It started well enough. I got an early start and with the heavy overcast it was a cool morning.
I was less than 10 miles down the road when I saw a pond with many birds.
When I looked closely at the bird closest to me, I realized I was seeing my first spoonbill in the wild. The beak does not show up well but it is the only non-white bird in the picture.
Unfortunately, this was pretty much the highlight of the day. My "great views of the river" were pretty consistently blocked by the levee (on the left).
On top of that, when I made the effort to climb up onto the levee, it appeared the river was even farther away. I either saw the equivalent of a dry river bed or a grassy ditch. One of the better sights beyond the levee was
Adding injury to insult, I was on a stretch of over 20 miles of very poor road surface. In fact, by the end of the day, I was thinking of an old Duane Eddy number called "40 Miles of Bad Road". In my case it was more like 65-70. I was kept alert by trying to find the smoothest part of the road which was often the oncoming lane. Fortunately, there was very little traffic, especially oncoming. In some places, the "repair" of the road amounted to a thin layer of asphalt. This layer looked like someone drove on it with some piece of heavy equipment making the repaired surface something akin to a rumble strip.
The most interesting discovery of the day was the Old River Control Project. There is great information about this at http://www.johnweeks.com/river_mississippi/pages/lmiss23.html
While dodging bumps in the road, I couldn't resist a shot of our old friend Kudzu.
After all of the miserable bumpy roads I was on, it was great relief to turn onto State Highway 10 with a smooth shoulder separated from the traffic lanes by a rumble strip. Wouldn't you know that is where I would get a flat tire!
After changing tubes, I was within sight of the bridge across the river that would take me to my final destination of the day.
Data for the day