Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Monday, February 18, 2013

New Orleans to Houma LA - Feb 17

73 miles in 5.5 hrs. As the crow flies, this was a 45 mile trip, but unfortunately the Mississippi River has very few crossing places, especially for a bicycle. My choice was to ride into New Orleans and take a ferry to the south side and west side of the river. The levee bike trail that travels past our KOA provided a nice trip into town on a Sunday morning. I saw at least 50 bikers, and all but three were heading the other way, that is, with the wind. I had a wind out of the south at about ten mph that harassed me most of the day, as my general direction was southeast to town, then southwest for the rest of the trip once I got off the ferry. The levee trail ended somewhere near the Orleans Parish line, and I was supposed to pick up Magazine Street, which I was familiar with. Well, it didn't work out quite that way, so I spent some extra time touring some bumpy side streets( every side street in NOLA is bumpy). I finally found St Charles and rode it into town, finding Magazine eventually, to Canal Street. The ferry was just pulling in, and it was free! That is one bad ass ferry, as I was near the motor and propeller, and it totally ate up the high flowing Mississippi's current, and we were across in about 7 or 8 minutes. There was a bike path on the levee, on this side of the river also, that was marked by Louis Armstrong's statue, but it only went about 3-4 miles, before it spit me out in Gretna and onto a pretty busy ( for Sunday morning), US90. I took that road all the way to Houma. The shoulder was non existent in the town areas, but as soon as I got into the country the shoulder became very wide, but very bumpy, with grass growing out of the cracks. It was safe, but very tough on the rear end, and polluted with debris in a lot of areas. I had to keep an eye out for debris and bumps, to the point where I wasn't sightseeing much. It was sort of boring however, some farm land, some cattle, and lightly wooded areas mixed with bayou.
It took me three hours to get to Boutte, which I would have gotten to in about 15 miles if I could have used I 310 which is the way Pam came. I stopped there for some nourishment, and while I was eating, a local black girl approached me to give me some free cologne samples. I didn't need that, but we did strike up a conversation, and she told me that this area did not flood in Katrina, but had major wind damage. There were also plenty of signs about the BP oil spill, so I figure they were affected heavily by that. Another common thing that is JUST a Louisiana thing, were the drive through frozen daiquiri stores! We were told they get around the open container laws by putting a plastic lid on the cup, and keeping the straw covered by the end piece of the wrapper! And I'm riding on the roads with these people, sipping their frozen drinks, that they got at a drive through! Wow! As long as their not texting while drinking, while driving! Boutte to Houma was a straight shot into the wind, but the last 6 miles was newly paved, a welcome relief to my worn out, bumped out, butt. US90 will soon become( who knows when?), I -49. Maybe someday bikes won't be allowed where I rode today, but in the meantime, the speed was 70, and the wind drafts from the trucks going my way were a welcome break from the headwind, and I could gain 3-4 mph for a minute or so, every time a truck went by. It was great to be back on the road after ten days. The weather cooperated, with a high of only 60, but the sun was out all day.

Ferry engines churning up the Mississippi

Leaving New Orleans behind

Mardi Gras beads!

Last look at Jackson Square

Louis Armstrong

This is one of the places that stores the Mardi Gras floats until next year.

Daiquiris drive thru!

Only in Louisiana!!!!!

Never thought that we'd get here!!!!!

Still taking claims from the BP oil spill in 2010!

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