Day 19: Waiting out Hurricane Ike in De Ridder, LA

We arrived in De Ridder, Louisiana yesterday afternoon. With the pending arrival of Hurricane Ike in Texas in the next day or so, we are waiting here until we can determine the best and safest course of action. Our plan is to ride to Jasper, TX tomorrow or as soon as practical, but we’ll have to see what the weather holds in store. The owner of the Stagecoach Inn where we are staying provided us with an additional night at no charge, so we are greatly appreciative of that. He said that the folks at the local Sherwin-Williams store had taken care of him over the years, so this was one way that he could return the favor.

After enjoying the motel’s breakfast buffet, we rode our bikes into town to visit the Sherwin-Williams store. Things had calmed down quite a bit since yesterday, and we were able to enjoy a nice visit with Tracey, her assistant manager Dustin, and associates Candace and Sue. They gave us t-shirts that were signed with personnel messages of good luck from all of them, as well as gift bags with a good assortment of snacks for the road.

We rode our biks back to the motel, then collected a few items that we’d been carrying that we didn’t feel we needed any more, mainly some extra clothes, and maps no longer needed. We took a walk to the post office to ship them home, the walked to Cecil’s restaurant, where Tracey and Candace treated us to lunch.

After lunch, we did some more exploring around town, including a very interesting tour of the Beauregard Parish Museum, courtesy of Curator JD Hanchey. He’s shown in one of the photos below with one of his favorite items, a painting that hung in his boyhood home. There was also an old antique shop, and then we spent some time at the public library catching up on e-mail and uploading photos.

One curiosity we saw all over town was an abundance of flying black insects, which looked like smaller fireflies (but without the glowing tails). They were caked all over the front-ends of vehicles, and seemed mostly to be attracted to bright white surfaces. We asked the locals about them, and they are commonly called love bugs, since most of them that you see are seen as a mating pair, even while flying. They said that the bugs usually come out twice a year (although this was the first time they had appeared this year), and stick around only for a couple of weeks.

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3 Responses

  1. Hey Kik/Ray – Hope you’re still sitting out the bad weather. Probably not a fair test for that foul weather gear. I’m guessing by now, at least one of you must be itching for a quick spin on a light road bike. Nothing like a 40mph decent on 700X23 tires. Anyhow, congrats on the Plain Dealer and MC Herald pieces. Very nice press. And Ray, yes, their probably was some bacon fat in those beans!
    -Keven

  2. Keven, while killing time in De Ridder yesterday, we did ride our UN-loaded bikes around for the first time since departing. What a difference! A bike that actually keeps going for a while when you coast! -Kevin

  3. WOW the weather must be tough! In Ohio we had winds 80mph. It would have been a great tail wind but the flying tree limbs may have been tough to dodge! Glad to hear/see you are safe.
    You guys rock! Congratulations on the progress thus far. I can’t wait to read more.
    Anne and the animals…

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