Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 30 (Wed, 20 Mar)

I made it to the state of Mississippi today – the land of many pine trees and catfish farms!

I rode from Amite City, LA to Wiggins, MS today.  A ride of 91 miles and a lot more climbing than I thought I’d do this close to the Gulf Coast – 2,400 ft.

The route: Much more straightforward today.  Hwy 16 and Hwy 10 in Louisiana and then Hwy 26 in Mississippi into Wiggins.  Pretty close to a straight East ride today, gaining lot’s of ground towards the ultimate goal.

The weather: after some light rain showers in the morning (which I missed by hanging out for an extra hour in my hotel…) it was another very nice day.  It was cloudy until about noon and then sunny the rest of the day. Temps started out cool in the morning – low 50s - and mid 60s in the afternoon with very low humidity.  The winds were 5-15 mph from the NE today so mainly a cross wind, with just a touch of headwind at times during the ride.

Similar to yesterday, about 90% of the ride was through forests and most of them pine forests.  There were a very high number of logging trucks on the road today (more below).  From one of the other guests in the hotel I’m staying at tonight I understand there are a number of paper plants around here that are fed by the local pine trees and hardwood trees are also trucked in from other parts of the US.  Products that are made in Poplarville, MS include light paper products and in Wiggins they also make telephone poles.

I crossed the Mississippi state line about 50 miles into the ride – state #6!!!!

On to the pictures!

In Amite City this morning - cool wall mural on that building.

Old Amite City railroad station.

"The Boston Restaurant" in Amite City - made me look forward to getting back home in 1.5 weeks!

Old Rusty Stuff - not sure what the heck that is???  Mechanical contraption of some sort.  Some type of old cotton gin maybe?

If you zoom in on the building - "The Store" - neat picture of an old country store.

River just outside of Amite City - sandy banks and river bottoms in this part of the US.

Being from the Northeast US, we don't see these where I live but drive in Sonic restaurants are all over the South - they seem quite popular and the style of eating is classic 1950s.  Cool - old is new again.

The Old Choctaw Trail - I ran into this about half way between Franklinton and Bogalusa, LA - it runs North-South in Louisiana - cool to think that this was a major North-South road many 100s of years ago.

My old friend - the logging truck.  Many, many dozens of these passed me today.  It seemed like 100+ but that's probably just my vivid imagination and deaf ears playing tricks.  Logging the pine forests is the primary commercial activity I've seen in the area for the past few days.  Not a big deal to have these trucks go by me in Louisiana as I had a super wide riding lane, but wait until I get to Mississippi...

Cool town name in Louisiana.  This was on the far eastern edge of the state.

This is the river on the border between the 2 states - it was well over its banks (quite different from the totally dry rivers I saw out west) - that house has a front row seat and easy fishing out the front door, but probably a few other issues (wet floors, sewer, etc!).

Perhaps there were people somewhere around these ATVs ( I looked around but didn't see anyone) but they were surrounded by the high water.

 Mississippi!!! State #6.  Awesome.

Zoom in and check out the Gator sign.  I'm still looking for the real thing!

Beautiful green fields, but not many of them in the area - mainly forests.  I read that a couple hundred years ago the whole state of Mississippi was forest and mainly pine forests.  The delta around the Mississippi was cleared for growing cotton in the 1800s but other than that, the state is heavily forested today.

Mississippi state flag.

OK, pretty typical of Hwy 26 that I rode on for 40 miles today.  No paved shoulder and not really even a shoulder of any type on most of this highway.  Also, the rough "chip seal" pavement is back (about medium roughness compared to TX).  A relatively technical ride for about 40 miles with this type of road, rolling hills and logging trucks that don't like to slow down.  Good fun riding - keeps one alert, for sure.

Cool little Domino's Pizza restaurant near Wiggins.

Outside of Wiggins, MS - I believe these are catfish farms.

Updated map!  Over 2,200 miles complete thus far.  Heading south tomorrow.

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