We made it! Almost mishap free too, but more on that later. Today was a much better day than yesterday. First off, we had the wind at our back, which always makes things easier. Second, the pavement was unexpectedly better than it has been. I don’t know why, but I’m not complaining. Anyway, these two reasons were more than enough to make it an enjoyable day’s ride.
The literal high point of the day was a visit to Jefferson Island. It was a home once, a long time ago, but is now a resort. It’s on Lake Peigneur, but is not really an island, at least when we saw it. It is built on a salt dome, giving it at least 20′ of elevation over the surrounding countryside, which in flood season would make it an island. Many of the newer homes that we saw today are two story affairs. The living quarters are on the second floor and the first floor is just concrete support structure. In 1980 a sinkhole drained Lake Peigneur, but it is quite pretty now.
Now about that mishap. It didn’t occur on the bike. We successfully biked Cycle Zydeco incident free. We had finished the ride. I had loaded the bikes onto the Prius and we were driving out of the parking lot, when I promptly drove the front of the car into a drainage ditch. I guess, I was still a little punch drunk from the ride. I couldn’t back it out. Anne couldn’t back it out either, even with me pushing. Fortunately, about twenty cyclists appeared then and with only a half a dozen pushing, it was easily extricated from the ditch. All for the low price of getting laughed out of Laugh-e-ette, as it is pronounced here.
We’re still alive! We’ve ridden two days already and have two more to go. It rained the first morning, but the weather has been fine since. We ride by day, but as you can see, there is dancing at night. The ladies were doing a line dance here and the lead guitarist jumped down to get involved. This was on the first night, where festivities were held at the site of the last legal cockfighting venue. We ate dinner in the arena. I loved the chicken pasta. The meat wasn’t that tough at all. We’ve been also eating lots of great Cajun cuisine, including catfish, crawfish and gator. Going a bit native here, I guess.
Before coming, we were concerned if we would be up to all this, but we’re having a great time and doing fine. The roads are a little rough. The pavement I mean. We were doing a bayou boat tour of the swamp today and the captain told us that in England they drive on the left side of the road. Here in Louisiana we drive on what’s left of the road.
4/26/82 – We made it! New Orleans just like I pictured it. We finally kicked off from La Pace. 61 was the pits as expected. Once we got in the city and figured out our way, things worked out well. Canal (or Carnival) was unexpectedly nice. The French Quarter is nice, but expensive. Lot’s of nice stores, oysters and gumbo. Toured the Saint Louis Cathedral (pictured in the background), with killer oil paintings. Jackson Square is full of hawkers. The room is over priced ($38.50) at half the price. Called home collect. Ate well at Harry’s place and Gumbo Shop.
This post is another blast from the past. We’re still riding Cycle Zydeco in the present day. We’ll not be headed to New Orleans on this trip, but instead plan on driving the Natchez Trace. Check comments for any live updates.
We drove 12 hours today. Epic! Nearly lost it all at the halfway point, just south of Memphis. It was a combination of traffic, caused by an accident, police shooing everyone into the left lane and a moment’s inattention and I almost lost it. I screeched my brakes, didn’t rear-end the car in front of me, avoided getting rear-ended myself and was rewarded with a dirty look by the cop.
“Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” The rest of the drive was uneventful, except for all of the ways to escape the Lou, this is a path less taken, at least by us. We’ve driven to Memphis before, bit it’s been years and we’ve never taken I-55 any further south. So, it was all new road to us. 700+ miles though is too much of a good thing and by the time we hit Louisiana, we were ready to get off the road. Our final stretch was over the pictured Atchafalaya Causeway on I-10. In 1982 we rode a similar causeway across this swamp. We were F-ing crazy. I-10 has wide shoulders, our’s had almost none.
Anyway, we arrived safely Tuesday in Lafayette. The festival for Cycle Zydeco starts tomorrow. We’ll register and take dancing lessons, listen to music, dance, eat and talk. On Thursday, we ride. The only problem is that rain is forecasted for Thursday. My plan is to hold up in our hotel room and launch late and hopefully avoid all of the bad weather..That’s the plan anyway.
Well, I might have been a bit braggadocious yesterday with my boasting about readiness for Cycle Zydeco. We’ll do fine on the first day, but the second…
Sunday, we did an easy ride over to Forest Park and viewed the Easter car show. We started on the upper Muny lot, with the original contest of elegance show. We quickly hooked up with Ron, who was showing his Ford Model T.
Ron is one of the original ‘ons as Dave use to called them, my bike buddies at the time. One of them would call, he would answer and my message would be that one of the ‘ons had called. Don and John were the two other legs of this triad. Dave coined their nickname. When I got home, I would always ask him if anyone had called? He invariably answered, “Oh, one of the ‘ons called.” He does much better now, as the then contemporary voice on our message machine.
Anyway, we had a good long chat. I promised to arrange a luncheon next month, with as many of the ‘ons who can attend. It was getting hot and we bade farewell to Ron for the present. We did a cursory tour of the upper lot, before heading downhill to the lower Muny lot or as Ron called it the junkyard. The lower lot is the home of the second car show, where modified cars are displayed. I find them interesting too. It was getting late by then and many of the cars had left or were leaving. We decided to also skate.
Ron’s 1930 A, the model that he learn to drive on, doesn’t bare any Dodge brothers marking, like the pictured 1916 Dodge emblem does. The wheel hubs of the Ford model T does though. In the early 1900s the Dodge brothers started out as subcontractors to Henry Ford, who they hated. He was a notorious anti-Semite and in order to get back at him they adopted a variation on the Jewish star as their logo, just to taunt him.