TRIP 2008

Update #30 - December 25th
Pearlington, Mississippi
1639 miles (2622 KM) since November 15th
10,606 miles (16,970 KM) since January 01st

In my last update, I mentioned about my wanting to try and stop for a night or two at the Presbyterian Volunteer Disaster Center (FISH CAMP) in the Boutte - Luling, Louisiana area. Yesterday afternoon around 3 PM CST, I got to the First Union Presbyterian Church where the disaster center was supposed to be. I had stopped there last December on my way to Galveston, Texas. I was looking forward to stay in the modular camping pods again.

Well, I wasn't able to. It was a big shock to see that the camp had been taken down. From what I had learned last year was that the Presbyterian Church had set the camp up for at least five years. The camp had only lasted a little over two years. From what I had gathered, the powers-to-be had decided to pack up the camp and move it over near Galveston, Texas. It had been done earlier this month. All that was left of the camp were a few pieces of aluminum duct works, some platforms where the camping modules were put on, a few mobile trailers, some port-a-toilets, and the multicolored signposts.

There wasn't nobody at the church and there was no indication that there was supposed to be a Christmas Eve service at the church. The only thing that I could do was to keep on going and hope to find someplace to stay inside for the night since there was a 30% chance of rain. I came across a low-cost motel in Westwego. I wasn't planning to pay for another motel room with my limited funds but I had no other option.

I wasn't really looking forward to traveling today. This is the second Christmas that I caught myself on tour. Last year, I rode from Grand Bay, Alabama through Mobile to Carver, Alabama. It was about a ten mile ride from the motel in Westwego to the Canal Street Ferry Landing in Algiers, Louisiana. I had to wait almost two hours before the fog over the Mississippi River lifted enough for the ferry to take off to the Canal Street Ferry Landing in New Orleans.

I didn't spend much time in New Orleans. From the ferry landing, I squirted the northern edge of the French Quarter and rode about 4 miles to US. 90. The ride east to Mississippi went okay. For most of the trip, I had the highway to myself and there was a bit of a tailwind to push me along.

About ten miles from the Mississippi State Line, I came across two cyclists who were on touring bikes heading west. I talked to the guy and learned that they were either from Austria or Germany and they were heading to Los Angeles. They had left Washington, D.C. the beginning of the month and were hoping to be in Los Angeles by the end of January. To me, this didn't seem logical since they would have to be cycling between 60 and 100 miles to make it and especially in a town at night since they were traveling light and had no camping gear. I wish them well since I know that it took me over two months to make the East to West Coast trip a couple of years ago.

Tonight, I'm at the Pearlington Recovery Center. I had stopped here for about a week about a month after Hurricane Katrina hit. I was fortunate to find somebody on the grounds. They told to go ahead and stay in one of the platform huts that wasn't locked up. I'm lying on a wooden framed bunk bed with my laptop on my lap tapping this update. The plus for me was that there was a wifi router to use and the wash-house was still up and working so that I could get some much needed laundry done.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be getting a really early start and riding along the coast line through Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, and Gulfport. I'll be either stopping for the night either in D'Iberville or pushing on to Ocean Springs. From Oceans Springs, I'll be cycling through Pascagoula to Alabama. I'm hoping that the ferry from Dauphin Island, Alabama is still running so that this will allow me an easier ride than having to ride through the Mobile, Alabama area and then heading down to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

From Gulf Shores, it would be a quick ride to Pensacola, Florida. Depending if I make the right connections, I'll be either riding along the Florida Gulf Coast to Panama City where I'll turn north to Americus, Georgia or I will be keep on riding along the Gulf through Apalachicola and then turning north near Tallahassee and then making my way to Americus. This would put me back in Americus around the second week of January at least a month ahead of my planned arrival.

The next update should be between Jan 02 and Jan 09.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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