Friday, April 9, 2010

Cleveland to Silsbee, TX (64 miles) Friday, April 9, 2010

(First, I want you to know that after Dave got home, he composed a letter from HIS point of view on his day of bike riding with us from Kerrville to Blanco, TX.  It was just added today on the April 3 blog post.  It is worth the read!)

This morning, after making an early run across the parking lot to WalMart for my 100 sun block, we all got ready for a 7:30 departure to Silsbee.  WomanTours provides us with a table full of energy bars, fruit, nuts, Gatorade mix, as well as fixings for peanut butter sandwiches for us to eat on the road.

Today was only 64 miles, but it was flat and smooth!  Actually, the road rarely even turned!  Mike, Alayne, JoAnn Klassen and I headed out together.  There wasn't much traffic, except for the huge logging trucks hauling big loads of telephone pole-sized logs.  Whenever the trucks went by, we could smell the aroma of freshly cut pine trees.  It made me think of Christmas trees!  This region of Texas is called, "Piney Woods,"  and it seems to have a mixture of very tall pine trees and hardwoods.  These trees made a natural wind block, so we did not feel much of the wind that was causing the pine tree tops to bend in the breeze.  These trees are actually the result of years of replanting for use in commercial logging.

One of the recommended places to stop was "Cindy's" for coffee.  It had now become "Lona's" which some of the riders missed.  The new owners promptly made a sign that they posted by the road.

At one of the Sag stops, there was time to take some photos as the mini-groups rolled in.  Shelley Hatcher was Sag Captain for today, and we all were enjoying the ride for today.

Many of us stopped at "Mama Jacks' buffet" for lunch.  The parking lot was filled with white trucks (It seems like everyone has white pick up trucks!), and with few exceptions, the place was filled with just men.  Large men.  The buffet was our first introduction to Cajun cooking, most of it battered and deep fried, with lots of crayfish dishes!  Mike decided to try a sampling, but the rest of us decided to take advantage of choices from their paper menu.

Today is our "Farewell to Texas."  Tomorrow we will leave Texas, cross the Sabine River, and enter Louisiana's Cajun Country.  We will ride 72 miles to the city of Lake Charles, Louisiana, pop. 72,000.

Tomorrow will be 80 miles to Lake Charles, LA.