TRIP 2001

Update #29 - Sept 15th
Dunwoody, Georgia - 7188 miles (11,501 KM)

The ride from Memphis, Tennessee to Dunwoody, Georgia went okay. The heat wasn't really bad this section but the ride through Mississippi was hampered by almost daily rains. The rain was from a large weather system that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the rains, I had to spend two nights in the small town of Kosciusko, Mississippi. Most of the daily temperatures was between 80 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit but the humidity wasn't that high each day.

For lodging, I stayed at several churches, in quite a few donated motel rooms, and with several families. The one intersesting place of lodging was in the back room of the bike shop in Kosciusko, Mississippi. The room was actually like an unfurnished efficiency apartment but the only furniture was a chair, picnic table, and a sofa. I'm pretty appreciative of this offer since I was not able to connect with any of the local ministers.

There was pretty neat scenery to see while riding through Mississippi and Alabama. I was sort of getting spoiled riding through the western section of Mississippi since it was quite flat. This was the Delta area. The towns in the Delta area were few and far between. The biggest things in the area were catfish farms with very big ponds.

Once out of the Delta area, I had rolling hills to deal with across the Eastern portion of Mississippi and across Alabama. Traffic was really heavy especially along U.S. 280 and U.S. 21 in Alabama. I had quite a few close calls with vehicles. Also, I had to deal with quite a few rude drivers. In Auburn, Alabama, I almost got hit by a car and in my swerve to get out of the way the rear derailleur cage got bent so now I have a problem with shifting. I was able to personally fix it so that it works halfway decent until I can get to a bike shop to have it either readusted or replaced. I'm hoping that it just needs readustment since a new derailleur might cost between $30 and $40.

One of the neatest things to have happen on the trip occured in Tallasee, Alabama. I worshipped at the Methodist church and was able to speak to one of the Sunday school classes. I think that I might have mentioned that I've been trying to find places inside to stay for the night since my tent was getting worn out. I've had it for over two years and the shockcords holding the tent poles together were broken and I had to sew a hole in the floor. The next morning after I had spent the night with some of the parishioners, another parishioner stopped me alongside the road in East Tallasee with a brand new dome tent from K-Mart. This is one of the best surprise gifts that had been given to me this year.

I was planning to head southwest towards Americus when I got into Georgia so that I could probably stop for the rest of the year and volunteer at Habitat for Humanity International headquarters but I feel that this door might have been closed to me. I do not want to get too much into it because it is personal.

I've committed myself to stay out "on the road" for a little while more this year. There is still several good months of riding in the year as long as I do not head too far north. With what has happened during the past week with the tragic terrorist acts in the New York City and Washington, D.C. areas, I feel that it is best for me to maintain my prayer vigil going. At the prsent time, I'm thinking about heading back into North Carolina so that I can check out the ministry of Samaritan's Purse, which is Franklin Graham's ministry. After that, I'm open to what my Leader in Heaven directs me to go.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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