Rachel, Jim, and Jan

Hank – Shotgun blasts rang out off in the distance in the early dawn. (Later I learned today was the last day of duck season.) I had oatmeal and Kathy had a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. We hit the road early. Today’s destination was Sulphur, Louisiana and the home of Rachel Benglis, our Warm Showers host.

We followed US Highway 90 for a while and then got on back roads taking us northwest to Moss Bluff, thus avoiding the traffic and dangerous bridges in Lake Charles.

Fox’s Pizza Den opened at 11:00. We arrived 20 minutes later. I ordered a small Hawaiian. Kathy got a small BBQ chicken pizza. They were great. We lingered there since we only had 18 miles left and it was only 12:30.

The rest of the ride went smoothly. The roads were still pretty quiet. We had one detour to take. There’s a huge construction project expanding the nearby oil and gas refineries. The public roads going through there are no longer public roads so we went around.

We arrived at Rachel’s house and she gave us a hug. She introduced us to Jim, her steady, and her friend Jan. Jim is quite the cook. He fried up some garfish, another first for me and Kathy, and made rice with a sauce that had crab and fish in it. Real Cajun food. It was delicious. I had seconds.

We were chatting after dinner and the subject of Cajun music came up. “You want to hear some Cajun music?” Rachel asked. Absolutely!

We went to a local bar but the band wasn’t playing tonight. Bummer, but we didn’t let the night go to waste. We had a couple of drinks and talked like there’s no tomorrow. Remember the French couple Kathy and I came across in Biloxi? The ones hauling two kids in a trailer? They also stayed at Rachel’s house.

Jim told us that what I thought were termite mounds were actually crawfish holes. The crawfish burrow down and push the mud up, creating a tunnel. Now we know.

We finally had to call it a night. Our hosts leave at 7:30 am tomorrow so we’ll be leaving early as well.

Kathy – Today was another beautiful day of riding in Louisiana. Sun with temps in the low 60’s greeted us during our 49 mile ride. Our views varied from swamp lands, to flooded rice fields, farm lands, oil refineries, and many small towns in between. We had nice shoulder areas to ride on and when we didn’t the cars and trucks gave us lots of room when passing us. Nice folks here.

It was a little scary crossing a bridge approximately three miles long with no shoulder. It was two lanes in each direction. We had to take part of one lane. The cars were going very fast.  It was a high bridge at times and also very winding. We had our bright yellow jackets on to be seen well but Hank also weaved his bike back and forth so the cars and trucks would see us in one lane and then move over to the other.  It was frightening at times but everything worked out just fine.

We met Rachel, Jim and Jan, our Warm Showers hosts.  What a great bunch of people! We really enjoyed our conversations with them throughout the evening.  Jim made a fantastic dinner and our time chatting at the bar with them was wonderful.  Yes, a band playing Cajun music would have been good to hear, but I really enjoyed our time chatting with Rachel and Jim.  These two have been though a lot yet they are selfless and strive constantly to help others. They really are amazing people. We had a outstanding evening getting to know them and look forward to more conversations in the morning.

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