Day 9, Martin Dies Jr SP, Tx to Desoto NF, Ms
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Last updated 10/22/09

I woke up Friday morning to overcast skies, but at least it wasn't raining. Looking over my bike, I noticed a pile of fresh dirt next to the rear wheel. Looks like something tried to make a home underneath my bike.

Remember the couple I met the night before. I stopped by their place on the way out. Talk about motorcycle camping in style! The trailer had a double bed, and they had a Coleman stove and a real coffee maker. I didn't tell them, but I wouldn't have traded my setup for theirs, too much weight, too much stuff. but I did enjoy the coffee though.

The wife's trike had a beautiful paint job, a touching tribute to 9/11.

I crossed the Sabine river into Louisiana on US 190 and on to DeRidder. I then took a series of side roads through Sugartown, Grant, Mittie, and Oberlin eventually making my way back to US 190 just west of Eunice. The flowers were in bloom everywhere, much different than where I'd come from just a few days earlier out west.

I had to stop and take a picture of this Western Auto store for my wife. She always tells me a story of how it's where she bought her first guitar.

While eating lunch and studying the map again, I spotted a ferry that crossed the Mississippi River just north of Opelousas at New Roads, so I had to make my way up there. Once I'd lined up and started talking to the locals, I learned that it ran every 20 minutes, and was free from the west side, from the east side it cost a dollar. It turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip. Anyone can drive over a bridge, but it takes a real adventurer to cross the Mississippi River on a ferry!

This huge barge crossed right in front of us.

The landing on the other side, in St. Francisville.

I got on Hwy 10 on the other side of the river and rode across the panhandle of Louisiana towards Mississippi. The road was great with gentle rolling hills, green pastures, and little traffic. I crossed into Mississippi at Bogalusa and continued on to Wiggins where I picked up Hwy 29 north heading towards the Desoto National Forest. Before I got to the NF, I came across a campground at a large reservoir just outside of town. I was getting dark, so I stopped. The Ranger warned me that the tent camping was primitive, water being 20 yards away from my site, bathrooms a further 20, and a dirt road leading in. Knowing where I'd been, I assured him it would be OK.

The primitive campsite:


Day 1, Salt Lake City, Utah to Escalante, Utah

Day 2, Escalante, Utah to Tuba City, Arizona

Day 3, Tuba City, Arizona to Show Low, Arizona

Day 4, Show Low, Arizona to Silver City, New Mexico

Day 5, Silver City, New Mexico to Guadalupe NP, Texas

Day 6, Guadalupe NP, Texas to Big Bend NP, Texas

Day 7, Big Bend NP, Texas to Rock Springs, Texas

Day 8, Rock Springs, Texas to Martin Dies Jr SP, Texas

Days 10 & 11, Desoto NF, Ms to St. George Island, Fl to Christmas, FL

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