TRIP 2001

Update #33 - Oct 26th
Baldwin, Louisiana - 9226 miles (14,762 KM)

The ride from Appalachicola, Florida to Baldwin, Louisiana went okay. The heat wasn't really bad this section but I did have several days of really cool weather with strong winds either coming straight at me or from the side. Both the winds and the cool weather seems to run in patterns. Today, the temperature got up into the high seventies. Being near water most of the time, I did have a lot of problem with mosquitoes.

For lodging, I stayed at several churches, in a couple of donated motel rooms, and mostly in my new tent. I did have two nights in the same bed since I stayed with a Baptist minister in Lacombe, Lousiana.

The hardest thing for me is to find a place to stop before it got too dark to see. It has gotten dark around 6:30 p.m. I'm not sure how it will be next week since we set our clocks back this Saturday night. I've had more luck in setting up my tent on flat slopes. The only problem is that I've not been a good judge in finding places where there might not be an ant problem. Sometimes there are no ant mounds to locate and then avoid. I found that out several nights ago. The only open land that I was able to find in the LaPlace, Lousiana area around dusk was in a hay field. I camped out way in back of the field behind a big hay roll.

Around 4 a.m. the next morning, I got woken up by a crawling sensation on me. When I turned on my flashlight, I found a highway of ants in my tent going from the zipper of my tent, into my tent, and then surrounding my food pannier. I had somehow left some sticky substance left over from some soggy raisins that I had thrown away a couple of days ago on the bottom of the pannier. The plastic bag of raisins must have leaked out and soaked the bottom of the pannier after a day's ride in the rain. It took about an hour to eradicate all of the ants and clean up the mess. Luckily, none of the ants had got into the food inside of the pannier. It's fortunate for me that they were probably not fire ants or I would have had terrible pains in my hands from any of the ant bites.

There was pretty neat scenery to see while riding through the Florida Panhandle, the Gulf coasts of Alabama and Mississippi, and along the southern portion of Lousiana. It was really neat riding along the Gulf of Mexico. I took a small toll ferry across the Mississippi River at Reserve, Lousiana. It only cost me a quarter since I was a pedestrian.

Traffic was a big problem in this section. The roads haven't been set up for infrequent bicycle travel. Most of the roads did not have any shoulder. The pavement has been pretty bad especially here in Lousiana. Also in Lousiana, there have been a lot of narrow high-rise bridges.

Currently, I'm about two hundred miles into my ride across the state of Lousiana. For the past two days I've been staying at the United Methodist Church Disaster Relief Center in Baldwin, Lousiana, which is Southwest of New Orleans. I had hoped that this might have been the place where I could possibly stop for the winter and volunteer but they are actually in the process of winding down for the year until January of next year when the volunteer groups start to come again.

Tomorrow, I'll be getting on the road again and heading towards Lafayette. From Lafayette, I'll be heading westward to Texas. After that, I'm open to what my Leader in Heaven directs me to go. Texas would be my 26th state visited this year.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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