Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 11, 2011. Lafayette to St. Francisville, LA. 86 miles

We started this day with breakfast at 6, and most of us were on the road well before 7 AM. We knew it would be a long day... the traffic was brutal until we got out of town. That's the problem with stopping in larger cities. There were many turns in the ride, 14 in the first 31 miles! We were told at a small store that the ferry we planned to take near the end of the day was no longer in operation. Uh oh. At mile 43.3 there was a high bridge over the Atchafalaya River, which was quite fun, but right after that was the Morganza Spillway Bridge, a 3.5 mile span on a busy highway with no shoulder. So we lined up in twos and the sag car escorted us across the bridge. We were ever so glad to have that support--it would have been far too dangerous to cross on our bikes without the car behind us.There were not a lot of places to eat along this route, and we surely had to have lunch on a ride this long. Dianne, Kathie and I stopped at Not Your Mama's Cafe at about mile 68. Lise and Nancy were just finishing their lunch, and Greta, Eva, and Ruth came in by the time we ordered. The food was great (if a little slow coming out of the kitchen) and we left much refreshed.

At about mile 81 we loaded our bikes on the ferry and crossed the Mississippi River. The ferry is going to shut down in a couple of months when the new bridge opens, so the man at the store had his facts a little skewed.
After we got off the ferry in St. Francisville we stopped at the visitors' center and bought post cards and other things, and then proceeded to the Butler Greenwood B & B. But first we had to get by some serious construction on a busy road. Fortunately we could ride most of the way on the
paved side of the road that was closed to traffic. At one point it was unpaved, and that was not fun, but we all arrived safely.
We signed in at the plantation house and were given our room assignments, but they were not exactly rooms... we were in little houses and the former summer kitchen. A very cool place for a rest day, even though there was no internet service.

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