Our destination for the day was Metarie, just five miles or so outside of New Orleans. We met Larry in Nebraska while running one of our 50 state marathons. We again met in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and have kept track of each other on Facebook ever since.
When he found out we’d be riding through New Orleans he reached out and invited us to stay with him. Honestly, it didn’t take much convincing, even though it was five miles off route on Lake Pontchartrain. We couldn’t wait to reconnect with our fellow 50 state marathoner bud.
Lake Pontchartrain is… well, it’s huge. And impressive. When riding up over the levee and getting a first glimpse, especially on a bike, it’s unforgettable.
After ensuring our bikes were secured, Larry’s primary concern was seeing to it that we didn’t get out of Louisiana without eating fresh boiled crawfish. Soooo… he presented us with 10 pounds of crawfish and quickly gave us an inservice on how to eat them. The main conundrum? To suck or not to suck the head end once the critter is torn in two. Watch the vid to find out. #NoSpoilerHere
We had a grand time sitting on the balcony of Larry’s condo overlooking Lake Pontchartain, eating crawfish and catching up.
Just when we thought we’d had enough, he cooked up some etouffee. I’m telling you; he knows his way around the kitchen. Our stomachs were full, our hearts warmed and our lips were on fire but we were happy.
We got to taking about the route we took to get to Metarie and Larry said, “Oh Cancer Alley?” What? And then it clicked. I remembered Mike and Sue mentioning the same in their blog. Apparently the 85 mile stretch along the river between Baton Route and New Orleans (the stretch we’ve enjoying so much the last couple days) contains over 200 refineries and petrochemical plants and accounts for 25% of the petrochemical production in the United States. I didn’t count them as I passed them but I’ve never seen so many refineries and such.
But back to Larry… we can’t think of a better way to leave Louisiana than spending time with this man who lives large in his Catholic faith and exemplifies the kindness we have met in Louisiana.
Watch out Mississippi… here we come!
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