Trails and White Bicycles

Continuing on our coastal seafood cruise, we left the Gulf just in time to avoid the rain and flooding around Houston. We saw a video of the Elks Lodge where we stayed in Katy, Texas and water was flowing fast in the streets. Twenty inches of rain in Houston… Cameron, Louisiana was also underwater. Keep moving!

We are more or less headed toward Chattanooga to get some work done on the bus at the Choo Choo Garage. Jim’s project list is growing and we will be there several days. It will be a good break for me so I can catch up on work and get comfortably ahead on my magazine issues.

After all this eating, we needed to get in some bike riding so we went from Cameron to Mandeville on the north shore of Lake Pontchatrain. We have ridden the Tammany Trace before but it is a really good trail and Mandeville is loaded with good food. Jim especially wanted to get back to Liz Whar Y’At? for the seafood scrambler for breakfast. We cruised in on Sunday morning, ate breakfast and didn’t eat anything the whole rest of the day. Eating like snakes.

We got in 60 miles on the trail and it was just as pleasant as we remembered it. Except for the white bicycle… I hate seeing those because it means a bicyclist died where it stands.

We saw this place on the way to Darwell’s but we were on a mission. DSC_7338
After Mandeville, we had to check out Long Beach, Mississippi and Papa Darwell’s Cafe. He is a bus friend on Facebook and my mouth has been watering for months at all the special southern specials they serve. Time to see for ourselves. We got there right before the early dinner rush and I tried the Red Beans and Rice with grilled smoked sausage. And a side of crawfish etouffe because the girl at the counter gave us a sample and it was heavenly. Jim had blackened snapper covered with the crawfish etouffe. Needless to say, we ate as much as we could but there was still plenty left over for dinner.

From Long Beach we aimed the bus for Piedmont, Alabama and The Chief Ladiga Trail. Jim had located a campground right on the trail but there were no hookups and we briefly considered parking at a Walmart while we rode the trail. Boy, are we glad we didn’t! This was our view from the bus.
And our site where the kitties got lots of outdoor time. Even Astrid came out!
Terry was the congenial host. Terry “likes to talk” and we enjoyed chatting with him each evening and his sister-in-law, Debbie gave us a set of cool coasters she made. Thanks, Debbie and Terry!
The Chief Ladiga Campground is easily one of the very best places we have ever been parked. We had the whole place to ourselves and picked a shady spot right near the river. The kitties got to go on walks and we rode another 62 miles. The Chief Ladiga Trail hooks up with Georgia’s Silver Comet Trail so we got to finish riding that trail section we had missed a couple years ago. Of course eating was on the agenda and we rode the 17 miles to Cedartown and had lunch at Cedar and Smoke. The crispy Georgia catfish was sublime and I ate it all!

The weather was perfect for riding, overcast and not too cold or hot. Some scenes along the trail…
And unfortunately, another ghost bicycle.
The fields are overloaded with these tiny yellow flowers and everything is in full pollen and bug mode. It is literally raining bugs and pollen. Jim wears his sunglasses but I just use a visor and my eyes were full of bugs and pollen! Spring in the south.
The morning we left we didn’t have far to go so we decided to scope out the Solid Rock Cafe for lunch. A lady in Piedmont had stopped us on the street and highly recommended it and Yelp gives it many thumbs up. It was Sunday and when we got there we found it was just a Sunday buffet. We normally don’t like buffets; the food is cold and scarce but since we couldn’t order off the menu and were starving we decided to go for it.

What a great decision! It was like somebody’s southern grandma cooked us Sunday dinner! Beef, chicken, squash casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, salad, lots of desserts, sweet tea and ice cream. Groan… It was all so delicious. Again, no need for dinner that night. On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand. Trust the Loving Universe!

On to Chattanooga!


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