Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cycle 33 Miles to Rusty Pelican, Mandeville, LA

Wednesday, April 7, I slept fitfully as the No-See-Ums got inside the RV; Bob thinks through the screens they are so small. They leave welts on me since of course I'm allergic to the venom. The bites itch like chiggers for days.

After breakfast we hit the bike trail at 10:40 heading west in a breeze. About halfway we stop and Bob offers to take a picture of a young couple on racing bikes who are visiting from Baton Rouge. They say full-time RVing is their dream. We lock our bikes to a rack on the side and have lunch at Rusty Pelican on the corner of Girod and Monroe in Mandeville.

We split the Black and Gold Burger (onion rings and pepperjack cheese) and Crab Cake and Grilled Shrimp Salad. The A/C being on full blast was the best part of lunch. We get a kick out of all the street signs leaning in the window sills. They must have all been blown down by Katrina and replaced and found their way as decor in the Rusty Pelican.

One of the restored places on Lake Ponchartrain in Mandeville

While the bikes are still locked up we walk across the street to St. Francis Animal Sanctuary Thrift Store. They have some great stuff here but we'll have to come back with the truck tomorrow. I can't fit all of these used books in my panniers and they close at 3:00 today. No way we can cycle back to Slidell and drive the truck here before they close.

We hop back on our bikes, well we don't actually hop on after already riding 15 miles! But we do cycle south to Lake Pontchartrain and ride east along Lakeshore. They are some great refurbished homes along the Lake that have clearly been redone since Katrina. In between we see blank lots with just driveways and sidewalks and some places that are still standing but have a lot of storm damage; some are for sale as is. I snap a picture of this huge boat moored near the Mandeville Yacht Club.

It's only a few blocks north back to the Trail where we start our 15-mile trek back home. We stop at Fontainbleau State Park for a restroom break. We ride 7/10 of a mile into the park to the Visitor Center where I listened to the Ranger's spiel about the campsites. They only have five full hookups for $18.00/night, or they have quite a few water and electric only sites for $12.00/night. He says they are busy all year except for the 'dead of winter.' What that might be in Louisiana along the Gulf Coast I can't imagine. Bob and I note the sign on the park entrance road that says "Beware of low hanging limbs." Something to keep in mind if we bring The Titanic here.

The wind is against us the whole way back--what else is new? But we make it by 5:00 p.m. after a few more than the usual number of breaks. It is more humid and hotter than it has been here with a high of 81 degrees and a low of 68.

We stow the bikes in the 'garage' as rain is predicted tonight. Then we collapse with the paper, enjoy showers and settle in to watch Human Target. It's 7:00 p.m. and 76 degrees with 62% humidity. We have the A/C on for the first time since last summer in Ohio I think. Thankfully it's working! It was 89 degrees inside when we got home.

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