Deep into Cajun country

WASHINGTON, La. — The names in these parts — on businesses, on gravestones and in the phonebook — are Thibodeaux, Fontenot, Terrebonne, Soile, Ardoin, Dupuis, and that’s just a sampling.
The favored brand of coffee is Community Dark Roast. On the menus in the cafes are gumbo, shrimp po boy sandwiches, rice and beans, catfish and Tater Tots. A popular seasoning is Slap Ya Mama.
Slap Ya MamaWe’re deep into Cajun country in southern Louisiana.
Monday’s ride of 54.65 miles from Oberlin to Washington took us through the rice fields of Evangeline Parish to Mamou, which calls itself the “Cajun music capital of the world,” then on to Ville Platte, where Slap Ya Mama is made.
The label on a container of Slap Ya Mama’s says that Evangeline Parish is home of the Cotton, Smoked Meat, Gumbo, Boggy Bayou, Swine and Cajun Music festivals.
Several of the riders in our cross-country caravan stopped in Mamou for an early lunch of grilled shrimp po boys at Maxie’s Cajun Diner, which is next door to the Sixth Street Tavern. A sign in the doorway of the tavern said: “Please no motorcycles in the bar.” I wonder if they’ve had a problem with that.

The old cemetery in Ville Platte

The old cemetery in Ville Platte

The two cooks in our daily rotation stopped in Mamou to buy the makings of a Cajun dinner for Monday night: boudin sausage and dirty rice, accompanied by Abita beer from Abita Springs, La.
According to Wikipedia, Mamou figures in the titles of several Cajun songs (such as “‘Tit Galop Pour Mamou” and “Valse de Grand Mamou“) and in the names of such bands as Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Mamou is also home of Fred’s Lounge, which features live Cajun music every Saturday morning for broadcast on radio station KVPI/1050 AM.



Filed under Americana, Cycling across America, Journeys

4 responses to “Deep into Cajun country

  1. Dad,

    Does the ride provide a daily food stipend when you eat by yourself at local restaurants?


    • Thomas,
      Yes, we get a food stipend. It seems to vary according to the locale. An example is today and tomorrow. Most of the group traveled by rented van to New Orleans for an overnight stay. I and a couple others chose to stay in St. Francisville, La., to relax, do laundry, clean up the bike and explore this historic town. Because there will be no group meals during these two days, everybody got $20 per day for food. If we eat as a group in a restaurant, ride leader Dave Cox pays the tab.
      Love, Dad

  2. flashriversafari

    Hey, Jim —
    Sorry I missed you in Louisiana. Dragging my feet here a bit in Mississippi. Busy chasing stories whilst enjoying the people and atmosphere. Will update my “Timetable” here shortly. Would love to meet up with you at some point to compare notes all the same. All best – Neal

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