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Day 5 - Cameron LA to Abbeville LA - 95 miles / 153 km
cameron to abbeville

I’m cold.  I get up at 5:30am , take a hot shower, go back to bed. 

I microwave one of the prepackaged breakfast sandwiches. I eat it. Gross. 

After yesterday, I don’t feel like starting off in the dark. I turn on the TV and watch John Roberts (ex MuchMusic DJ, now Fox morning news anchor). I have another breakfast sandwich. Still gross.

I pack and head out. I see my breath in the cold morning air. 

There are no towns that lie on the 95 mile stretch from Cameron to Abbeville.

Cameron Downtown in daylight. Flat concrete slabs and lingering rubble where buildings used to be:

Cameron downtown

Residential area = trailers:

Cameron trailers

Outskirts of town - more slabs - bits of pipe sticking out where toilets and sinks used to be.

Cameron outskirts

A crumpled storage silo mutely sits in a ticket of trees, thrown by wind and caught in time - still there, four years on. 

Cameron silos

Church foundation

Cameron Church

Elementary School

Cameron school

There’s little traffic on the road, but the sky has helicopters crossing back and forth above the road.

"Air logistics” service companies are flying oil rig workers to and from the platforms out in the gulf.  They operate from land bases replete with fleets of helicopters constantly being refueled, and large parking lots filled with the pickup trucks belonging to the rig workers.


Abbeville is 84 miles away.  The morning ride consists of marshland to the south and new prefab homes being mounted on stilts to the north of the road. Some prefabs appear to be assembled from six trailer loads in a 3-wide by 2-long configuration.

prefab homes

The first of many draw bridges appears.  This one seems fully automated – it's unattended, but with fully functional traffic lights and gates.  Also very narrow, with no shoulder for 100 yards.  I look back, confirm no traffic and sprint across.


A common aspect of most rivers/bayous iis that they are industrial routes to the gulf, with rig services operators locating their companies inland (for small protection from gulf storms).

Having studied today’s map, and with less than fond remembrances of yesterday’s wind (which was also today’s wind), I know my last forty miles are going to be into the wind – again. 

I wanted to be sure that I had the strength to finish off the end of the day and was marking time with a slow pace of 10mph, but it's cold. The wind is cold, my feet, hands, head, legs – hey, everything is cold, and I didn't pack cycling clothing for this kind of weather.

Wetlands near the gulf

I double up my cycling socks, coat my legs with TigerPaw muscle balm, put my bandana on under my helmet and over my ears, put on all my tops and use my last pair of socks as mittens.  I still feel cold and not very strong, and with another 80 miles before me, my mood is not good.

Hooray, a change in scenery:

then back to marsh:

My knees hurt, the scenery is flat and boring.  Another drawbridge shows up and beyond it, a highway to infinity.  I take stock of my situation. I have whined my way through the first forty miles and know the next forty are going to be difficult. It's time to proactively take charge of the ride and take it back from the wind.

I re-evaluate road conditions. I have high marsh grass on the north/left side of the road. I'll use that as a bit of a shield against the wind.

The road is straight, in good condition with little traffic.

I take a deliberate food/water/stretch break and commit to doing the next ten miles at 15mph, in contrast to the 10-11mph dithering I've been doing. I will ignore knee pain and cold legs.

The roadside mileage markers, which have been showing up every 5-6 minutes, now start popping up at sub-4 minute intervals.  The road curves northwards and I mentally ready myself for another battle with the wind.

The forceful wind isn't there, at least not how it ripped at me yesterday.  I am HIGHLY encouraged. Yes, the wind gusts, but not anything like yesterday’s soul-destroying experience. Another drawbridge.  I motor through.

Landscape continues with the pattern of farm-like land to the left and marsh on the right, almost like the road is doing double duty as a levee. I'm getting closer – Forked Island, which is no longer a real island but a silted-in piece of land once surrounded by a meandering bayou.

Taylor Bayou

I ramp over another intercoastal waterway, and for the next twenty miles, ride within 3 inches of the white painted line on the edge of the road and swamp on both sides.  Vehicle traffic is respectful, with only the occasionally yahoo blowing his horn.


Another drawbridge, and finally the Abbeville water tower – Yes I love Abbeville, too. 


Cutting through downtown offers up another couple of drawbridges and I ride up to the Executive Inn, my night’s stay.  Room is big, clean and quiet.

The next door Pizza Hut is my dinner destination.  My waiter is an earnest teenager named Blaine, a MASH Radar-look alike who is holding down two part-time jobs to save up to go to an automotive technology program at Houston.  His desire to get away from this small town is palpable.



Dawgs in Pursuit





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