Thursday, February 11, 2010

Washington to Simmesport, LA. Snow is in the forecast.

Ever tried finding internet connection on the back of an old caboose? Well we have.

This is the river by our campsite in Washington, LA.

There are many cemeteries in this part of the country and they have above ground graves. We are assuming this is to keep the caskets out of the very shallow water table.

Washington to Simmesport, LA
Day 99
38 miles

Today was a cold and dreary day. We had no sunshine and the weather was miserable. We had no real option other than to get to the little motel in Simmesport because of lack of campgrounds in good locations and the fact that we knew it was going to be very cold and rainy. It rained throughout the day. We got to a little truck stop in Lebeau for a quick lunch and realized that we had made a good choice. Instead of only serving Americana truck stop food like burgers and chickens tenders, this place had gumbo and jambalaya on the menu. We ate a hearty Cajun lunch and continued on our way, very, very reluctant to continue in such cold and wet weather. Many people today have snowed down on the road to tell us that snow is coming and that we should get where we are going sooner than later.

When we got to Plaucheville I had become complacent and not as alert as I should have been. Greg had warned me several times that day about avoiding cracks in the pavement when it was so wet and slippery. When riding through town I rode up too close behind him, as I sometimes tend to do, so that my front wheel was actually alongside the BoB trailer wheel. He moved over to the left when my wheel was alongside his wheel to the left and it got caught and then basically tipped me right over once I lost traction on the slippery, wet pavement. Luckily, again, I was just fine. I had no real injuries, just a muddy tumble. Immediately everyone who saw the fall asked it we were OK. One man who was walking his dog across the street came over and asked us if we were ok, and where we were going that day. We told him we were going 17 miles further to Simmesport. He immediately offered to give us a ride. He thought that the weather conditions were too risky and he hated seeing us out in the cold. I felt shaken up from falling and tired of riding in the cold rain, so we took him up on the offer. His name is Aaron and he works at a community college nearby and has worked on the volunteer fire department in Plaucheville for 30 years. We also met Aaron's wife and his son who had also been working on the VFD for 5 years. They were kind and offered to have us come in, but we decided we should get down the road. Aaron is also a gunsmith and an avid sportsman and member of some conservation organizations. He too had learned to speak French as a kid and had to learn English when he got to grade school. We love to hear the Cajun dialect and hear the different pronunciations. We had a great time talking to him on the way to Simmesport. I am really thankful that he offered to take us to our motel. This was also the first time we have ever accepted a ride on our route for the whole trip, so we didn't feel bad about accepting a 17 mile ride out of the whole distance we have gone.

We checked in to our motel, The Sportsman's Inn, and were a little shocked at our room. It was obvious that the motel is in the middle of remodeling. The walls were newly painted and the sink was new, but the carpet was old and there was no floor trim, just a big crack where you could see the drywall. There was a band-aid on the TV and old food in the microwave. We were disgusted, but at least the sheets and shower were clean. Oddly, there was also no trash can or towels (which we were eventually able to get from the owner). We didn't want to be rude or pushy guests because the owners were a family with a small kid and all of their other employees seemed not to care about the guests. It was also the only place in town, so we couldn't really argue with them about the price (which was in our opinion, too expensive at $51). That night we ventured out in the pouring rain to find wireless internet and some dinner. The gas station attendants directed us to the Simmesport visitor/tourism booth which was actually a caboose from a train. We stood under the covered part of the back of the caboose and tried to get internet, but it was turned off, apparently. Then we went to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and bought dinner. Tomorrow we will go to the public library and get online there. So, we are stuck here without cell service or internet and we feel pretty disconnected from the world. We are concerned about having to stay here tomorrow with the no-travel recommendation and the forecast of snow.


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