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.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

plantations, ferries, and a 3# plate of crawfish

Hi everybody,
Gloria Runyan has corrected my flower ID from yesterday.  She thinks that the red/pink flower we photographed yesterday in Oberlin is a camelia not a magnolia.  I have seen magnolia trees like ours in IL since yesterday and they are decidedly different.  Thanks, Gloria.

The cyclists rode about 76 miles today on and off the bike route.  They  started out on another route in order to cut the day down from the original 100+ miles.  then an unexpected detour on that route added a few miles.  We were tooling along pretty well until we came to a dead end and an inoperative ferry.  It was supposed to go across the Atchafalaya River, a tributary of the Mississippi.  So we backtracked a little and got on a four lane highway, but came to the Morganza Spillway bridge which the bikes were not allowed on.  However, the RV had driven on ahead without knowing that.  So as we munched on Po Boy sandwiches, the bikers were sitting under a huge overpass waiting for us to answer our phones and come back for them.  We finally connected, picked them up, and brought them back for lunch.

We drove over some pretty narrow, rough roads into New Roads and drove up to a different ferry landing to cross the Mississippi.  Troy and I got out and walked up the levee to see what the situation was and judged it to be impossible for the RV and trailer to get across on the ferry.  Troy backed the RV up for us and turned us around to get out of the way of the other cars getting in line for the ferry.  A woman was selling homemade pralines (absolutely delicious, by the way) to the people waiting for the ferry.  She advised us that we could get in line and just wait and see what the ferry boatmen would say about our size.  She said that they would come up the hill when they saw you and measure your vehicle if there was any doubt.  The sign said that 50' was the limit.  We thought we were around 42 to 45 feet.  But it just looked impossible.  We waited for the 3 bikers to catch up.  When they did both Mike and Dave decided it was worth it to try to get on.  (in the meantime 5 cyclists got off the ferry coming west and are on the same route we are on.  They exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, you're almost done and we're just starting!!!)  When we got to the front of the line, up came the boatmen to measure---46 ft.!!  They allowed 3 more cars to get on ahead of us and then we lumbered down the hill and over the ramp, the last to board.  It was a thrilling ride across the great river.  Hope you get to see some pictures and videos.  We were the first off and drove up the hill into St. Francisville, LA.  What a beautiful town.  Tomorrow is our day off and we will spook around the myriads of shops and historical sites.  Lots of big mansions with drooping moss, a la Gone With the Wind.

Our park is Peaceful Pines and it is small, nicely kept up and we have sites side by side.  Our dinner out tonight was at Sammy's Grill, recommended by the manager of the RV park.  We all (9) piled into the White's van and drove several miles to the restaurant.  It was an hour wait, but we decided to stay.  The boys did very well and the meal was very good.  Wait until you see Dave's 3 lbs. of crawfish plate.  It took him a while but he finished it.  Zach couldn' t look at it--all the crawfish eyes freaked him out.

We are tired tonight but are glad to anticipate tomorrow's day off.  Katy flies back to Chicago tomorrow.  She has mixed emotions about leaving.  We will miss all her picture and video taking while riding her bike!!!  She also tells us a lot more about what they see along the way!!!

Thanks for all the encouraging words, the prayers, and the contributions.  Keep them all coming!!!

Love and blessings,

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