The cold weather was now resolutely behind me on the other side of a pressure system. With blue skies and breezy crosswinds I pulled in to my friend Kammie's in Natchitoches, LA. The history rich town on Cane River Lake traces it's past back to the French and Spanish colonial period 400 years ago. Cotton plantations dating to the 1800s line the banks of Cane River. I imagine the steamboats, shanty houseboats and rafts floating downstream in days gone by. The next 4 days were filled with booming thunderstorms and inches of rain plinking off the metal porch roof.
Mid-week I prepared to leave and was grateful for the rest, gear reset/repair and fabulous company. Despite the heavy thunderstorm cells and already flooded forests, I set off east for Mississippi. The rain soaked through my pants in 30 minutes and I took few pictures on the back country straight pine lined highways.
Crossing the Mississippi River in Natchez brough back memories of paddling beneath it last summer. With sun finally shining on me and a sweet tail wind, I cruised on down to the town of Bude and to the warm pines of the Homochito NF. The afternoon was ripe for a hike and a cup of Community Coffee Dark Roast as the sun set. Camped at the end of a forest road on a hill, the swoosh of wind in the pines lulled me to sleep.
The following day was dry and allowed me to pack and get riding by 6AM. By noon, thunderstorms blown from the Gulf forced me to seek shelter. Three times I stopped beneath church parking awnings before making it to Pascagoula.
My sister's family down on the Gulf Coast gave me a warm welcome and hearty meals of pork chops, steaks, sausages, potatoes and many fresh salads. For the last few days I've been catching up on maintenance and playing with my nephew. It has been a welcomed break but again I feel the pull of the road. It will be fun to paddle back down here by the end of summer.
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 69'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.