The 6-week journey will be across the “southern transcontinental route”, covering southern sections of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and northern Florida. Arrival at the finish line in St. Augustine, FL is projected for April 10, 2010.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Louisiana: Bah, ya'll!

Hi Everybody,
Well, this is our last night in the state of Louisiana.  I say that confidently and with no thought that there would be anything that would hinder our crossing the Louisiana-Mississippi line tomorrow!  

We barely avoided the dreaded Walmart parking lot overnight.  The guys rode about 112 miles today and when they met us at Walmart in Bogalusa, LA at 7 PM we had not found anywhere to stay.  I had phoned the only RV park in town twice during the day and had gotten a machine and no call back.  The internet gave us a fairly good map to the place but Paula and I were unsuccessful at finding it in two attempts.  Maneuvering this hulking thing down small side streets was difficult and we gave up.  The bike map didn't show anything here for camping at all.  Dave and Mike convinced us to try one more time and so we set out in the dark to find Willa-Villa mobile home and RV park.  We got to laughing so hard at street names and numbering inconsistencies, that we about missed it until we found ourselves in front of the Willa-Villa Laundry.  As we sat there, my phone rang and it was the gal who finally got my message and said that we could stay the night.  It is nearly all permanent residences with just a few RV spots.  Oh well, we are just glad to have the hook ups needed although no bathroom or shower.

The earlier part of the day was a steady stream of missed turns, U-turns, and mis-read signs.  This is for the RV!!  When we miss a turn, it takes so long to find a good place to turn around that we sometimes have to drive 5 or 6 miles out of the way.  Louisiana is full of little country roads with numbers into the thousands and all very close to the actual corner where the turn needs to be made.  It is not possible to slam on the brakes and turn on a dime!  There are very few signs that indicate what town is coming up so we have to rely on our compass and bike map to keep going in the right general direction.  The bike map is very detailed but not always correct as far as the numbers go.  The last big turn to Bogalusa out of Franklinton was tricky and we had stopped in a large parking lot to see if Dave and Mike wanted to go on.  We watched them go ahead of us and when we pulled out to go they were already out of sight.  We drove the prescribed route and never saw them again until the Walmart.  They missed the first turn and took another route and it turned out better for them--more direct, less hills, and a nice shoulder.  Our route was prettier.

Carrie and family went home today and made it all the way in less than 12 hours.  They started up the Natchez Trail which she said was beautiful but decided the boys were too young to get much out of it.  So they opted for a less scenic but faster route to Illinois.  Today is her birthday!!

Three states to go!!

Love and blessings,

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