Day 31: New Orleans (Beth)

Today we rode from Thibodaux, LA to Meridian, MS.  It actually wasn’t all that far, but it took a long time because we wanted to ride through parts of New Orleans.

New Orleans hit me with an atmosphere I never could have concocted on my own!  Wow.  We rode through French Quarter downtown and all I can say is, this city has got some major Cajun panache.  The architecture was gorgeous, the streets narrow and bursting at the seams with color, the buildings tall, the balconies frequent, seafood and jazz clubs everywhere.   I would have loved to catch some live jazz in town, but sadly, our schedule didn’t allow for the luxury.  Plus, we were so caught up in trying to navigate the roads, our minds didn’t dwell on much else besides making it out of the city alive!  I honestly didn’t think any place in the US could have worse roads than Michigan, but I stand corrected.  Although, after going in the same circle about 3 times, I managed to get a good look at some of the “graveyard towns” on the way through.  Talk about impressive!

We finally outsmarted the roads and got back on track and the next thing we experienced is officially my favorite part of our road trip by far (as far as natural beauty is concerned).

After lunch, we jumped on the bike to stay ahead of a nearby storm and made our way towards Lake Pontchartrain.  Ryan shouted back to me that we were about to cross a causeway that way 24 miles long, so I better prepare myself.  “Alright,” I thought, “just a half hour and we can get back to seeing some cool parts of the city.” No, riding on this causeway WAS the coolest part of the city.

A few miles after riding on the causeway, the sky scrapers behind us disappeared and any civilization ahead of us was nowhere to be seen.  All that stretched out before us was ever narrowing concrete that gradually evaporated into a surrounding world of water.  Unlike a beach view of an ocean where your senses understand that the water keeps going for miles and miles, the lake extended beyond the curvature of the earth and seemed to halt drastically at a defined line.  Two gargantuan cumulus clouds filled the sky and dropped partially below the horizon’s edge.  The color of the water and clouds melted into each other so expertly that for minutes at a time, I couldn’t tell where one stopped and the other began.  It felt like an unnatural universe located above the earth and we were traveling along a massive water highway that transported you from one world to another.  My eyes couldn’t consume enough of it!  Absolutely surreal.  No picture could do it justice, but I tried to snap one with Ryan’s phone anyway…

Crossing the lake-

After crossing the causeway, we continued on and finally hit the Mississippi State Line.  Arriving in Meridian, we found our hotel, grabbed some dinner, did laundry again and did some more blogging.

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