Thursday, November 17, 2016

Penultimate Pedaling!

  1. Last but one in a series of things; second to the last.

Two fingers for two days of riding left
and victory, of course!  It is amazing that
we are coming down the home stretch
on this very challenging journey!

Glenn took off from Lafayette, LA at 8:30 
this AM heading to Morgan City on LA Rte 
182.  I stayed at the hotel for 90 minutes
to do the laundry to make sure that
we both had our I Care I Cure I Cycle
regalia to wear tomorrow for the 
BIG ride into NOLA!

Here is some listening music to play while you 
read the blog.  Pay special attention to the lyrics
about sugar cane and wind!

This is what I have seen for much of these last two days.
Small towns, flat roads and little traffic.

Well, this has to be my favorite sign of the day!

The Atchafalaya Basin is the nation's largest river swamp, containing almost one million acres of America's most significant bottomland hardwoods, swamps, bayous, and backwater lakes.

The Old Spanish Trail (the OST) was an auto trail that once 
spanned the United States with a full 3,000 miles (4,800 km) 
of roadway from ocean to ocean.    It crossed eight states and 
67 counties along the southern border of the United States.
Much of that trail still exists, and preparations have already begun
 for a decade-long Centennial Celebration to begin in 2019 and end with
 a 2029 motorcade grand finale from St. Augustine to San Diego. 

Today's ride on LA Route 182 is the first time that
we have seen these signs or heard anything about this trail.
The 2019 motorcade could be a fun a car!

Today Dollar General had stiff competition 
on the route from Family Dollar!

Although we did see a few animals along the way,
today was much more about farming.

Slow traffic on LA 182!

Jeanerette, LA is nicknamed "Sugar City" and 
these photos show why that name is so appropriate.  

Sugarcane is a key factor in the economy, with three active sugar mills, one of which was located within the city until it was closed, dismantled, and its equipment sold in the first decade of the 21st century. Jeanerette is the home of manufacturers of equipment for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of sugarcane.

Here's the plant....sugar cane soon to 
cause many a sweet tooth!

This made me laugh!  As I drove out of 
Jeanerette, this was playing on the radio!

A quick stop in a market followed my theme....the
 first aisle I walked down included SUGAR!

A whole shelf of Cajun spices and other products
including Uncle's brand for Uncle Glenn!

Last year we saw so many of these trees and 
I discovered then that the Spanish Moss hanging
from the tree is neither Spanish nor moss :)

Instead, it is a flowering plant in the family Bromeliaceae 
(the bromeliads) which grows hanging from tree
 branches in full sun through partial shade. 

Antebellum home near Franklin, LA

At this point in the day, I left Glenn
with 18 miles remaining for him to ride
and I headed on Rte. 90 to Morgan City.

Morgan City is in sight!

The Attakapas Indians called it Atchafalaya or "long river". Stretching over 135 miles, the Atchafalaya river has been the life line affecting the history and tradition of Morgan City. From its first Attakapas residents to the present day shrimping and oil trade, the river has provided prosperity and opportunity coupled with difficult challenges to many generations. As the tide ebbs and flows along the river, so does Morgan City. The city is a "gumbo" of French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Native and African American heritages blended into a strong belief in faith, tradition and family that define the strength of the city today. 

Today's Stats

Glenn arrived in Morgan City at 3 PM after
a day of sun, heat and head winds.  A
68 mile ride that would normally take him
4 1/2 hours took almost 5 1/2!  Glenn rates
the road conditions a 3 out of 5.  The 
surface was not smooth but the traffic was 
not a problem.  Tomorrow's traffic into
New Orleans could be a challenge!

This is what an X-ray of Glenn's 
lungs would reveal!

Arrival in Morgan City

One more day!

A Glimpse From Glenn

It is somewhat hard to believe that we are one day out of New Orleans. Similarly, where has all the time gone? Three weeks just seemed to fly by. Not only that but one year ago today I was standing in the Atlantic having completed that ride from New Orleans to St Augustine.

I began this ride with much trepidation. For some reason I questioned whether I had the capacity to complete this undertaking. But as the days mounted, I showed that I could and did. I was also amazed by how much I enjoyed the scenery especially from Arizona to Houston. I had thought most of Texas would be wrong I was. Probably my favorite day was from Van Horn to Fort Davis. Not only were the mountains pretty but I especially enjoyed the quiet. Lynn commented that she had only seen one car going in our direction once we got off I-10. This contrasted with the noise and traffic of some of the roads.  I appreciated Chris's suggestion last night to take State Route 182 for the miles on US 90 were wearing on me today. This makes me wonder how things will go tomorrow into New Orleans.

People sometimes wonder how I can do this by myself, not only from a safety perspective but don't I get bored?  I have figured out how to occupy myself and did not listen to a note of music. As Jim knows, I just learned how to break the task down in to doable parts until the day's ride is done.  It is also helpful to know that friends and family have provided support and encouragement. For those who read the blog in a routine basis, I feel a sense of responsibility to not let them down. As Lynn has mentioned I have plenty of time to think about and remember Ian.

The most credit goes to my amazing wife. She is the best helpmate I could imagine. Without her love and encouragement, especially as this ride began, I might have been ready to give up.  We did get off to such a rocky start.  But she got me through it until I got in the rhythm of riding each day.

So as the ride is nearly done  ,I am back to contemplating the next segment which will complete my journey around the lower 48 states. As I have said to many people, the most difficult part may be trying to coordinate the scheduled of the children and grandchildren so we can end it together as a family.

Lastly, I would like to thank those friends and family we met along the way. I appreciated spending time with my sister and Joe in Phoenix.  It was nice to spend time with the Gamiel clan. I might have been able toride in one gear from Houston eastward but being able to shift helped so my gratitude to Evan Green for helping with the battery issue. We appreciated the hospitality of the Feinbergs, Warren and Mary Rich and Don and Denise Stillwagon. Taking the day off in the Woodlands with our good friends was just what the doctor ordered. (I am not sure if it was him or me that this in reference to.) As Lynn mentioned, it was nice to meet up with Mirka and Chris yesterday.  She wins the award of meeting up with us 3 times on these journeys.

Thanks everyone!

Laissez les bons temps rouler
Let the Good Times Roll
but especially let the bike wheels roll!
New Orleans, here we come!



  1. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the sugar cane fields in Louisiana so much Lynn! Unbeknownst to me until Dean told me after we were married, it seems that when our family got sponsorship to come to America, we were headed for the sugar cane fields in Louisiana! But when we got off the plane in New York, other immigrants told him that wouldn't be a good life for us and for my father to try to find other sponsors. That's how we ended up as caretakers for two spinster sisters living on an estate in the Hudson Valley. Now why my father never told us girls about this interesting change in our plans I'll never know. Good thing he loved Dean like a son and confided in him!

    The other interesting item for me was the discussion of penultimate. That word came to have a great meaning for me when, as an adult I tried to recapture my fluency in Polish, my first language. I was a good student all through school...doing my best to assimilate into American life and to learn English and everything else that came my way. Both my parents had only gone through third grade because education wasn't considered important for rural farm kids in Poland. So they couldn't help me with my studies. I remember in either 5th or 6th grade especially where, when we studied new vocabulary words, we also had to mark the syllables that carried the emphasis. Those exercises were a nightmare for me. I learned the words. I understood their meanings. I could pronounce them correctly. But when I had to place the accent mark that indicated the syllable that was emphasized, all that went out the window. It was just a guessing game.

    It was only decades later that I learned that, in Polish, words are typically emphasized on the penultimate syllable! The next-to-last syllable! So my first language, naturally learned and absorbed from the cradle, played havoc subconsciously with those darned exercises in English! I had had never thought twice about that connection when I was younger. Who know that different cultures had such different rules? I knew how to pronounce Polish words from hearing them spoken in my home....but I had never analyzed the emphasis patterns. And of course my parents couldn't help as they probably didn't know that tidbit either...they just spoke Polish as they learned it.

    Life is so fascinating, isn't it?

  2. Wow, Lucie! You have had an amazing life and experiences! Thanks so much for sharing that with us! Happy that our day could bring back all of those memories for you! Glenn wants to know what year you moved to Lakewood.

  3. it's a bit confusing. As we lived on Cross Street in Lakewood when Longia (my older sister by three years) started school. She was in first grade (at age 7??). She'd gone to school in northern France (Valenciennes where I and our younger sister Alicia were born). I remember walking with my mother to the school yard in Valenciennes to pick up Longia and seeing her through the chain link fence. I must have been about 3 as we came to America about two weeks after my 4th birthday.

    Anyway, I remember Longia coming home from school in America and trying to teach the rest of the family some English she was learning each day. So, because it was on Cross Street, I'd have to think that she went to a Lakewood School but I never thought about which one before. The rest of the family stayed on the farm and I don't remember going anywhere the two years we were there.

    Then we moved to a larger chicken farm on Hwy 9 closer to Toms River where I went to North Dover school from first grade to the middle of 4th grade. And that's where I learned most of my English.

    By fourth grade my father had saved enough money for a down payment on property on Prospect Street where we built the house we lived in from then on. I went the second half of my Fourth grade year to the Clifton Avenue school and then went to the Spruce Street School that had just been built for my 5th and 6th grade years. Then the Junior High with everyone else.

  4. Short our house on Prospect Street...December 1959-January 1960.


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