Tammany Trace – Day 1

When I broke my ankle in October, my bike riding was put on hold for a few months. After several weeks of physical therapy and a month of persistent stationary bike training, I was anxious to get back on the trail. As soon as my orthopedic doctor released me, Joyce and I planned a trip to Louisiana to bike the Tammany Trace.

Amtrak Waiting Room in Atlanta

On Monday, March 5th, we boarded the Amtrak Crescent in Atlanta with our folding bikes and loaded panniers bound for Louisiana. The 12 hour train ride to Slidell, located on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain, was relaxing and uneventful. We decided to eat lunch in the dining car, which was an unexpected treat. The food was delicious, and we enjoyed our conversation with two ladies from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Due to freight train traffic, our projected arrival time was delayed by two hours. Fortunately, we were not under any time constraints that would make the delay any more than a slight inconvenience. The soothing motion of the train is better than a sedative, gently rocking me to sleep. While Joyce read her newspaper and her next book club selection, I took a long nap. After my nap, Joyce taught me how to play cribbage, and we spent several hours in the lounge car playing cards and staying warm. The coach cars were colder than I recalled from previous train trips, and I had to put on several layers of clothes to tolerate the chill.

Camellia House B&B

Since our anticipated arrival in Slidell was delayed several hours, we decided to eat dinner in the snack bar onboard. After deboarding the train about 9 PM, we arranged for transportation to Covington via Uber. The 25-minute ride to the Camellia House B&B passed quickly as we conversed with our driver, a local resident who shared insights about the Northshore and his family.

Camellia House Porch

When we arrived at the B&B, Linda, the owner, greeted us and gave us a quick tour of the restored, southern home filled with antiques and modern conveniences. Our suite had a large bedroom, bath, and a separate enclosed terrace with a twin bed and kitchenette. We had access to a private porch with a swing overlooking the pool and hot tub in the garden below. Exhausted from a long day on the train and feeling the one hour time difference, I had no difficulty falling asleep.

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