A blog highlighting the adventures of our spring 2013 bicycle tour from Fargo, North Dakota to New Orleans, Louisiana.....along the Mighty Mississippi River. The cycle tour followed sections of the Mississippi River Trail, the Paul Bunyan Trail, the Trans America Trail, the Trace (Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky) the Natchez Trace and the American Cycling Association Great RIvers South route.
Today our route took us across the river in to Louisiana and along back country roads almost the entire way to New Roads. It was a great day of cycling with few stretches in traffic. We were even treated to fresh blacktop in a few sections.
Isle of Capris Casino, Natchez
The day was really one of contrasts - environment, industry and agriculture all protected by huge levees. We cycled through 2 wild life management areas covering thousands of acres: The Red River Wildlife Management Area and the Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area where we enjoyed watching the swamp for signs of life. (SNAKES) We saw oil pumpjacks, hydrodams, locks and dams and we road by fertile farmland. The day was fabulous and FLAT! Louisiana is FLAT!
As we were cycling along, a truck pulled up beside and called over. "Damn girl, you are in the middle of no where. Where the hell did you come from and where are you going?" The gentleman slowed down to match my pace and we started to chat as I rode along. I told him our story and he said, "Well, damn you must be hungry. There is a great restaurant 4 miles up the way." Our conversation was cut short, as he said, "Sorry, I gotta go. This is my turn. I am taking my ATV into the swamp!"...and he was gone - disappeared right into the swamp.
We saw the most amazing oak trees and learned that some are over a century old. They were planted to line the entrance way to the old Plantations. Although the plantation homes are no longer there, the oak trees stand tall, a reminder of days past. Imagine the stories they would be able to tell.
We visited an old church, complete with a statue dating back to the civil war and were fascinated at the site of the above grounds graves. The water table is so high,that people are put to rest above ground. The further south we travel, the cemeteries appear to be grander and grander.
We ended our day in a wonderful little motel right on the river - literally on the river. It is actually built on stilts. We could not resist the chance to swim in the river as a way to cool down, and quickly got our swimsuits on and jumped off the dock. We were shocked when the water was warm! We sat on the balcony to enjoy dinner and drinks, watched the boats go by, the sun set and listened to the Cajun and country music coming from our neighbours. Truly a perfect end to the day.