I'm looking at a tour in June/July 2011 (yes, I know it's hot). I'm thinking I'd like to take two days to ride from New Orleans to Venice (the almost mouth of the Mississippi). I'll be riding to Omaha, NE, mostly along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, thus the appeal of starting at the mouth of the Mississippi. Can anyone give thoughts on riding Highway 23 from New Orleans to Venice? I'd like to ride down in one day and back in the next. Google places it at about 80 miles each way, which is a bit long for me, but doable (while I prefer 60 mile days, I've ridden 100+ days with full packs before).
How's the traffic? Any camping down there? (I just wrote an email to the Venice Marina asking what they could offer.) Any information would be greatly appreciated.
I did find the Louisiana bicycle map: https://www8.dotd.la.gov/estore/products/105-louisiana-bicycle-map-2007-folded.aspx, which is helpful, but personal stories are always valuable