TRIP 2004

Update #11 - October 29th
Garland, Texas - 10,848 miles (17,357 KM)

The 11 day ride from Covington, Louisiana to Garland, Texas went okay. I was expecting to have cool weather since it was Fall. The Dog Days of Summer didn't want to go away so I had temperatures in the mid to high eighties to ride in. At least, it wasn't in the 100's like Kansas last year. Daily mileages for the most part were in the mid-50's or mid-60's. I almost rode one hundred miles between Marksville and Natchitoches, Louisiana.

The only real obstacle that I had along the way was to get across the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The bridge on U.S. 190 is too high and narrow with no shoulder so bicycles are not allowed. It took me a little over a half hour to hitch a ride across the bridge.

Here in Texas, the main problem that I had to deal with was chip-sealing. Chip-sealing is when they coat the roadways with a layer or tar and then a layer of stones. Most generally, the chip-sealing on shoulder is not packed down with a steam roller so it is quite rough. I hit a six mile section today coming into Terrell, Texas this morning that was so rough I had to get off the recumbent and walk it. I was bouncing around so bad that I thought I was going to either break some spokes or blow an innertube. I did have to fix a flat rear tire (my first flat in over 1100 miles). Between Terrell and Rockaway, I had caught a long piece of wire that had gone through the tire and the tire liner strip. It's good that I have less than a hundred miles left in Texas on the way to the Oklahoma State Line.

Churches have been really good to me along the way. The Catholic Church in Denham Springs, Louisiana was the first church to help me out. The First Baptist Church in New Roads, Louisiana was my home for the night. After the Wednesday night service, the pastor even took me out to supper. Motel rooms in Marksville, Natchitoches, and Many, Louisiana through local churches.

Churches in San Augustine, Center, and Carthage, Texas provided me with rooms also. The people in Carthage, TX were really friendly. I spent two nights in the youth buildings of the Methodist churches in Gladstone and Grand Saline, Texas. The youth building at the Methodist church in Gladstone had showers in the restrooms. The youth building at the Methodist church in Grand Saline was by far the nicest.

Along the way, I got to speak at two other churches. I spoke for a few minutes during the Wednesday night service at the First Baptist Church in New Roads, Louisiana and during one of the Sunday school classes at the First Baptist Church in Many, Louisiana. The First Baptist Church in Many, Louisiana was the 56th church that I spoke at this year. Yesterday (Thursday, October 28th) was the sixth anniversary of my ordination as a minister.

I'm spending the night with a friend who I hadn't seen in four years in Garland. The last time we seen each other he was in Houston. Garland is pretty well the farthest west I'll be traveling this Fall. From here, I'll be heading north to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I would like to visit the "Feed The Children" ministry there. After Oklahoma City, I'll be traveling east across Arkansas with a possible visit to see some friends in Russellville, Arkansas. Eventually, I might be heading back to Southern Florida to see how the rebuilding has been going on after Hurricances Charley and Frances.

I do know that I'll be starting to deal with colder weather. This weekend might be a wet one. The high for Tuesday of next week will possibly be in the sixties.

My wish is that the next two and months would be a much better than the last ten months have been. I hope that I find more open doors and ministers with compassionate hearts. I do wish that I could find someplace to stay over the winter. I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change again.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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