#SD2KW, Day 39, De Ridder to Ville Platte, 74 Miles | Rice and Crawdaddies

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All of a sudden we have entered a whole different space: the rice fields. We’ve never seen anything like it, much less had the opportunity to ride bikes through acres and acres of them.

Rice is planted in fields and then the fields are flooded with water. The plants grow in the water until ready for harvest and then the water is drained. Louisiana is the second largest rice producing state in the United States.

The COOLEST thing about the rice fields however is that farmers set crawfish traps in there. Had Chris in DeRidder not shared that, we’d have no idea. Apparently rice and crawfish thrive in clay soil and water so BOOM! The crawfish deposit waste that fertilize the rice field for the next season and the rice plants provide shelter and a breeding habitat for the little critters.

The other animals that like the water? Snakes. Big snakes. They were all dead (I’ll spare you a pic). But… there are a lot of them around the rice paddies. The Gardners will not be throwing their tent up around the rice fields even if they now have a working zipper. Not to mention reconning the area around road side bio breaks have become a little more vigilant.🐍👀

Today was the first day we had even a smidgen of rain and it was just a mist. Riding among the rice fields in overcast skies was peaceful and the 70+ miles passed quickly.

And oh one more thing people have asked about now that they see us wearing differing clothing: what do we bring and how much does it weigh?

Here’s Tom’s packing list. And here is mine. Notice this doesn’t include two liters of water (about two pounds each) and food. Also, we don’t carry a stove or “kitchen”.

Aside from a couple of snack stops and continuing to marvel at the rice/crawfish fields I’d say it was a fairly uneventful day (sans doggos).

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