DAY 68 – We spent last night at another casino RV park – the Paragon Casino in Marksville, a reasonable drive from the route. Top notch site, with cabins and a pool (that I would have used had it been warmer out). It wasn’t busy during the week and only cost $20.00, including shuttle service for the gamblers.
Today I got my Louisiana bike ride in. I’ve not ridden much, but am making sure I ride at least once in every state. I parked in Simmesport, on the Atchafalaya River and explored the town. Their business is fishing and crawfish. The back roads in this area are very pretty with well-kept homes with manicured lawns and gardens and some large farms. Not so many wildflowers along the road, but I’m noticing some gorgeous roses.
Eventually I caught up with The Rider on the new bridge across the Mississippi River near St. Francisville. I had not seen him in 5 hours & caught up at 1:54 pm, close to our 2 pm quitting time. We crossed together. The idea of crossing the Mississippi River symbolized another big benchmark on the trip. Now we are really back east.
The one campground in the area that seemed like a good prospect was full, so we drove an hour to suburban Baton Rouge to the Denham Springs KOA for our weekly layover day. We had a celebration dinner at Don’s Seafood Hut for completing 2000 miles of the route.
DAY 69 – Layover Day – same routine as usual. With one change – pool and hot tub J The KOA is large and resort-like. Unfortunately we were too busy to play putt-putt. At the pool, I met a really nice family who now live in Augusta, GA. Dad rode unicycles in the Mojave Desert as a child. In the evening we went into a 165,000 square foot Bass Pro World. My fishing friends would have drooled.
DAY 70 – We drove a pleasant alternative route through the country to get back to the cycling route. I headed into St. Francisville and enjoyed a private tour of Rosedown Plantation. It was built in 1835 and operated as a cotton plantation with the support of 400 slaves. Four unmarried granddaughters inherited the property. I thought this was unusual, but the guide explained it was common because of the shortage of of eligible men following the Civil War. And no way would a girl of that status lower herself to marry a yankee! The last daughter died in 1955 when an oil heiress and her husband purchased the plantation. She poured $10,000,000 of her own money into the place to restore it and open it to the public. Ninety percent of the furniture in the home were original to the family. Now the state of Louisiana runs it. The neat thing about the tour is that you go into all the rooms and they only ask that you don’t touch anything. The grounds and gardens are beautifully maintained. The original owner kept a garden log for 60 years with indepth details of plantings and diagrams of where things were located. The Live Oak allee was planted in 1830 before the house was built.
St. Francisville is a lovely town with period homes and some unique churches. It is right on the Mississippi River. Before the new bridge was built, a ferry crossing was located there. I stopped in to the Magnolia Café for some soup and wished I was hungrier. The menu looked great.
When I reconnected with Dave, it was almost 2:30 pm. And he had ridden 54 miles. We are camped at the Hyde Park Campground outside Easleyville. The best things I can say about it is that it’s convenient location is on the route and that it is peaceful. No one else is here but us. It has seen better days.