Days 5&6: Eunice – De Ridder – Kirbyville (111 miles)

Able to cut across country to rejoin our route, the enforced detour to Eunice only added four miles to the planned 61 mile ride to De Ridder; our last full day in Louisiana. Not the most enjoyable of rides, long, straight, flat roads into a headwind, with only the uninspiring town of Oberlin along the way.

As seems to be the case, whilst tucking into a lunch of chicken burger and chips in Oberlin, a friendly couple got chatting, interested in our journey after spotting the bikes outside (and no doubt our funny clothes). From them we learned that not only are the flooded fields we passed, seedbeds for rice, but those with basket tops are breeding grounds for crawfish. These tiny, freshwater cousins of lobsters are eaten by the bucketful here, with the season in full swing. Louisiana produces 100 million pounds of the crustaceans annually.

Rice / crawfish farming -Louisiana

Our final night in Louisiana was in the small, residential town of De Ridder, straddling Highway 190. Our route today to Kirbyville, Texas continued along the 190 which was busy at times with huge trucks and one lane sections due to long sections of roadworks. Fortunately, there was a wide shoulder most of the way, although it was gravelly and strewn with random bits of tyre, probably from lorry blowouts.

Cattle ranch, lots of baby calves as we entered Texas.

The road surface was noticeably better as soon as we crossed into Texas, with the shoulders pothole free and swept. The people we meet continue to astound with their friendliness and generosity. A lady I spoke with in a shop was in the checkout queue behind me and insisted on paying for my item, she would not take no for an answer. Never happened in Newton Abbot!

It was a relief from traffic noise to find adjacent country lanes the last few miles into town.

2nd puncture of the trip just after crossing the Sabine river, the border between Louisiana and Texas.

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