TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2010
Okay…..so the alarm went at 2:30…we heard it….we rationalized that we could sleep a few more minutes (why do we DO this to ourselves….HA!). Well, after a few tries, we did get up a few minutes after 3. We both took showers to help us wake up, and I had some good prayer time right here:
Earline thought she heard something….
Actually, she did! We saw several raccoons terrorizing some garbage cans by the bathrooms…..tried to get a picture, but couldn’t get close enough, and too dark.
After packing and stretching and praying, we headed down Highway 39 about 5:10am…..and the traffic was HEAVY! [What??!?]
We were very thankful for a 6 foot shoulder. We got to English Turn Road, and headed down it, and realized…..no more shoulder! So like English Commander Banks did over 300 years ago, we TURNED AROUND and headed down Highway 39.
We stopped at the corner store and got a Honey Bun for…..ah, energy? Yummmm!!
We saw some beautiful clouds in the south that the rising sun poured out its light out on….
….but we actually couldn’t see the sun itself, because of this cloud bank….
….and I looked at the red lining under the cloud, and THEN I remembered: “Red sky at morning, sailors take warning….” (remember? from Matthew?)….
….and I thought, “oh, oh!”
There OVIOUSLY had been quite a bit of rain here during the night, because the tires were picking up the water and SPRAYING US as we went along.
(Hey, Mark, about those fenders….!)
As we continued south along the east side of the Mississippi River, the sky got darker….
….and the sky got heavier….
……and we got soaked again. [Yes, I had climbed the levee to visit mother nature.]
(Already taken the rain suit OFF, because it is so HOT!)
(Of course, after a few minutes, we had to put them back on again, because it started raining again.) (Ack!!)
Finally got to the turn for the ferry, and it was there waiting for us!
The ferry took off just minutes after we got on board. [Doesn’t Earline look GOOD??!!?] [We’re CLOSE, Honey!]
Boy, this River has gotten BIG!
Saw this bumper sticker on one of the cars on the ferry….interesting! Hmmm!
This ferry knows where it’s going, right??!!
We actually got to the other side pretty quickly, and off we were, down the WEST side of the River.
The road was 4 lanes, and had a nice 8-foot shoulder…..for a while. Then we ran into this:
Still had a shoulder for a while….we tried to find someplace to eat, and after a couple tries, someone sent us to Ann’s Restaurant. Just a little trailer…
…..but Ann was GREAT, and busy!!
And we soon found out why….not only was the food good, but the portions were HUGE. We ordered one Poor Boy cheeseburger, and both of us TOGETHER could hardly finish it. Wow. The phone was ringing, people were lining up, and I think she’s only open from 11 to 2 each day, but the word was out, and the people came by in droves.
Do yourself a favor. Check out Ann’s Restaurant in Port Sulpher. GREAT!
Full of lots of carbohydrates (ha!), we sped on down the road. The shoulder ended in Port Sulpher….and riding got a little tricky.
We had heard about a huge overpass up ahead, and realized even today, in the Mississippi River delta, we had one more hill to climb:
We were warned that this road had lots of truck traffic, and that trucks coming over the hill COULD NOT SEE slow traffic over the hump of the road.
So we went cautiously up the hill, and then I stayed at the top while I sent Earline down the other side.
(I did have a nice view of the delta from the top of the overpass.)
As it turned out, we only had about a dozen vehicles that came over the overpass while we were on it, and only ONE tractor-trailer. Thank you, God!
After we both got safely to the other side, some people stopped to ask questions or take our picture…
…..Steven Turner stopped to check out WHAT IN THE WORLD we were doing!
We saw lots of damage down here as well from the various storms….
People told us that Port Sulpher used to be full of homes….but no more. Venice was the same story.
We saw this Community Prayer Center that had a replica of a Garden Tomb right on the side of the highway….
….and we saw a LOT of RV Parks, and temporary housing…..
….and we saw signs of the BP oil spill having an impact on this area. I image the news reporters and oil workers all needed places to stay, and that some of the RV parks and motels probably did pretty well. We also heard, though, that tourists for the most part were scared away, especially the charter fishing industry.
We even saw this sign by some a company trying to take advantage of any possible legal action!
…..rain clouds threatened AGAIN.
We did get rained on a LITTLE more, but not too heavy, and we were grateful.
We did have a police officer for the first time all summer, stop beside us and tell us to move on to the shoulder. I explained that the surface was not very good, and had a lot of debris, and that I felt that it was dangerous for us to ride there. I also explained that we had just come all the way from Minnesota, and he said, “well….” and then he took off.
Here’s what the shoulder looked like at the time (it was some kind of sea shell mixture, it looked like)….
The Mississippi River was just to our left, and sometimes we could see the top of ships on the other side of the levee.
We even saw cows on the levee to our right (why do the white birds seem to flock around the cows….hmmm??)….
As we got to the south end of Venice, and headed out on Tidewater Road, we saw these huge sand bags…
….OOPS….what I did NOT realize is that these huge sand bags had WET sand in them…..ACK!!!!
There was lots of industry down in this area, and actually lots of traffic!….
Near the end of the trail there was even this huge plant….
But there was a little more pretty scenery, and a beautiful sunset before we reached the sign…
…..and there it was…..THE SIGN! (even the sign showed evidence of disrepair)
Ack! Getting dark! But still snuck in a couple more pictures.
Just across the road from the sign was a local fisherman, and he shared how the fishing moratorium was hurting so many.
Diane’s son, and “Sistah Eva’s” nephew Frederick, came with his Jeep to pick us up and take us back to New Orleans.
Everything fit! [Whew!]
Thanks, Frederick! (And thanks to you and the fisherman for taking our picture together.)
A WONDERFUL end to a long journey!
Thanks to God for His gifts, and His grace. [And a HUGE congratulations to my wife, the FIRST Black woman to cycle the entire Mississippi River Trail on a cycle of ANY kind! Bravo!]