|Dates:||7 Feb 2017 - 29 Mar 2017|
|Duration:||1 month, 2 weeks|
Mysterious velocipedic perambulations
Changing to Bus Travel now
Big news - I decided to send the bike and gear home (to Maine) and will disembark from Kerrville, TX on a bus to visit the twins in Utah tonight. I will still add to this blog, so stay tuned.
Last photo of the lonely Dog.
After a night of the craziest storms I've ever witnessed, I awake to chirping birds, sunshine, and a tent that, unbelievably, stayed staked down in the wind!
Camp is made and me and the bike are reunited.
Holding out for a Velocity NoBS rim to arrive MONDAY. Thankful for the reasonably priced hostel I am calling home for this next little while. Trying not to get too down about the whole scenario.
The wheel rim is still on order, so I'm waiting! Wonder if the universe is trying to dissuade me from continuing on!
Another waiting period - don't know about the bike or if the part has come. Bicycle Sport Shop is open today and tomorrow though. There's hope.
Me and Princess at the Blue Cat Cafe
Walked to the post office to mail my Prescott Park contract, and found out the rim the bike shop ordered was damaged. Waiting at least another day.
At the hostel, cereal and a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich and some coffee. Good stuff.
Waiting for the phone to charge! Dropped off the bike at Bicycle Sport Shop, and they will build a new rear wheel tomorrow.
The Lonely Bull
So, this is what I did today. Gave the maps a thorough going-over while waiting in Bastrop, TX for another day. I liked the RV park so much, and it's cheaper than staying in the city. The state park outside the city was also full. So I decided to stay put, and to make the 33 miles or so tomorrow. Hopefully the part the Austin bike shop needs will arrive tomorrow, meaning I will only need to stay in the city for one night. Fingers crossed.
Hoping to camp outside Austin tonight. Only 30 miles to make, so I am squatting at a corporate coffee shop for a bit. These past couple days have felt good pace-wise, killing time until a part comes in to a bike shop in Austin.
Lovely Bastrop RV Park.
Really tired, but made it to Dixieland RV Park safely. Grateful for a good day of riding, even though the hills slowed me down a bit.
Ron, Eastbound. Book recommendation: "The Road I Ride."
Big sky, baby!
Subway - sub of the day is Tuna. Fish Fridays?
Where I will settle in for the night: Shepherd Sanctuary.
Coffee in Honey Island.
Eric of Bicycle Sports in Beaumont, Texas, was a kindred spirit.
Thank you, Butch and Judy, for the wonderful stay.
Hopefully the bike will be ready today!
Waiting for bike to get tuned up for the push West!
Embarking today after a rest day in Deridder, LA.
Crawdads were being farmed here.
Well if you say so.
Bunkie Fire Department.
Made it to Perry's Bike Hostel.
Planning session over the best apple fritter I've ever had, from the Donut House, Franklinton, LA.
Putting the coy dog to bed. I am not far behind!
The Alabama River
Alabama Dirt Road Randonee
Thanks be to God, I am leaving Route 69 for a while.
Morning on the Tombigbee River
Red buds, I think.
I had never seen a pile of timbers this big.
Early start: gotta make Linden in good time.
So long, Mississippi.
Searching for that balanced sound.
Lunch with the cousins.
Lee gave me four wooden nickles from a cedar tree his father planted. I placed one in each pannier.
I had Old Highway 25 all to myself.
My patron saint (my confirmation name too!)
Mattubby Creek outside of Aberdeen, MS
Miss you and Jim and the family already, Acel. Thank you for caring for this wanderer.
Cousins Beverly and Melvin. So glad I got to see them once more.
Ate here with Granny and Aunt Jess almost 14 years ago, and ate here today by myself before heading to Peaceful Valley and the Burdine Cemetery.
Wonder about these fields behind the Newton home.
Spring with the beech tree and the bike in view as well.
Site of the old Newton homestead. The land was also home to the Sloan's and Wamble's at various times, too.
The Big Tennessee -Tombigbee Waterway
Granny's/Aunt Red's Home - 407 S 6th St
Flat tire! Fortunately, it happened in Granny's old neighborhood where she rented a home in the mid-1990s. Acel brought me my pump, and we then visited Granny's rental home at 407 6th Street in Amory.
Pickle's Handy-Mart - a fiberglass igloo.
Acel and Jim invited the cousins for dessert.
Granny's resting place at Burdine Cemetery.
Spring my grandmother and the Newtons used.
The spring my grandmother and her family used. It still gives potable water!
Beech Tree behind the site of my grandmother's childhood home in Itawamba, MS.
Jim and Acel helped me shed some weight from the Coy Dog. I sent home 16.7 lbs worth of stuff - some of which I hadn't used at all over the past two weeks, some I had, but had to let go.
Foggy morning in Amory, MS
Hung out at a Jack's, a super-friendly, regional fast food restaurant, for the wifi and to warm up from a day of wet riding! I will camp at a town park tonight. I was able to check with the police about it, and they were more than helpful when I did.
This is Deb and Ed. They were wonderful hosts, and enthusiastic world travelers themselves. Thank you, Ed and Deb, for the warm welcome and visit, and for sending me on my way refreshed and ready for the push to Carbon Hills! It was very nice to meet and be friendly with Jack, the welcoming-committee dog, too. Farewell, and see you when you swing by my neck of the woods!
I want to learn more about this and other sister-cities, and thanks to my host for the night, I will learn of how Colonel Cullman came to settle this hilly country that reminded him of Bavaria in the late 1800s.
I want to photograph as many of these church signs as I can.
Entering Cullman County, AL - the water clarity surprised me.
Sunset near Snead, AL - Google routed me on the rumble-strip-laden 278. Not fun, but views like this are spectacular.
Piedmont, AL - the bicycle is an idea-clarifier for sure! And it's a shot in the arm to have commonalities with Einstein. Wonder what my eureka moment will be, and at what part of the journey.
Piedmont,AL - a high occurrence of murals in this town.
This is Terry, the caretaker at Ladiga Trail Campground, who let me hunker down two days till the weather passed, brought me snacks, and invited me to accompany him, his brother Albert, and his daughter Michelle to dinner and an auction. Thank you, Terry, for being so welcoming and for making my first stay in Alabama so memorable.
Terry, Michelle and Albert invited me to dinner at Checkers and then an auction at Red Barn Auctions, back across the Georgia border.
Sun finally breaks through!
Hunkered down in my tent till the rain stops!
Camp on Terrapin Creek, AL
Vantage over Terrapin Creek and the valley in which I'll camp for the next couple days.
Welcome to Alabama!
The Giver - reminiscent of a scene from one of my favorite books.
The Rock Cafe in Rockmart, GA. Good sweet tea!😊
Rockmart Presbyterian Church
Ma White's Bottoms
One of the Silver Comet cars?
Sunrise on the Silver Comet😊
Seated left to right are Richard, Marvin, Richard and Paul. Richard (first on left), and I crossed paths at about 9pm last night as I was heading down Marietta Street in Powder Springs, GA, and he was putting out his trash at the curb. He asked about my bike being so accessorized, and I told him about my trip and that I was looking for a place to pitch my tent. He graciously offered me his lawn, a pillow, and coffee the next morning. Fast forward to the next morning: I am breaking camp, and Richard offers to take me to breakfast! That is where I met the crew! We got back to Richard's home before he had to go to work, and before parting ways he gave me a DOT reflective vest and a 20 for lunch. A wonderful morning... I am shaking my head right now in flabbergasted appreciation. Thank you, Richard, for the hospitality. I am thinking that this bike trip, and the mapping of these waypoints, could also be referred to as cartography of generosity because of folks such as yourself. I have met and stayed and chatted with so many thus far.
I like dining at places where I can sit inside but keep a close eye on the Coy Dog.
I can roll down this trail all the way to Alabama if I want!
Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, GA
Stayed with this sweet family last night. 😊 We had dinner, conversation, story time, and lots of smiles. Thank you, Dave and Sarah. PS - I was appreciative of snuggles from Tamba, having gone without Fiona snuggles for a week and a half now. 😊
The sun's getting lower, but I am so close to Dave and Sarah's.
Always surprised at how far the Civil War skirmishes ranged.
East Atlanta coffee shop I rested at after leaving the monastery. Before I left I had an encouraging talk with a fellow named David, a man from Costa Rica who stayed at the monastery. It rained hard this morning, and I lingered till the rain subsided, arriving here after a circuitous route of bike trails. I was thankful for the directions Carol, my warmshowers host, gave, guiding me around much of the nutty city traffic 😊🚲
The cathedral: awesome and silent!
Rm 202 at Monastery of the Holy Spirit. The retreat house was a place of mandatory silence, due to the Cistercian's vow of silence in which all retreatants must participate.
Alcovy Trestle Bridge
Famous 4-way stop sign in downtown Rutledge. Peter got a good angle, including the bike and the diner.
Peter and I chatted over second breakfast. He is a retired Catholic priest and whiskey aficionado, among other avocations. He is a knowledgeable man; in our short talk, topics ranged from jazz, to film, to living in a small town. He traveled through all the contiguous 48 states on a Harley and a Goldwing earlier in life. He preferred the Goldwing. 😊
Rutledge, GA was a cool little town.
Leaving the place of my first campsite 😊🚲. The staff there were extremely friendly. I had a corner of the campground all to myself, but talked with several wayfarers from different parts of the campground, though. Despite the discouraging ruminations I can have in the saddle, talking with folks about the set-up of the bike and my journey helps minimize them and get me reinvested in the adventure. Hearing their trip plans, too, and tales of their respective journeys emboldens me as well.
Look what I created at Hard Labor Creek State Park!
This was the momentous occasion of my first successful camp coffee.
Thanks, Secret Santa😊
In one of my Theatre IV productions, we mentioned Ebenezer Baptist Church (but not this one, come to find out). Dr. King preached at the Atlanta one.
This one's for Mom; lots of barns and stables. This one looked like it had an apartment on the second floor!
This pastureland - what a sight! It's a typical vista these days😊🚲
Kiki's Bake Shop, where second breakfast was had. I am still not that far from Athens, but haven't too far to go to make it to my campsite at Hard Labor Creek State Park this afternoon.
Much needed rest day, thanks to Richard and Carol! Thank you, too, for the tour of downtown Athens!
The red dot is where I've stayed, on the North Oconee River, in Athens, GA, with Richard and Carol, two warmshowers hosts that have lavished me with their abundant generosity of spirit and hospitality for the past couple days!
Watson Mill covered bridge - I had to stop to get a photo, even though I still had some miles to go! I was prematurely celebratory with what felt like a new bike and having reached an encouraging waypoint. Still had at least a dozen miles to go, though, and not enough time left to reach Carol and Richard's in daylight.
Here is the Coydog (my name for the bike), chain-less and having been walked and coasted maybe 5-10 miles. The air was cool but the sun was hot, so I broke out my Dr. Shade hat that I'd packed for my first tour but rarely ever used. I was glad to have it. I felt weird taking a picture later when Richard finally caught up with me, and being in a hurry just got on the road once I had the new chain. I rolled in to Athens around 7:45pm, exhausted but with a functioning bike that shifted better with the new chain! No skipping, even though I pushed hard to beat sundown!
Broken chain and my multi-tools. What I needed was a quick link. The chain had separated at a link I'd tried to loosen a week before! I called my warmshowers host for the evening, to tell him I probably wouldn't make it as I was still about 50 miles away. He offered me a ride, but I decided to start walking my cue sheet and camp along the way when it got dark, or maybe hitch a ride to Athens once I got closer instead. My warmshowers host, Richard, had the idea of bringing me a new chain. I took him up on his gracious offer, simultaneously chagrined, apologetic, extremely grateful!
My chain broke at this point in the ride, just outside of Hartwell, GA. The cows across the way were interested only briefly. I wasn't anywhere near a bike shop, so I called my mechanic for some guidance and found I hadn't the supplies to fix it! What to do?
The wind was blowing on my way into Georgia.
Hartwell Lake on the GA / SC border.
On my way to Athens, GA, crossing Hartwell Lake from Smith Wham's lakeside home in Anderson, SC. Got to dine with him and his friends, two lovely couples, the previous night. Smith and I talked into the night about respective adventures and life. A gentlemanly, kind man, he saw me off the following morning with warm wishes to "Be safe!" We got to talk about his AT hiking and his pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago among many other things.
The ☀️ was going down and I was far from my host still, but I had to stop. I think the the Blue Ridge mountains are in the distance. Lots of fields like this one all over today. It was a great day of riding, even though I got turned around a lot. The phone has come in handy getting my bearings. ❤️🚲
This fellow said hi, which was nice because I most often make the farm animals skittish when I roll past.
Swamp Rabbit Trail
Near the Swamp Rabbit Rail Trail, named for the trains that used to transport folks along the Reedy River. Richard and Ruth, my warmshowers hosts of the previous night directed me here with an awesome, quiet-roads cue sheet.
First coffee of the morning and about to get onto the Swamp Rabbit Rail Trail outside of Greenville, SC. I am excited to go on a rail trail, although my face may not show it.
Chilly morning in Ruthefordton, NC.
Tish and Lewis were awesome hosts! They were enthusiastic about the Hunqapillar 🚲 and very encouraging about my ride. I enjoyed hearing about Tish's Australian bike adventures and Lewis' fascinating bee-keeping knowledge.
Mom, Kev and I enjoy a final meal (Bojangles and Fiona not pictured). I begin my trip to cousins Acel and Jim Stallings in Amory, MS tomorrow. My plan is to head down to Mobile, AL after that, following the Adventure Cycling Association's Underground Railroad Route. I will hopefully head west on ACA's Southern Tier route thereafter.
|Dates:||7 Feb 2017 - 29 Mar 2017|
|Duration:||1 month, 2 weeks|
Mysterious velocipedic perambulations