Rain was forecasted for at least part of the day, today, so my rain gear was out and at the ready. After breakfast, I started my day with a quick trip back to the Franklinton post office to mail my Halloween costume and the various stocking stuffers and gifts I purchased in New Orleans home.
Then Ed and I rode out together on what was supposed to be an easy 50 mile day. Okay, easy but hilly. But why another hilly day? Things were supposed to flatten out after Austin, and they did for a few days, but now we are back having hills all day long again. Straight, flat roads are boring, so some hills here and there do make a ride more interesting. Just not as many as we’ve been getting, okay?
The route basically followed country roads and passed through thick woods, timber cutting and clearing, farms, cattle, and small rural businesses, crossing swamps and creeks along the way.
There were 3 memorable stops. Eight miles in, we pulled into our one and only town on the route–Bogalosa. Ed and I stopped for an early lunch, there, because there wouldn’t be any food or drink up ahead for the rest of the day. In looking for a place to eat, we rode by the massive paper mill, the major employer of people who live in the area. And if you’ve never been around a paper mill, you probably don’t know how bad they smell–they really stink. BLater, Eric told us the odor was so bad it made him wretch, to which I laughed out loud. (There are the types of things we discuss at the end of our days.)
As soon as we pulled up to the park office, it started pouring rain, and this is where the third memorable part of the day kicked in. The owners of the park were over the top hospitable. To make sure we, our gear and our tents kept dry in the rain, they let us set our tents up in the covered area adjacent to the swim pool and a large covered deck on the left-hand side of the community center. They also put beverages out for us and allowed us to take over the community center. Later, they served up a delicious steak dinner.