Trip Log – Day 242 – Morgan City, LA to Gramercy, LA

to LaPlaceFebruary 25, 2016 – Clouds, 60 degrees

Miles Today: 62

Miles to Date: 12,323

States to Date: 29

 IMG_6279 IMG_6289 IMG_6282

Up at out early along Highway 182 east with the wind at my back. After a few miles of industry and a nice climb over the causeway at Amelia the road turned sweet: fresh blacktop with a wide shoulder. I turned onto Highway 20 and things got even better: a marked bike lane flanked by gorgeous cypress forest.

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Thibodaux is a featureless town except for its fields of new houses. This one has perhaps the biggest roof cap I’ve ever seen, easily twice as tall as the house itself.

IMG_6286The land around me sank from wetland to marsh to pure swamp. The shoulder shrank to a narrow strip and then disappeared. One bridge over a bayou sported a ‘no bikes’ sign. Too late. I signaled with my right arm and pedaled over. Thankfully, drivers in Louisiana are among the most polite I have encountered on my journey.

 

IMG_6296People who focus on Wal-Mart are not spending enough time in the truly small towns of our country, where the dollar stores are the main thread of commerce. They often sit right next to each other.

 

When I reached Highway 18 I knew the Mississippi River was near, but it is invisible behind the levee and the swatch of trees that grow in the flood zone. Thanks to an early start and tailwinds I reached my destination – Whitney Plantation ninety minutes early. I am much better about reaching destinations on time on my bike than in a car; I allow ample time for mishaps.

IMG_6310The Whitney Plantation opened just over a year ago as a historical site and tourist attraction focused on slave life rather than the life in the Big House. Whitney borrows, with great success, from the WPA Writer’s Program narratives of former slaves. The tour is among the best I’ve attended, and since I’m the writing guy on the bike, I had a nice conversation afterward with the Director of Operations.

In late afternoon I crossed the mighty Mississippi to Gramercy. The Gramercy-Wallace Bridge is the first choice among cyclists because it has a generous shoulder. However, it is very steep and high and has six expansion joints that are the biggest I’ve ever seen. I had to stop my bike at each one and guide my wheels over the gaps to avoid taking a header. Fortunately, I crossed safely and live to tell stories another day.IMG_6323

 

 

 

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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