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Old 06-04-11, 04:59 PM   #1
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More on my trip to South Louisiana

I've had some suggestions about the Mississippi river flooding, etc.

Now that I'm in my slow time at work, I've been able to devote some proper time to route planning, etc. This will be my first tour of more than 3 days.

We are touring on a Surly Crosscheck (me) and a Cannondale t1000 (my son).

We are going to use a Burley flatbed trailer for a bulk of our camping supplies. I've made some homemade trashcan panniers to hold other stuff on our bikes themselves. We were going to alternate days on who has to pull the trailer. Hopefully, this will keep most of the weight off our bikes and prevent spoke problems, etc. I've got some fiberfix spokes enroute now as well.

Heat is a concern to me. We rode 75 miles today. We left out early and were done by noon, and we were hot. I'm reminded that on tour at the end of a hot day like this, we'll still be at a camp 'outside'. We are looking to leave around the 14th or 15th, so I plan to spend much of everyday outside acclimating, since I'm the 'old guy'.

As far as possible routes, here are two distinct possibilities.

1st option
Day 1 - stop in Ruston. This will be a 60 mile day coming from the Arkansas line.
Day 2 - Stop at or a little past Winfield, LA (around 50 miles)
Day 3 - stop at Alexandria, LA (around 50)
Day 4 - Stop at Deridder, LA (a 70 mile day)
Day 5 - Stop at Lake Charles, LA (50 mile day) (motel stop on this one)
Day 6 - Rest day - eat cajun food (motel time here)
Day 7 - Head south out of Lake Charles to Holly Beach. I'm looking at riding highway 27
down to hwy 82 right on the coast.

The day 7 part is where I need advice. Will there be camping down there? There isn't much as far as towns it seems, etc. I'd need to spend the night down there right near the ocean. Here is where I'm looking

At Day 7, it'd be turn around time.

Unless you guys think it was a bad idea, I'd continue down 82 on that map, west, and ride through Port Arthur on TX side and basically trapse our way North to Shreveport, LA, then back to Arkansas.

One of the big goals was to reach the ocean, my 17 year old kid hasn't ever been - so we thought that'd be a nice goal.

The difficulty is that I've never been through any of these places, at all.

I'm relying on the fact that I'm going to find places to stealth camp much of the time, with some legit campsites thrown in occasionally with a few motel breaks tossed in.

Now I said I had two possible ideas, here is the other.

Day 1 Bastrop, LA
Day 2 Tallulah, LA
Day 3 - Cross Mississippi at vicksburg bride on i-20 - I need information here - is that legal? I don't see any other way to cross the river. Any thoughts here appreciated.
At end of day three, heading towards Hattiesburg, however far we get
Day 4 Hattiesburg, MS
Day 5 and onward, working our way down to Gulfport, Long Beach area. Need lots of input here as well.

Which one do you think would be more interesting/dangerous/problematic/etc. . . For instance, the crossing the Mississippi on the interstate 20, legal? Also, will I have problems camping near the coast? Etc.. .

So edify me I appreciate it.

Also, hot weather tips I may not have thought of, feel free to give me any suggestions on staying alive above the obvious drinking copious amounts of fluids.
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Old 06-04-11, 05:09 PM   #2
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It is hot in a tent this time of year.
I use a 5 inch fan.
$6 at kmart, $10 at Lowes.
Well worth it.
Fred "The Real Fred"
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Old 06-04-11, 08:16 PM   #3
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I am curious how this tour goes. My oldest just completed his sophomore year at Tulane and I told him I would either ride to or from his graduation. FWIW, I camped 30 miles southwest of Oklahoma City in July several years ago and I could not find any cool air in a Eureka Solitaire or the ground outside of it. But I did not have any gators to worry about. Deet laden repellant does have a 3 second cooling effect!
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Old 06-04-11, 09:10 PM   #4
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The Vicksburg Bridge Commission is your ticket across the Mississippi. This page from Bicycle Guide to the Mississippi River Trail by Bob Robinson.

Get the fan.
The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me
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