Donaldsonville to New Orleans LA, 67 miles

Although I got to bed late, I was still up at 5AM. I tried to make the most of the “complementary” hotel breakfast, having biscuits & gravy, sausage, oatmeal, an apple, four mini pastries and several cups of what they called “coffee.”

I worked on my PHP5 coding project (Google Latitude aware WordPress weather widget) all morning, packed up at 10AM and rolled out at the crack of 11.

Seafood platter at B&C Seafood

After about 25 miles I stopped at B&C Seafood for lunch: the ginormous fried seafood platter with batter fried catfish, oysters and hush-puppies. It combined two of my favorites: fried and seafood, and so was quite good.

Brownie Melt at B&C Seafood

I followed it up with a brownie melt just because I could, which was delicious.

Edgard/Reserve LA free Ferry

I was undecided about staying at the KOA just west of New Orleans, and trying to make it a “few” miles further to some state park. When I reached Edgard I tried calling the state park, but got no answer, so I took the Edgard/Reserve ferry, which was free, and headed for the KOA.

 

 

2300 miles along the Mississippi River Trail

The directions I had said to take Highway LA-44, which had no shoulder and the drivers generally seemed upset about having to slow down and/or go around me, so I climbed up the levee and I rode there nearly the entire way. At times it was paved with asphalt, occasionally it was a dirt two-track, but mostly it was gravel. The LHT with 26×2.0 tires handled it all with aplomb.

As dark fell I found myself once again on a paved section of the levee-top bike trail. I was reluctant to pay $33 for a campsite at the RV-oriented KOA, but I tried to justify it as being less than half the price of the previous night’s hotel room. Less than two miles from the KOA, however, I saw what looked like adequate tree coverage and undergrowth for stealth camping. Changing eyeglasses for my riding goggles I was encouraged by what I saw: a 12-foot wide path cleared through the trees and undergrowth that curved around to the river. Verifying that the spot where I wanted to set up my tent was above the recent high-water mark, as well as being out of sight of anyone driving along the levee-top path, I quickly set up the tent, unloaded everything from the bike into the tent and crawled in before I started shivering too much.

The night was cold, with a low of about 34F. I woke up several times due to loud noises but realized they were carried quite a ways by the wind and did not threaten impending doom. At 5AM the alarm went off, and I packed up and was rolling by 6. Daylight came about 6:30, and I was surprised to see two other cyclists on the trail, both going the other way. I soon warmed up enough to drop the insulating layer, and when I stopped I was surprised to see one of the previous two cyclists pass me again, this time going back towards New Orleans. Shortly thereafter a police truck also passed by, so I was glad I had decided against cooking breakfast where I had camped (the Whisperlite throws off a lot of light while pre-heating, which makes it very observable and not stealthy at all. Regardless of whether the spot where I chose to camp was technically legal, it’s better still if no one is bothered to stop and ask awkward questions. Hence the “stealth” in “stealth camping”).

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5 Responses to Donaldsonville to New Orleans LA, 67 miles

  1. Bob says:

    I’d sure like a taste of that seafood platter! Now THAT’S food!

  2. Tamara B. says:

    Beignets at Café du Monde for the win. :-)

    For an inexpensive, filling lunch, check out the muffletta shops. Imagine subs or bahn mi rolls that instead of being long and thin are eight to ten inches across and three inches thick — and that’s before they’re stuffed full of deli meats, cheeses, veggies and whatever else your little heart desires.

    • Tamara B. says:

      That is, the buns are like giant fancy hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls, designed for two-pound burgers.

  3. Shaun says:

    Agree with Bob. The seafood platter looks delicious!

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