roads, LA.
The motel is built on stilts over the False River. Pretty cool to sit on the deck last night and then this morning. The building did, however, sway a bit!
Neighborhood in New Roads - tons of blossoming flowers everywhere this time of year in Louisiana.
Old home/barns near New Roads and a horse in the back of the field munching on a big pile of hay. Breakfast!
Fields along the False River, that a long time ago were in the Mississippi River.
Audubon Bridge spanning the Mississippi River near New Roads, LA. Awesome place for cyclists to cross the Mississippi in LA. This is the 2nd longest cable-stayed span in the Western Hemisphere. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_James_Audubon_Bridge_(Mississippi_River).
Very little traffic going over the bridge. I hung out on top of it for 20-25 minutes this morning, watching the river, taking in the view, and...
...waiting for this barge to come under the bridge. Working its way North.
Really cool to see and hard to imagine how these things are kept straight. The captain of the boat did a great job of lining himself/herself up under the bridge.
Video of the barge going under me.
"Old Rusty Stuff"!!! This was one of the cooler things I've seen in this category of themes. Really old farm tractor retired in someone's front yard.
Good example of what many of the country roads are like in this part of Louisiana.
Interesting town name.
Very few wide open fields in this part of the state, but those that do exist are quite beautiful.
Good example of one of the dozens of churches (many of them Baptist) that I've passed in the countryside in LA. Many of them are out in the middle of the forests, near nothing else but a crossroads of two country roads.
I saw a few rivers like this East of the Mississippi today. With the broad sand dunes around the river, these were very different than those I had seen just 50 miles to the west.
Not 100% sure if they are, but these looked like Holstein cattle. Holsteins are known as being the highest production dairy animals in the world. I hadn't seen any of these thus far in the trip (they're everywhere where I grew up in Northern Wisconsin). In any case, they are the same color of black/white.
The final 20 miles of the ride today were on this state highway. There are fewer pine trees in this part of LA (compared to the last few days) and more hardwood trees, but as seen from this picture still quite a few pine trees in some sections of the ride (I had not thought about seeing so many pines this far south in the US).
Updated map! On to the state of Mississippi tomorrow.