Today’s distance / ???????: 51.7 miles / 83.3km
Average speed / ????: 8.9mph / 14.8km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 5h 49m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 1865mi (plus 266mi) / 3002km (plus 430km)
Ascent / ??: n/a
Descent / ??: n/a
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N188.8.131.52, W090.06.17.2
Anyone from this area will tell you it is not 51 miles from Slidell to Convington. They will tell you it’s about 35 miles. Where did the extra miles come from, you might ask. They came from going around and around in circles, trying to find smooth and traffic free roads. Back roads, side roads, main roads with shoulders…anything that I could skate on safely. None were to be found today however, and for the first time in the US, I seriously considered skating on the Interstate highway (big nastly expressway).
I began the day well, despite having to say goodbye to lovely Renee and Jamie who had let me stay for a couple of days and see the Mardi Gras parade in Slidell.
By chance, I stopped in at a huge strip mall in West Slidell, and leaving the car park, I noticed some signs indicating bicycles crossing. Investigating further, I found that I was at the beginning of the Tammany Trace, an awesome 31 mile cycle path from Slidell to Covington. Fantastic. The great thing about a cycle path is that I can listen to music at full volume and just switch off. No having to concentrate on staying within a road shoulder, no contending with stones and glass on the road…bliss.
I arrived at Covington at the end of the trail at about 4pm. From here I headed to US highway 190, but soon gave up on that one due to no paved shoulders and too much traffic. I took some back streets back to Covington, and ended up camping out at a public boat launch in Menetre Park in Covington. Just before I got into my tent a local police officer on his regular rounds passed by and asked what I was doing. They don’t get too many people camping out in that area, and he had to call another officer to see if it was OK. It seems it was, him letting me stay. I gave me the local police dapartment phone number to call if I had any troubles, and reassured me that officers would be coming by regularly on rounds and would keep an eye on my tent.