Tour Notes for Day 3: April 12, 2004
Washington to Mamou
Mamou to Eunice
The morning in Washington
The gym campers again get up early as others move around in the gym. Bruce and Bev got up around 6:15 AM to pack and go meet the other Team Sarcoma members at 7 AM at the Steamboat Restaurant. However, they wanted to have a cup of coffee before leaving so they went to the kitchen first. When they got there, Tom (the bicyclist they had met the day before on the back porch) was talking with the owners of the home. He mentioned that, when he researched the Cycle Zydeco bike tour, he found that the Washington, LA region was known for Civil War Re-Enactments. This launched their hosts into some wonderful recollections about the three productions which they personally had organized and which formed the genesis of such re-enactments in the area. Tom also had one of the Paul Lastrapes’ books, “Looking Back at Washington, LA” and he described some of its content.
Bruce and Bev bought a copy of the book and packed it in one of their bags and set their bags outside of the Cove to be picked up. They then walked down to the Steamboat Restaurant, but were late for their scheduled rendezvous. When they arrived the rest of the team was very close to finishing a breakfast of grits, grillades (beef tips), eggs, biscuits, frozen orange juice and coffee. Given this, Bruce and Bev decided to walk over to the gym and ride their bicycles back. They returned to Steamboat to eat breakfast and learned that Paul Lastrapes was nearby and would autograph his book. Since their bags were already loaded on the truck, they bought a second copy (the first copy will, obviously, be a nice gift for someone). Paul not only autographed the book but showed them a drawing he had just received of “Seven Brothers’ Oak” which was quite beautiful. They had breakfast with two nice ladies from North Carolina.
On the road to Mamou
John began cycling to Mamou immediately after breakfast, much sooner than everyone else. Mark and Daniel had begun biking shortly after they left the restaurant. Tom, Rich, and Liddy began biking after Tom and Rich (once again) pumped their tires. Bruce and Bev emerged from the restaurant just as Liddy, Tom and Rich were peddling away. After leaving Washington, we were supposed to see the Magnolia Ridge Plantation. Liddy, Tom and Rich missed it. Bruce and Bev met Mark and Daniel about 10 miles along the way. It is a very pretty day for biking. It was sunny, with no head winds and no hills. We biked through mile after mile of farmland that is being used to grow rice.
Liddy, Tom and Rich biked the first 20 miles, waiting to pass John as they passed the rest of the Team Sarcoma riders. They stopped at the Olivier Store for water, derailleur adjustments for Rich, and snacks for Tom. After the snacks and waiting for Rich who was using the services of the bike mechanic (again), John showed up. No one understood how John was passed and not noticed. Gradually, the rest of the Team arrives at Olivier’s. Tom applied sun screen to Liddy, which she clearly doesn't enjoy.
The Team departed in separate groups for Mamou. After another 11 miles (we're now at 32 miles for the day), we stopped across the street from Fred's Lounge in a lot where a bar-b-que was being sponsored by the Mamou Athletic Boosters. We ate hamburgers, boudin, and nachos in the lot, most of which was in the very bright sun. None of us spend much time in Fred's Lounge.
On the road to Eunice
There were two choices for the ride to Eunice from Mamou: an 11-mile short route which Bruce, Bev, Mark, Daniel and John took and an 18-mile long route, which Liddy, Tom and Rich took. The longer route is very sunny and Liddy, Tom and Rich stop at the one tree whose shade reaches the road for a rest stop. Rich was drinking too much, and they stopped frequently for him. Plus his shoulders started to bother him, probably the position on the road bike. They also stop at a crawfish processing plant, and listen to one of the Cycle Zydeco volunteers discuss how to crawfish while they replenish their water. Bruce and Bev stopped at Mel’s Quick Stop on the way to Eunice, attracted by a sign that read “Smoked Ponce”. Mel was quite happy to explain the process he used to clean, stuff and smoke the ponce.
In Eunice that evening
Biking into the town of Eunice itself was eerie; there were very few people on the roads and all of the stores seemed closed. Various Team members stop at the American Legion Hall. John buys cookies, supporting the local cheerleaders. After Bruce and Bev finish relaxing and drinking some refreshments at the American Legion Hall, they walk down the street to register at the Potiers Prairie Cajun Bed and Breakfast where they will be staying that evening. They were told by Liz Potier, one of the owners of the B&B that they had been moved to the “White House” another house that she and her husband, Paul, own. Liz walked Bruce and Bev over to the White House, where Bruce and Bev have two rooms. Paul drove Bruce to the Eunice Junior High School gym, where Liddy, Tom, Mark, Daniel, Rich and John are staying. Some of the gym campers didn't want to wait in the shower truck line so they made do with the very cold water showers of the gym. Bruce invited Liddy and Tom to sleep at the White House that evening.
Liddy and Tom elected to stay at the gym, but Mark and Daniel come back with Bruce and Paul to the White House. Paul gives all of them and Bev a tour of the house, which has many interesting stories associated with it. In the "How’s this for a coincidence category?", the woman that John danced with last night in Washington is staying at the White House as well. Bruce and Bev take a very hot bath in a Jacuzzi and relax their tired bones.
All of us eventually wind up back in front of the American Legion Hall where we were treated to boiled crawfish.
We then went to the well known Liberty Theater to watch the “Rendez-Vous des Cajuns Cajun” music variety show which was broadcasted on both the radio and TV. The MC would initially talk with the musicians and the audience in French and eventually talk in English. Bruce and Bev dance during the variety show.
We then returned to the front of the American Legion Hall for a dinner of crawfish etoufee with rice, peas, salad and cake. The gym campers head back to the gym for an early night around 9 PM, and end up sleeping surrounded by some very loud snorers.
Bruce, Bev, Mark and Daniel returned to the White House, and talked with Liz and Paul, hearing interesting stories of his involvement in his pharmacy, race horses, selling his businesses, and buying and restoring the White House, her career as an RN and the businesses they began and sold together.
Copyright © 2003 The Shriver Family: Last modified: 01/06/04.