Day 30: Alligator bait in the Louisiana Bayou (Beth)

Today’s ride was from Galveston, TX to Thibodeaux, LA.  As soon as we hit the Louisiana border, the whole make-up of the land changed!  Texas was long gone and we were in swamp territory.  Right next to the “Welcome to Louisiana” sign was a stretch of water, several egrets and in the distance, some heavy, looming cloudage and lightning.  Probably 5-10 minutes after the border, the rain started.  This was actually the first rain we’ve ridden through this whole trip.  We put on our rain suits, so we weren’t technically getting wet, but they don’t offer much protection by way of pressure.  Thankfully, it only lasted maybe 10 minutes or so and we were able to unburden ourselves of the suits and get back to normal.

We followed the coastline for the first portion of our ride and then worked our way back inland.  I don’t recall if I’ve ever been in swamp land before, but I loved riding through it today!  There were waterways everywhere, moss-ridden trees, alligators, turtles, dozens of egrets, cows and airboats.

Swampland!

The best part of the ride was trying to spot alligators.  I counted three or four!  Three for sure.  The fourth may have been a log masquerading as a gator to trick me.  The first 2 were just babies.  The larger one was just hanging out about 20 feet from an angler casually casting his line into the water.  The fisherman seemed to be completely at ease with his reptilian neighbor, like they were spending some quality time together.  I bet people here that see gators all the time just think they’re annoying/commonplace, and that’s understandable.  I’ll tell you what though, me never seeing them, they’re fascinating.  So here I am at 45mph making a complete fool of myself, twisting, craning and turning, trying to get a decent picture from the passenger seat as I see them. (I never did get a decent one despite my efforts.) I wonder if out-of-towners feel the same way when they come to Michigan and catch a glimpse of our black, Frankenstein-like squirrels…

We stopped for lunch at a little diner and Ryan ended up with a Po-Boy (never heard of this before) and I got one of the best cheeseburgers I’ve ever tasted.

The rest of the ride was scenic and relaxing.  We rolled into Thibodeaux, LA, unpacked the bike, got settled in and by that time it was dinner time.  We drove around town and found a place called “The Foundry on the Bayou.”  It was an old warehouse that was remodeled into a restaurant and looked sharp.  When we walked in, it was late and a weekday, so we had a waitress all to ourselves.  We asked her a zillion questions about the food and ended up settling on some good Louisiana grub.  We ordered fried alligator, catfish with a crawfish sauce, and a crawfish gumbo dish.  Glad I ventured out and tried it. I mean, we’re in Louisiana.  We’ve got to try some local food.

Foundry on the Bayou

After dinner, we coasted around town for a half an hour or so, taking in all the French architecture.

Great balconies.

On the road back to the hotel, we saw a quaint, little ice cream shop and had to stop in.  The guy serving us behind the counter turned out to be the 20-year-old owner of the shop!  He let us sample a myriad of flavors and I settled on the cake batter.  I can’t remember the name of Ryan’s, but it was a cake batter base with some other stuff added to it.  We pulled a couple chairs up to the counter and chatted with the owner, Percy, for the duration of our time there.  Ryan and I were both very glad we stopped in.  The name of the shop is “The Sweet Tooth.”  If you’re ever in Thibodeaux, you should stop in.  The ice cream is delicious!

As I gift to you readers, Ryan found a song to capture the spirit of Thibodeaux, LA that he wanted me to post with my write-up.  It’s hilarious – Enjoy! (For parents reading along with children, be advised, there is one “h” word.)

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