TRIP 2013

Update #26 - October 13
Winona, Mississippi
Mission Trip 34: 8,717.75 miles (13,948.40 KM)
10,067.48 miles (16,107.97 KM) - Year Total

October 03 : Paris, TX to Mount Pleasant, TX - 56.58 miles (90.53 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. I left the motel around 7:50 AM. The sky was a little overcast and it looked like it was going to rain. The ride to Mount Pleasant went okay. There was a slight tailwind so I flew even though there was some rough shoulder to ride along.

I got into downtown Mount Pleasant around 3:15 PM. There wasn't anybody at the Presbyterian Church. The church next to it (possibly the old First Baptist Church) was being gutted for another use other than a church. There was an Assembly of G-D nearby. There wasn't anybody in the office. I rode around the downtown area to see if I could spot another church. I spotted a church steeple about a half mile to the West. On the way to the church, I spotted a motel to see if they had any cheap rooms. They had rooms in the low $30s. I opted to get a room because it was getting close to 4 PM and I didn't think that I could find somebody at a church.

October 04 : Mount Pleasant, TX to Hallsville, TX - 66.22 miles (105.95 KM)

I had a decent night at the motel even though I found a couple roaches in the room. At least, they didn't try and crawl into bed with me. I left the motel around 7:50 AM. I got on US 271 heading South. The ride to Gladewater went okay. I was able to get in about 28 miles (45 KM) in by noon time. I got into Gladewater around 4 PM. I checked out a couple of churches but I didn't find anybody around them.

I got on US 80 heading East. I started the long ride through Longview around 6 PM. I was able to get out in the country before dusk. I used my headlights some. I was able to find some open woods outside of Hallsville to camp out. I used my new tent. I'm going to have to get a new ground cloth because the footprint of the tent is a lot bigger than the old tent was. It is a big tent but the air circulation isn't good since there is just one door and window. You can't leave the window zipped open in a rain shower because the tent fly doesn't swing out away from the door like the old one did.

October 05 : Hallsville, TX to Waskom, TX - 37.76 miles (60.42 KM)

I had an okay night in the tent. The floor space is big. The tent is about twice the size of the last tent. I do have to find a larger ground cloth. The only problem is that the window in the door is small and there isn't much of an air flow.

I couldn't get on the road early because I had to fix a flat rear tire. I found a small piece of wire in the tire. I put in a new tube. It was almost 9:30 AM when I got on the road. It rained a little bit in the morning. It was a few miles down the road to Hallsville. If I would have gotten on the road earlier, I might have seen the parade. They were celebrating Old West Days.

I just stopped for a break. The ride to Marshall went okay. I stopped for some lunch at a Church's. I got some extra chicken tenders and a drink for free. I stopped at a laundromat to do my laundry.

The ride in the afternoon went okay. I rode to Waskom. I got into Waskom around 6:30 PM. It looked like it was going to rain. I stopped at the Presbyterian Church. I got to talk to the minister but he passed me off. He told me that I should contact a lady in town but he didn't have the phone number. On the East edge of town, I found the First Baptist Church. There was some activity with the youth. I talked with the youth minister. He gave me permission to stay in the youth building after the meeting. While I was waiting for the meeting to end, I got some pizza. I stayed in the one room that had carpeting.

October 06 : Waskom, TX to Simsboro, LA - 89.08 miles (142.53 KM)

I had an okay night. I woke up around 7 AM. I left the church around 7:45 AM. I didn't feel like waiting until 9 AM for the Sunday school. I figured that I would come across a church on the way into Shreveport, LA or possibly find one Sunday night.

It was about a mile ride to the LA State Line. The ride into Shreveport went okay. I was sort of flying because the roads were a lot better. I got into downtown Shreveport around 11:15 AM. I didn't feel like catching a service half way thru. I decided to try and get across the bridge over the Red River into Bossier City. Traffic was light so I was able to ride across it okay. I was so happy to make it across the bridge into Bossier City. I stopped for some lunch.

The ride to Minden went okay. Minden was going to be my stopping point but I didn't want to wait almost 3 hours for a church service. I decided to go on. The miles clicked by in the afternoon. I got into Arcadia a little after dusk. I was hoping to find a service at the First Baptist Church but there was nothing going on at the church.

I rode in the dark for a couple hours before I found a place to camp out in some woods in Simsboro. It took a while getting the tent fly on the tent because one of the hooks went missing.

October 07 : Simsboro, LA to Rayville, LA - 72.08 miles (115.33 KM)

I had an okay night. I woke up around 7 AM. I quickly got packed up because I wasn't as hidden from view as I hoped to have been. I got on the road around 7:30 AM. The ride to West Monroe went okay. Somewhere I missed my turn or the street signs disappeared and I got off my route through Monroe. I was surprised at finding the right road. Monroe was too big of a city to stop in.

I get on going until I got into Rayville. I got into Rayville a little before dusk. I stopped at the police station but the lady at the counter didn't know of a local minister. I rode around the downtown area to check out the churches. I found some activity at the First Baptist Church. The pastor was in a meeting. Instead of letting me stay in one of the church buildings for the night, the pastor offered to get me a room at the Super 8 just south of I-20 for the night,

October 08 : Rayville, LA to Tallulah, L - 41.07 miles (65.71 KM)

The night would have been better if the heater unit had worked. I still can't figure out why they had given me a second floor smoking room. I left the motel around 8:40 AM. The ride East went okay. The roads were a little better but there were a lot of grain trucks to worry about.

I got into Tallulah around 2:20 PM. I rode around town to see if I could locate the churches. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. I caught the pastor coming back from lunch. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, the pastor filled out a voucher so I could get a room at a motel East of town.

I've got about a 19 mile (30 KM) away from the Mississippi River. I'm about 60 miles (96 KM) away from Cary.

October 09 : Tallulah, LA to Cary, MS - 46.66 miles (74.66 KM)

I had a somewhat odd night. I went to bed early around 9:30 PM. Around 11:20 PM, I woke up with a weird sensation of getting ready to throw up. I felt what was coming up going up my throat but I got up really fast and into the bathroom. Nothing came out of my mouth but I had an awful taste in my mouth. For about a half hour, I had a weird wheezing sound coming from my voice box. I was able to fall back asleep by midnight.

I woke up around 6 AM. I left the motel around 7:40 AM. It was a little chilly so that I had to wear my jacket. The ride East on US 17 went okay. I was making some good time. About two miles (3 KM) from the Mississippi River, US 80 joined I-20. I was hoping to take the old bridge across the Mississippi River to Vicksburg, MS but it was closed. From what I learned, the bridge has been closed for almost seven years. Microsoft Streets and Strips was wrong again.

I stopped at a bar to see if I could learn anything. The owner of the bar, Tom, was really friendly. He offered to take me across the I-20 Bridge and through Vicksburg to where US 61 split off. Tom told me that he had helped other cyclists get through the area. From what Tom told me, they only open the old bridge a couple times a year for special events like a fundraising race and walk across the bridge. The bridge used to be a toll bridge.

Since it was around 10:30 AM when we started through Vicksburg, Tom offered to stop for some lunch at a BK. He got me a chicken sandwich and a drink). Before we got to the window, Tom surprised me by slipping me $60. He told me that he wanted to help my ministry. This was great since I hadn't the chance to speak at a church in two weeks.

Tom dropped me off about 4 miles North of Vicksburg. The ride North on US 61 went okay. There was a paved shoulder to ride along. I stopped for a break at a store outside the small town of Ordinary. There was a sign at the store saying that it was the home of the teddy bear toy. President Roosevelt supposedly had hunted a bear in the Mississippi River Delta near there.

I got into the Cary area around 3:00 PM. I found the Cary Christian Center on the Southern edge of town. The staff was getting ready to leave for the day. Robert (the volunteer manager) took me over to the apt complex next door. I got the key for studio apt 1. It is really nice. I wish that I could stay here a while to volunteer but there is a problem. The center wants a donation of at least $20 for every day that you are here to volunteer to stay in their housing.

There is another problem in the town and that there is no grocery store in town. Cary is so small that there isn't even a gas station. There is a post office, possibly a bank, and a couple of churches. Cary has a population of about a hundred. The biggest employer and building in town is the cotton gin.

October 10 : Cary, MS to Moorhead, MS - 78.04 miles (124.86 KM)

The studio apt that they let me use was okay but I knew I couldn't stay when I saw a card on a wall saying that they wished $20 a day to stay. I went out to see if I could find a store. I needed to buy a loaf of bread. There wasn't any store or gas station. convenience store. There wasn't much in the town. There was a post office and a few buildings next to it, a couple of churches, some houses, a closed down gas station, and a cotton gin. The center must have been in a school that they rehabbed. I kept Alice packed up. I went to bed on the sofa around 10 PM because I didn't want to mess up the bed.

I lot up a little after 6 AM. I got on the road around 7:30 AM. I headed North on US 61. The morning ride went okay but I had to dodge a lot of grain trucks. I got about 24 miles (38 KM) in by noon time. I stopped at a Subway outside of Hollanwood. Just outside of Leland, I turned East on US 82. I had about a 14 mile (22 KM) ride to Indianola.

I got into Indianola around 4:40 PM. I rode passed the Presbyterian Church but there was nobody around it and no contact numbers. I found some activity at the First Baptist Church. The youth pastor and some of the srs were selling some kind of meat. The youth minister called up the head pastor but he didn't want to help me. There was a suggestion to go to the Methodist Church. I found a truck in the church parking lot. I talked to a guy through an intercom but it was really hard to understand him because the intercom constantly broke off. I did hear about going to the Episcopal Church because there was supposedly a rectory next door. I found the Episcopal Church but there wasn't a rectory. Off course there wasn't any contact numbers. I didn't see any reason going back into the downtown area to try and find the police station. On the way out of town, I stopped at a grocery store to get a loaf of bread and also at a Wendy's to get a hot sandwich.

I headed East to Moorhead. I got into Moorhead a little before dark. I rode around the town to see if I could find a church. I found the Baptist Church but nobody around. I found a church on the outskirts of town. I went behind it and found a place to camp out. The church was far enough of streets so I wouldn't be seen.

October 11 : Moorhead, MS to Greenwood, MS - 25.73 miles (41.17 KM)

I had an okay night camping out. I woke up a little before dawn. There was a light fog. I got on the road around 7:10 AM. The ride East went okay but I had to go on the main part of the highway because the shoulder got quite narrow. At least, traffic was quite light.

I got into Greenwood around 11 AM. It was a long ride into the downtown area. I stopped at the Episcopal, First Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches but there wasn't any minister available. I called up a friend in Saltillo to tell her that I was in the area. She told me of a ministry possibility up near Batesville but she didn't have contact information. She told me about a Methodist Church that had a community center. Jena also had a friend in Greenwood. Frances was with the Episcopal Church. I rode back to a Baptist Church that I had passed. Along the way, I had to stop and fix a flat tire. I found a small piece of wire sticking out of the tube. I'm getting concerned with the rear tire. There are quite a few big cuts in the tread. The tire is going to have to be replaced real soon.

I stopped at the Baptist Church but there wasn't a minister there. The office was open because of the day care. As I was leaving the church, Frances called. She told me that she would take me to a motel that her church had used before and pay for my room. At the motel, she slipped me some money so that I could go across the street to a Krystal's and get something to eat.

I'm thinking about riding to Tuskegee, Alabama. There is supposed to be a volunteer ministry at a Methodist Church. I'll be riding through Starksville and there is a couple of bike shops there.

October 12 : Greenwood, MS to Winona, MS - 33.27 miles (52.23 KM)

Roach motel. I killed a roach crawling over the mini fridge. I almost killed another crawling around the nightstand. I went to the office to see if they had some roach spray. The lady at the desk came to the room with some roach spray. She should have gone around the bed because I killed another roach that had crawled up onto the bed by my side. I didn't sleep much because I was worrying about more roaches.

I left the motel a little after 8:30 AM. The ride East went okay. Traffic was mostly light so I was able to ride on the main part of the road when the shoulder with the rumble strip narrowed. I got around 26 miles (42 KM) in by noon time. The rest of the way to Winona went okay. I stopped for a break at a gas station near I-55.

From the interstate and US 82, it was about a three mile (5 KM) ride into downtown Winona. There was some kind of festival (Crossroads Festival). I checked out the three main churches (Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian) but I didn't see any contact names or numbers. I went back to the festival. to see if there were any booths from the churches. There wasn't any. I stopped at the main welcome booth to talk to the ladies there. As I was talking, this lady (Betty Summer) came up. She told me that she would help me out. She was with the Cornerstone Faith Fellowship. Betty said that she had a trailer at their house in the country but she was willing to take me to a motel just West of town and get me a room there. She wanted to listen to some of the music on the stage first. Betty slipped me $10 so that I could get something to eat from a nearby booth.

It looked like it was going to rain so I headed out first. Betty met me at the motel. The room was a lot better than last night's one.

October 13 : Winona, MS to West Winona, MS - 05.37 miles (08.59 KM)

I had an okay night. I left the motel a little after 9 AM. On the way into downtown, I stopped to buy a few things at a grocery store. I decided to stop at Moore Memorial Methodist Church. I got invited to sit in on a Sunday school class. At the beginning of the class, I got to speak for a few minutes. I got to speak to the pastor before the service. After the service, the pastor offered to get me a room at one of the motels near the interstate West of town. Before I went to the motel, I got invited over to one of the member's house for a home-cooked meal.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between October 20th and October 27th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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