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Saturday, June 4, 2011

DAY 139: MERRYVILLE - LONGVILLE, LOUISIANA

After a night of sweltering humidity and heat, was up 2 hours before daylight, cooked up my porridge, checked our Blog, and dressed for our first walk of the day. Today, we walk BACK to the Texas Border because we drove the 6 miles last evening from the border to MERRYSVILLE, LOUISIANA.

SAM got back into the roll of things today. As always, she came down off her platform with all systems working and away we walked and rolled.

It was 6 miles back to the border, which is the Sabine River. I have been surprised by all the standing and running water encountered the past week. The Sabine River is quite beautiful. It has been dammed upstream into a VERY large lake. It enters the Gulf of Mexico at PORT ARTHUR, Texas Bay.

There were Hunting / Fishing "Clubs" along US 190, threatening Prosecution for any Trespassers. A number of sportsmen were fishing under the US 190 bridge, which has a public parking area. I knew I had a long day ahead of me, so did not go down to chat with them.


A nice reflection...this shoreline is a "Club" area, closed to all except Club Members.

The Sabine River, looking upstream from the US 190 bridge.

Our first French words...Welcome to Louisiana.

Heard so much during my life of Beauregard, was surprised to see this sign...Beauregard Parish = Beauregard County.

US 190 as it enters Louisiana...note the "rumble strips". In Texas, rumble strips were omitted from the roadways...so as not to inhibit driving on the Shoulder (Berm).

Was so very pleased to see the Louisiana sign "NO DRIVING ON SHOULDER". Guess more folks than me are not too pleased with the State of Texas driving practices.

Typical of many man y "Club" signs. For miles on end, areas are closed to the public in favor of private Hunting / Fishing Clubs.

MERRYSVILLE is not the only town with "Dixie Youth Field" facilities. Sports appear to be important in these parts.

Many waterways flow beneath bridges on US 190 and Louisiana State Highway 110 (runs between MERRYSVILLE and LONGVILLE, LOUISIANA...my walking route for today.

The water is always dark...probably because of the bottom colors and so much rotting vegetation. I refer to these water as the Black Lagoons.

I stopped to study a few of these waterways...nope, no snakes...no alligators...YES, two Turtles !

Even Black Waters give back reflections.

A Turtle was sitting on that white fallen tree on upper right of the photograph. Was too slow with my camera and he quickly went "kerplunk" when my shadow fell across the limb.

SAM was happy to be active again. I chose this road because of the limited traffic. But, wouldn't you know it...SAM, running on solar power & me walking along side going "with the traffic"...a vehicle approached from behind...and for once I did NOT turn to look - but I DID wave with my left arm while wearing my White Gloves.

Did not help...the car, a new powder blue sports car, actually HIT my pants leg and left shoulder sleeve. He did NOT hit my body. He nearly came to a stop after going by me...I don't believe he even saw me until he brushed past me.

I don't even think about such encounters. If I did, I would still be sitting back in BELLINGHAM on the couch - or wherever I am allowed to call "Home" these days....Yes, there is a message there.

SAM was running on her Solar Power for most of the day, as she was when I took this photograph. Had to run after her as I stopped to take the pic & she moves right along.

I was told that two days ago it was 110 F. here. Today is close to the same, with very high humidity. I took 10 minutes out (which I simply NEVER do), lay down on some grass alongside a rancher's driveway and left SAM to cool off under this big tree. I actually dozed off for a few minutes.

The heat and humidity is not easy to get accustomed to. Am taking shorter walks, but still get tired more quickly. If I sneak in a short trucker's nap, I do much better afterward. A "trucker's nap" is a 5 - 10 minute shut-eye during long hauls...Probably should not admit this, but I have 3 times driven Coast to Coast in 48 hours flat (BELLINGHAM to NEW YORK or PHILADELPHIA, or WASHINGTON D.C.), taking two or three "trucker's naps" en route. I know, I know...I have yet to put my first dent or paint scratch on ANY vehicle, so call me stupid...call me lucky.

DAILY UPDATE: Walked 32 miles today...all with SAM - what a pleasure.

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 32 miles @ $0.02 = $0.64 for the day.

We are spending the night in the parking lot of a EXXON Service Station which just happens to have an excellent - and inexpensive - restaurant. This evening, met a wonder old Gent, Mr. DeBose, a lifetime local resident who joined me while I was finishing off a slice of Pizza. Mr. De
Bose suggested I try the Cat Fish, which I have never eaten before. I did. It is excellent. Cat Fish is reared in ponds for commercial use. Only private folks catch the big guys from the rivers.

In the morning, will leave SPIA (and maybe SAM, too, although, she is ready to roll; and walk the 7 miles to where US 190 takes a 90 degree left towards BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA. Initial destination will be the town of KINDER, LOUISIANA, about 30 miles out.

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