|Should we be worried about those clouds?|
We ate at a restaurant suggested to us, Aunt Ellie's. I'm trying to limit myself to one fried meal a day (are you laughing yet?), and for dinner I allowed myself the fried crawfish tails and the catfish (purported to be the best in Louisiana).
|I didn't expect an appetizer of this size. Really.|
|Hushpuppies, catfish, and green beans.|
We returned to the rec centre grounds and watched some Little League games. At one point, two young girls came over to us and asked if we were in some kind of race. When I told them that, no, we weren't racing but riding to Canada, they lost interest and walked off. Hah! After all the games had ended we pitched our tent near the dugout and went to sleep - more or less.
We awoke to rain.
After you read this part, you'll know why I had this song in my head.
When we got to the highway we were supposed to be on (yeah, you read that right - but it only added a couple of miles), conditions deteriorated rapidly. In fact, it rained so hard we had to take shelter under the awning of a garage. But that's not all.
The highway you have to take to get through Baton Rouge is 61. There's really no other way. It is also a test of your endurance - for traffic, strip malls, and highway interchanges. It was raining for most of the ride, which is why I had an accident. Totally slipped on some wet road markers (I think) and just flew off my bike, thankfully not into traffic. In my mind it was like a Mary Catherine Gallagher skit where after I tumbled off my bike (many thanks to yoga and ice hockey for my ability to fall and roll), I stood up quickly like nothing happened and raised my arms, saying "Superstar!" The first part of that sentence happened, but the second did not. I rushed to get my bike out of the road and assess the damage to her (she's called Topaz, if you're interested) and myself.
This is the beginning of the bruise that is blossoming on the back of my right calf (I know, it looks like I have a weird, fleshy upper arm). I'll document it as it develops. But other than that and a few abrasions Topaz and I were fine.
I have to say, writing about it now makes me laugh, but at the time, I was losing my sunny disposition rather quickly. My brakes were rubbing, I had a flat, we were on one of those pie slices between an off-ramp and the main road. It just sucked. (Are you singing "Today is the greatest day I've never known" yet?).
It was getting a bit dismal; finally after multiple turns and sets of directions (we weren't super confident about where we were), I pulled into a gas station and said to my dad, "You're going in there and getting directions or looking at a map." The sky then opened up again. Yay!
When it was clear that no one knew where we were trying to go, my father called the woman we'd arranged to stay with through Warm Showers - a community of people who are host cyclists. She offered to come pick us up. My father says that when she offered, he looked at me and said, "Yes." If he'd been alone, I know he'd have ridden the rest of it. I told him that I would've wept and then kicked him if he'd said "No."