Days and days have passed. Rain, then cold, then rain and cold, but mostly rain. I really don't mind because I'm prone to being lazy and lethargic. I consider the bad weather an aid to my life style, an excuse to carry on. I can stare at the computer and stare at the tv even when they are off. No problem. Not many know this because I fairly regularly produce an epic tale covering some interesting super human achievement on the backsides of a motorcycle accompanied by glorious photographs which solicit oohs and ahs and an occasional guest book notation along the lines of, "man, you rock". Most don't realize my ride reports were stolen from tour documentaries shot around the world. I rent them, then copy each, edit, and send them on to you. I recently rented this one called "Long Way Round". I'm trying to whittle it down into a day ride. You'll get the report when I'm done.
While I was reviewing LWR, I got three emails in succession. One was from Al apologizing for not being able to go on a ride today. Then I got the email where he suggests a ride today. I didn't even ask. He continued prodding me to go anyway. He said I had no excuse with my Arctic ready riding gear which Mark, the previous owner, swore by. Speaking of, then Mark D. wrote. His note was postmarked at some obscene time of the morning and said that he was headed out the door. I knew I'd have to take a ride. If not, I'd have to put up with all of his glorified adjectives accompanied by exclamation marks and smilie faces with no ammunition to fire back. I can be prodded, but it takes time. I finally got away at 12:30 and headed north, being one of the 2 easy directions I can take. The other 2 require an investment in time and miles before the riding even gets interesting. With darkness falling so soon, they were out of the question. And, of course the earlier rain would limit any intense riding down gravel or dirt, them being way too chancy on a top heavy bike. I would have taken the DR but I worried about the constant wind attack. Sitting still, it would be coming at 17 mph from the north. It was probably in the low 60's. Geezus, where was I? If you remember Taxi, you remember Jim. I just had a Jim Moment.
The above really doesn't apply anyway. The truth will set you free.
That was probably way too much explanation for a few pictures. I'm not that use to taking them myself and they are not very good, but I have to when I actually do something so I can remember what happened on that certain day when I did it. I guess I could twitter myself?
Would that work?
I've been beating around the bush. This one is
going to be a little different.
For you all that don't know me...............
Naw, that's Everett. I traded my motorcycle for it
On this outing we don't go that far, but we'll see some
different stuff. Remind me to install a rear view mirror.
I'll have to hurry. I have a rule stating that a previous
outing's report must be written before another ride can
be taken. I have few rules in my life. I was told I must
have at least one so that's one I chose. The others come
and go. Most are forgotten.
On with this quick one.
At the end of Delcombre Road I was sticken by the beauty.
We have so much green down here that brown is a rarity.
Winter lets the brown out. Notice the standing water in the
furrows. We are saturated. Far off in the distance you can
see a truck. While I was there it moved off. I'll bet it was the
last load of cane to go to the mill. I'm sure it was an exciting
moment for the farmer and his hands. Sure was for me and
I don't even know them.
Here's the story from another angle.
North of Cecelia there are roads that connect La.347 to
La.31. This is one of them. It has just received a new
layer. But, it lost something, the large hump that marked
the crossing of the Missouri Pacific Railroad tracks which
had come from New Iberia and were headed to Port Barre.
History has taken another hit. Parents are no longer required
to explain to their children why there is a a big hill on the road.
Motorcycle riders no longer have a great ramp from which to
Yes, they were perfect. The most perfect, and highest, was
the one near Parks next to "The Tracks" bar. You could
always depend on a good and approving audience there. My
BSA Victor 441 was the machine for that job. Landing was
always a crap shoot, but what the heck, if you crashed, someone
would buy you a medicinal beer.
This one in Pecanier is not as high, but for example sake, I shot it.
Upon landing, I didn't see 20 slow children playing.
Not even one.
From there I rode up to US 190 and then west to Port Barre.
At Port Barre, I purposely rode straight north through
town looking for the fire station, the previous location of
one of PB's many railroad stations. I think there were 4
at one time. Anyway, it is not on La.103, the main drag that
crosses the Courtableau.
For a change, I went west into Washington on 359. I might
mention to any motorcycle riders that still read this thing
that 359 from 103 to La.10 in Washington is a very good
ride if speed is not your thing. The scenery is gorgeous, but
the road does have its dangerous issues in spots in the form
of large lateral cracks.
Leaving Washington I headed east on La.10 until La182
broke off and headed north. I followed it for the 1000th
time. It's a farm road with a new surface and great riding.
As pointed out, the green is gone and the land had a new
face to enjoy. I found Cotton Patch Road. I thought
I could go south and explore the area next to the
old abandoned Southern Pacific right of way, but it dead
ended at a farm whose owner has taken over the old road.
Now, there's another case of history lost.
It was muddy anyway so I reversed. I hadn't taken
any pictures going in, but decided to going out.
Sitting atop the Bayou Boeuf bridge I saw these pilings
in the bayou. I think they are from a previous road
bridge, but you know me, I hold out the possibility
that they were from a railroad trestle. I know, I need
to face reality, they seem too wide. But, the bridge
might have served both rail and road travelers. I'll
pursue that argument in a minute. I know the tension
The water everywhere was high. The Boeuf is usually
constrained within a narrow bed. One question I do have
is why didn't this bridge, if a replacement for the other,
takes its place, or was at least closer to the old pilings?
Here's looking upstream. Big water.
Here's the road back to La.182. Notice how straight it is
and that it is elevated evenly.
Red is where I was.
Green is my imagined railroad route.
I also question why La.182 breaks away from the
railroad where the presumed branch would have left the
main line in a "Y" configuration. The road, by taking
a jag, would only have to cross the rails once and not
both legs of the "Y". I haven't had breakfast, so give
me a break.
I was at a place called Boretta. I'm thinking there was
a mill here as it seems to be a hub for farming on the west
bank of the Boeuf. From here the land tilts down to
the west, this land being elevated from the yearly flooding
of the bayou. The next bayou to the west is Cocodrie.
The next railroad to the west was the Texas Pacific
which went into Ville Platte. So, these farms and a
possible mill needed transportion. Bunkie and
Washingon were the only large towns in the vicinity
and roads were not that good. I'll have to check the
Federal Writers Project book on Louisiana, printed in the
early 40's for info on this road back then, if it's mentioned.
Leaving the bayou on my assumed railroad bed, I saw
this farm off in the distance. This was probably a
rare opportunity with the crops down.
There's the quintessential family farm. Notice the large
water tank next to the house. It may have been roof fed
but, probably not, being supplied by a well pump.
Forget that. It's probably a tractor fuel tank placed there
for some reason, maybe even after the house was abandoned.
Next I moved on to Whiteville. Ok you PC guys and gals,
Whiteville was named after Mr. White, so back off, you
have no game here or there if you have the guts to start
something, which I don't believe you do. Oh, PC does not
refer to personal computer, just to be clear. Whoa, I almost
put my foot in it.
From there I went east on WPA Road.
There's a hump out there in the valley of the Wauksha
I like to visit. Sitting atop it I shot south. You can see the
bend the railroad took to the west. Next stop on the RR
would be Garland Station as it was coming from St.Louis (La.).
and further to the north, Barbreck Station, covered in an
I guess it's map time.
Red arrow = Whiteville, I usually show the Whiteville Falls
but they were submerged.
Orange arrow = the abandoned Southern Pacific RR hump.
Purple arrow = what was St.Louis, where we will go.
Blue arrow = Bayou Wauksha (pronounced "walk shure"
by one narrow eyed cretin that tried to kill me driving a
Kawasaki Mule on the Barbreck Ride). I thought I saw
him again on this one, but then there were many trucks
pulling Mules which opens up another big question. I
won't pursue that here as it is a bit conspiratorial in nature.
Now you know where you are going you'll have to wait until
the next page. The dog has gas and I think the heater is blowing
cold air. Might be time for a ride regardless of "rules".
Back on page 2 I was on the hump looking south along the
the old Southern Pacific Railroad right of way.
Then I shot north looking toward St.Louis., at the end of the
I thought about going down there but I wanted to look
at the Wauksha first.
That is looking south. I'll add an interesting note here.
Notice that the water is reddish. One of Wauksha's
tributaries is Red Bayou which originates just north of
Bear Corner Road which is just south of Bunkie. You can
stand on the bridge across it on Bear Corner Rd. I'm
telling you, it's worth the trip. If you go a little further
west on Bear Corner, you cross Bayou St.Clair. It is
Wauksha's other tributary. It's origin is up near
La.115 at Tanner Lake, just east of US 71 and Bunkie.
That's all up this way.
WPA is great primer for a lot of Louisiana Geology. It crosses
a very low area which may have been the route of the Red
and Mississippi Rivers at one time. Of course I say that about
most bayous, but it's food for thought if you are interested.
WPA comes out at Morrow, not to be confused with Moreauville.
There was a train station here on the old Texas &Pacific which
came from Melville through Palmetto and then turned
north at Lebeau and headed up US 71 to Alexandria. Along the
way, the branch from Crowley to Rayne to Opelousas to
VillePlatte intercepted it at Bunkie. I know, this extra info
is priceless. Actually it is. I don't see anyone reaching for
their wallets or purses. Again, I was at Morrow.
That's where the station was. This picture was taken from
the corner of US 71 and La. 107. Here's some more priceless
info, Mark. La.107 from here to Marksville and across the
Red River is one hellava great ride. You can get raccoon
burgers in Plaucheville, you just don't know it when it happens.
I was kidding. No I wasn't.
After exploring a few roads in the Morrow area, I returned
I'll have to tell you, the palmetto is one of my favorite plants.
When the brown starts getting to you, the palmetto is
I turned down the gravel road to St. Louis.
I've been here before but forgot if there was a trestle or not.
There wasn't. But, that's where it had been over the Boeuf.
The approach is to the right of the bike. This picture
does little to illustrate the true height of the fill. But, it
does illustrate how tentative that road was. I never knew
if it would wash out or not. It sure felt soft.
Headed back to WMA, these shots do show it's height.
This is intense bayou land and I doubt if the relief canals
were in place back then.
Closer to WMA the farmer has leveled the fill. It begins
again at the hump. The color along the way was brilliant.
On the way in I shot a very old piece of machinery. It must
have been a small cane mill. The hoist for unloading the
cane was still there. Only the bare trees give a hint of what was.
If you want to get a better look at the tracks and
the countryside between Opelousas and Cheneyville,
Al will be glad to show you. Are you
stealing my bike?