20121013-183036.jpgWe packed a wet tent this morning because of a heavy dew. Mosquitos and gnats had us dancing and slapping as we packed our bags on the patch of grass behind the truck stop where we stayed. The first few hours of riding were shrouded in mist as the barely discernible sun rose above the levee. We rode all day along the Mississippi River but never saw it until late afternoon because of that 20-ft levee.

We were prepared for a ferry crossing, according to our guide, but a brand-new gleaming concrete bridge with orange cables, the Audubon Bridge, was waiting for us at St Francisville. (below.)

20121013-183636.jpgGone are the piney woods of east Texas and western Louisiana. In their place are dense forests of hardwoods that form a canopy over the country roads. The fields hereabout are cotton, sugar cane (above), rice, and corn. A lot of houses have what look to be banana trees in the yard but I have yet to see any fruit so I could be mistaken about that. And the birds are chirping in the trees. It sounds like springtime here.

Our tent may have been wet on the outside this morning but it was dry on the inside. It’s a tight little tent – too tight in some respects. Something in my diet on this ride (Pop Tarts?) has been producing some particularly foul intestinal gas. Mary has not been very tolerant in this regard and with the near-hermetic seal our tent provides, the slightest indiscretion on my part has her threatening to renounce her wedding vows despite her sweet anniversary card (see Mary Loves Me post.) My only recourse has been to seal myself and my emissions in my sleeping bag but that is somewhat uncomfortable in this Louisiana heat – not to mention the corrosive effect of my “emissions” on the delicate fabric interior of my bag. Such are the travails of bicycle travel.