Thursday, September 30, 2010

Alabama the Beautiful

Day 26 Ocean Springs, Ms. To Fort Morgan Rd, Al. 71 miles, 4hrs. 35min. Avg. Spd. 15.4, Total miles 2267.

I can't begin to explain what it's like to be in familiar territory. I'm almost giddy. I'm sitting here at Martinique by the Gulf courtesy of Rex and Phyllis Watson. Thank you very much, Watson's! What a blessing.
Mark and I left Ocean Springs, Ms. at 6:30 AM. We were hoping to catch the Mobile Bay Ferry by 12:30, but you know me. We made the 11:00 ferry.
Mississippi coast gave way to Mississippi marsh, which turned into more pines and then suddenly the Alabama state line. We rode through some beautiful country from Grand Bay to Bayou La Batre and on to Dauphin Island. I was concerned about Mark getting on the ferry because I've seen it very full, pictures to follow. After getting off the ferry it was like homecoming, I haven't been that excited since Amy and the boys were here. Familiar territory, roads I've ridden multiple times, it was wonderful.
I'm now sitting here with a belly full of steak, with Mark and Fred Tate, and we're expecting David Olivet any minute. (actually, he just got here.)
If Amy was here I would say life was complete.
The next couple of days will be interesting as I shuffle between places and friends, but the end story is, that I hope to finish by next Wednesday. I have managed to shorten my route by not following the bike maps.
I was thinking today about how much of the glory of God we miss because we just don't see it. The ride in from the Alabama state line was beautiful, even though it's a stupid state slogan. Look around tomorrow and see the glory of God.


Early, early morning, Ocean Springs, Ms.

Crossing the Singing River in Pascagoula, Ms.

Wow, you have no idea how great it was to see this sign.

Drawbridge in Bayou La Batre, Al.. They had a troll but he left town due to the economy. Thanks, BP.

Mark on Mobile Bay Ferry.

Ok, I am not an Auburn fan, but you know who is.

Dauphin Island, bridge. I sent Mark on ahead to make sure he made the ferry.

Apparently, the ferry was not an issue. We're the only people in line.

The Steed got a ride onto the ferry to save money.

Mark and the Steed.

I'm covered up friends here, what a blessing, got to go.

Location:Martinique by the Gulf, Fort Morgan Rd.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I've Been Every Where Man

Day 25 Hammond, La to Ocean Springs, Ms. 120 miles, 8hrs. 40min. Avg. Spd. 13.7 mph, Total miles 2196.

Hellooooooo Mississippi! Yes, we rolled out of Hammond La. this morning at 6:48 AM. The weather was cool but the winds were up and out of the NE, bummer.
However, once again, if you stay at anything long enough you can get traction and overcome. So, we just kept riding, 8 hours and 40 minutes in the saddle. Outcome? 120 miles. Hey, whatever you're doing, stay at it.
We also saw some country today. I mean some country, hence the title from Johnny Cash. I have been everywhere, man!
The sugarcane of Louisiana gave way to the bayous of Louisiana which gave way to the trees of Mississippi, to the coast of Mississippi. We rode hwy. 190 all the way until it ended into Hwy. 90. Hwy 90 takes you along the Mississippi coast. I mean right along the coast. Hwy. 90 is on the coast for about 40 miles. We came onto the coast in Waveland, Ms. which gave way to, Bay St. Louis, to Pass Christian, to Long Beach, to Gulfport, to Biloxi, to Ocean Springs. What a ride. Unfortunately your choices were beach sidewalk or get hit by a car. But after some of the no shoulder roads I've been on for the last two days, getting hit by a car is pretty regular stuff.

You know what? I have been everywhere, man.

I realize that there are no hills down here, but have you seen the bridges? Pretty steep.

Hey, and here's another thing. Carl Keenum, you need to get Morgan and Cutner, and we need to go back to Covington, La. for some unfinished business. I've got the license plate numbers, I just need a little muscle.

Mark Chastain really deserves the patience award. He's only been here two days and those two days were the longest of the entire trip. We're headed to "Martinique by the Bay" tomorrow. Do you know where "Martinique by Bay" is? Sweet home, Alabama, Man!

I'm a little concerned that I just said "sweet home, Alabama."

The "Steed" is not shifting to well. I may have to give the boys at "Bicycles, Etc." a call. I can't complain though, 2000 plus miles, NO! Mechanical issues, and one flat tire. Are you kidding? One flat tire? That's got to be some kind of record. Go Schwalbe!

I do need a favor. Can somebody please check the air pressure in Brad Bass' car tires. I'm concerned about the safety of his family. Brad and Emily are headed to the gulf Friday.

Thanks to Scott Northcutt for the additional statistics on the last blog. Somebody see if you can get Scott and Ed hooked up for some more enlightening mathematics. Maybe you could make them some "Southern Tier" pocket protectors and lanyards too.

Ok, how about some pictures?

Mark loading the car early this morning.

Mark also brings food, good Mark.

Sunrise over Hammond, La..

Trees, somewhere.

There's some traffic in Covington.

There's some traffic in Slidell.

There's lunch at Eddie D's. The next food was 30 miles so we thought we should eat.

Bayou's of Louisiana.

An actual drawbridge. I'm not sure if there's a troll.

The Steed wanted to do the tour.

Ya, the home thing might be a little of an exaggeration. But it did feel good to be there. Hey! I even match!

A much deserved rest for the steed at a hurricane blown picnic sight.

Yes! My own lane, I feel so special.

Don't I look good in yellow?

They have some nice beach in Mississippi. Thanks BP!

The steed wasn't the only one tired today.

Lighthouse in Biloxi.

Another bridge.

A dead snake. Mark was extremely interested. After all the road kill I've seen, (actually rode over and smelled), it's pretty hard to impress me.

Hey, tomorrow is another gift. What are you going to do with it? Start by thanking God, and take it from there.


Location:Ocean Springs, Ms.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

East Bound and Down

Day 24 Eunice, La. To Hammond, La. 125 miles, 8hrs. 13 min. Avg. Spd. 15.2, Total miles 2076.

Yes, you read it right, a new PR 125 miles. Sometimes you just get going and you keep going. The wind was out of the North this morning and then turned out of the NNW. That's in my favor. Mark and I left Eunice at 7:15AM,
It was cool and sunny and a great day for riding.
The pines of yesterday gave way to fields of sugarcane today. We crossed bridges 4 and 5 miles long, with no shoulders. Mark developed a new strategy, get behind me with the hazard lights on and everybody else can go around. I kind of liked it.
The last 20 miles into Hammond La. on La. 190 was absolutely no shoulder. We rolled in about 4:15 PM.

I was talking to Amy last night and she said she entered me in the Liz Hurley benefit run on Team Christina. I said look, I'm riding my bike 3000 miles across America and you want me to run 3 miles as well, C'mon! Man! Ok, I'll do it. All of you better be out there too.

I got a call from David Olivet today, how awesome is that? Another voice from the past checking in because of the blog. We're going to try and hook up in Pensacola.

Hey listen, after today and the last couple of weeks I understand the principle of time. How do you ride 125 miles? You stay in the saddle until your bum falls off. How do you build a pyramid or a great wall? You do it over time. How do you learn to carve, or paint, or play the piano? You give it time, everyday. What have you always wanted to learn to do? You just need to start and give it time. You have your whole life in front of you, I don't care how old you are. Get out there and do something.

Today's pics:

Early morning, Eunice, La..

Cousin Eddie? "that there's an RV Clark."

Honey, what do you think about a tree in the house? Ok, how about trees all over in the house?

Did you know they bury people above ground in Louisiana?

Another day, another semi.

In Louisiana casinos are everywhere.

All bikers? Like, bicyclist's? MARK..... LUNCH!



And away.

Oh look, here I come.

5 mile bridge, no shoulder, Mark, hazards on.

You will never know how much debris is on the shoulder of the highway until you ride about 2000 miles on a bike.

Really, in Louisiana? C'mon man.

Do you think we should?

Sure, I've got my hazard lights on.

Exxon, Mobil refinery in Baton Rouge.

Downtown, Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge traffic.

What's a day without a picture of the steed. Ahhhhhh, McCafe steed.

No shoulder, no problem, just turn on the hazards, oh wait, I don't have hazards.

Mark's a pharmacist. He apparently was killing time. I did lose him twice today.

The pool was open and we hung our shorts outside, Louisiana, rednecks.

I always seem to get a song stuck in my head that plays over and over all day long. Today's songs Jerry Reed, "East Bound and Down" and Michael Jackson, "Smooth Criminal." That's an interesting contradiction, go figure.
Annie, are you okay,
Are you okay Annie.

Location:Hammond, La.