Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 41
Washington to Simmesport

Leaving Washington, we stopped for breakfast at the local Citgo gas station, and it was better than you can ever imagine. Eggs, toast, hash browns, and bacon, all cooked like a gourmet restaurant. We were on our way again! This day we were off to Simmesport, La.

Before we started on the road we stopped at an old church by the water tower for a couple of pictures. On the way out of town we ran across an old school house or church that just yelled photo opportunity. Leaving town we were riding 5 strong now, as Jerry from New Hampshire was now riding with us as well.

The roads are starting to get more winding and tree lined, so now we are encountering shade that we have not had since we were in California. The crops are all growing very well now, we see a lot of corn starting, wheat, and hay. I think the biggest change we have seen today is the water and swap area is definitely getting more frequent. The trees are starting to look like they should be in a swamp; I think they are Cypress trees. The trees are so different to us that we decided to get off our bikes and take some pictures by an area that had some particularly large trees, in a fairly small area.

Today’s destination is Maddie’s truck stop, it is not on the new maps but was well received on many blog posts. They are very bike friendly and offer free showers to all the bicyclists. As we were about 15 miles out of Simmesport we stopped for a quick snack and were talking to the owners who informed us of some bad news – the truck stop we were heading to had burned down two days ago! We were in a state of disbelief, what were we to do. We did have a plan “B” – the city park in Simmesport. We got on the phone to make sure this would be ok at this late time, and the supervisor of the park said he would leave the bathrooms open, and the water on. The only major drawback was that we had no showers, we were reduced to the old washup with a facecloth in cold water routine.

When we arrived in Simmesport we set up camp in an extremely windy park, and set off to find dinner. We had seen a diner on the way to the park (next to Maddie’s), so we headed out to see what they had to offer. Unfortunately, they had nothing, they were closed. As we were standing there a man called to us from Maddie’s parking lot, we went over to find it was Maddie himself. We told him how we were to be spending the night when we found out about his loss. He still offered us a spot in back of the property and apologized, that he could no longer offer a shower as he did in the past.

He and his family were there checking the extent of the loss, so we asked what happened, and were told there was an electrical short in the electrical room at 10:00am. No one was hurt, but he was upset that it took the local fire department 30 minutes to respond and when they got there the truck could not provide water, it was either broken or empty. He mentioned that there were 17 towns with 88 firefighters when all was said and done, but it was a total loss. He did say he planned on being back up and running in about 3 months, better than before. With that he recommended the “Family Grill” for dinner and wished us well. We ate a very tasty dinner and headed back to the park before our tents could blow away, and got what sleep we could for the night .

The Garmin information for today is as follows:

Day 41 Washington to Simmesport by wegotguts at Garmin Connect - Details

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