Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Bye-Bye Bayou, Hello Mississippi" - an ode to the Armadillo

The true entry for July 24th
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To prove to the Armadillo that it could be done.
 It would have been better if that pesky chicken had never crossed the road, and had left the Armadillo to cower off to one side.  We have seen Armadillo's in every state since Kansas, but we have yet to see one alive.    On to more about the day.  As the day started we had to pull ourselves up and out of the house and on to the road.  It was to be our last day in Louisiana, and we wanted to get an early start, so; back to our routine wake up time of 5:00. 
 On the road we are still finding ways to motivate ourselves.  The pillow contest continued today, with Mississippi up for grabs.  If Doug couldn't make it through the day, not only would he loose the pillow, he would be forced to grow a Fumanchu for the remainder of the trip.  I think that the bargain was a little skewed: 3 nights with the Pillow, or an embarrassing crop of facial hair for the remainder of the trip?  
O well, it doesn't matter.  Once again Doug walks away with the Pillow.  Josh is left to rest his head on... well I don't know really, but it can't be as nice as a Laura-Ashley designer pillow.  I found my motivation at mile 35.  A brief stop at a gas station in Louisiana to find postcards yielded something else instead: Blue Nehi.  A childhood soda which used to be my favorite.  I don't drink a lot of carbonated beverages, but I had to buy this one.  It sat in the cooler as a reward waiting for me at the end of the day.
    Others in the group also resorted to childhood antics to make it through the day. At the 40 mile rest stop, a playground managed to provide for more then a few minutes of entertainment.  The swing set and teeter totter (see-saw for some of us) were enough to keep us occupied for a while. And; the Doug and Josh comic routine is an ongoing event sweeping across the nation at a pace roughly equivalent to our pedaling, but doing damage at a much more accelerated rate.    The ride itself was uneventful.
  Except for: a trip past the Taloola Prison, the continuous bumpy road, the inevitable 30 armadillos to dodge, the swamplands, the construction that had us biking on graded pavement for what seemed like 50 miles (but was probably only 7), the three flats, the closed and inaccessible bridge across the Mississippi and the resulting eventual shuttle ride on I-20, the brand new state, and a partridge in a pear tree.
    Unfortunately, though we saw some swamps and spent most of our ride in the flats and floodplains of North Eastern Louisiana, the only Gatorskins we've seen so far are those on Katherine's and Aarons wheels.  I guess I shouldn't count this as a complete negative, as it also keeps our count of gator related accidents to 0, a number I hope it stays at.  (though any gators would make for a more eventful blog post.)  
    The First Baptist of Vicksburg, MS welcomed us well, Sherryl and Pastor Matt, were very nice and accommodating in showing us around. Lee and some of the crew were kind enough to serve us Lasagna, salad, and key-lime and chocolate pie.  The town it self seems interesting.  Cannon everywhere- and I don't want to make any rash suggestions, but Louisana, I think you should know most of them are aimed your way - and several interesting old churches.  (yes cannon is plural)  Hopefully we'll get to see more of the town tomorrow, from our bike seat.    
    Speaking of bike seat, on a day like today, with 73 miles of fairly flat riding, you really start to notice that you have one.  It makes you glad to arrive at your destination, get a shower and if you are Doug our I, claim your prize.  I don't know about the pillow, but mine tastes a lot like a really good, really blue, cream soda.  
Congratulations to Doug for making it through a less then Ideal day, (the construction was rough on all of us.) 
And most of all congratulations to the state of Louisiana, you are on your way to having a canyon to rival the Grand one out in Arizona.  Highway 80  has a continuous crack through it's entire length, (even under most of the newly paved sections).  If you nurse and encourage it well, I am sure it well one day grow to epic proportions.   
For now I guess that truly is all.
And in case you are reading this; Jenny, When you join us in a few days, please be prepared for the oddities a ridiculousness that may onset in a group that has ridden 2/3's of the way across the country together.  We're not too bad; really, just ummm.., be prepared  
 For now That is seriously all. 


Ruth said...

Very amusing commentary today! A co-worker insists she has seen armadillos in KY but as she is from south AL we think she is confusing it with the more northern cousin the possum. Have a smooth sailing day!

Sandy Heidecker said...

Haven't read your journeys lately. I am glad to hear the adventures never cease. This is a two-month journey that could be a representation of life.

And I am loving the lodging in Monroe, Louisiana! There's nothing like staying in a home that was the center of a plantation from history.

auntie "m" said...

So of what do you allude with regards to the warning about the dynamics of your great group?? Please tell me one of you photgraphers got a pic of an armadillo?! Would love to see one!

Auntie "M"

P.S. You are nearing the finish line!!!

Grandma and Grandad said...

We look forward to seeing you all when you get to Tybee Island! It's been great following along on your adventure - your in the home stretch now -

G n G