Today’s distance / ???????: 46.8 miles
Average speed / ????: 9.1 mph
Time on skateboard / ????: 5h 07m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 2138mi (plus 266mi)
Ascent / ??: n/a
Descent / ??: n/a
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N20.48.08.5, W093.09.29.2
On the road after a restful day in Mamou, I was feeling better about life today. The sun was shining, I had a stiff tailwind blowing…life was good. The rough 5 miles of road construction on LA104 didn’t even manage to dampen my spirits. The last four miles of LA104 before it hits LA26 is also under construction, so I had that to contend with.
This area is a great rice growing area. Big paddy fields abound. The fields are used for rice one year, and crawfish the next. In the photo below, you can see the crawfish pots in the paddy fields.
I arrived in the small town of Oberlin just in time for lunch. I stopped in at the Tiger’s Den Cafe, hoping to get some beans and rice. “We’re out of beans, sorry,” Marilyn, the cafe owner said. “But we can make you up a big plate of eggs and rice.”
When the big plate of rice was handed to me, the comment was made that perhaps I might need a doggy bag. I made short work of it however, and ate every grain. One of these days I am going to have to make a count of the calories I burn!
I asked how much I owed them for the rice, and Marilyn would have nothing of it. “We get lots of cyclists through here, but not any skateboarders breaking records!” Thank you very much, Marilyn.
Big skies ensued for the rest of the day, evidence for the approaching thunder and hail storms forecast for tomorrow.
I was still skating after dark, when I spied a church. Wednesday night is a big church night in the US, I have noticed. Most churches will have some sort of service or bible study on Wednesday night. Shady Grove Pentecostal Church was no exception.
I was an hour early for the 7:30pm service, but I wandered into the church anyway. It was warm inside. It’s not every day that Pastor Phillips, Pastor Stevens, and Wesley Coon have a cross-country skateboarder attend a service. “We get lots of cyclists,” they said. “But you’re a first!”
After the service I asked if I could camp on the church grounds. Pastor Phillips would have nothing of it, and insisted that I allow the church to provide a motel room for the night for me. “It’s going to be a nasty storm tonight, what with that bad weather coming” he warned. My first motel room for over a year, I couldn’t say no.
Pastor Stevens drove me the 8 miles to DeRidder and got me set up at the motel. We arranged for him to pick me up in the morning and take me back to the church so I could complete those 8 miles from the church to the motel.