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TRIP 2015

Update #20 - October 17th
Ruston, Louisiana
8,246.11 miles (13,193.78 KM) - Year Total



September 27 : Villa Rica, GA to Temple, GA : 01.77 miles (02.83 km)
Trip Total: 7,633.70 miles (12,213.92 km)

Considering how much was being spent on the room, I had hoped that I would have a good night but I didn't. There was a serious leak in the bathtub. The water wouldn't completely shut off. I tried to stifle the sound by putting a washcloth down on top of the drain so the water wouldn't go loudly down the drain. There was also a strange noise coming out of the exhaust fan but the fan wasn't even turned on. I had to keep the bathroom door closed.

The one plus was that there was a guest laundry. I was able to get all of my wet clothes washed and dried. The room was big enough so I could pitch my tent to get it dried. I woke up kind of not rested. There was a breakfast but I wouldn't have called it memorable.

I left the motel around 9 am. There was just a light misting. On the way into the downtown area, I stopped at a grocery store to get a few things. It was about a two mile ride back into the downtown area. I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church. It was a small church. I got there before people started to show up before the Sunday school class. During the class, I didn't get to share. I did talk with the pastor. He got the deacons together to see if they would give me permission to spend the rest of the day at the church. Instead, they offered to try and get some money together so I could possibly get a motel room. I sat up front with one of the deacons and his family. Towards the end of the service, When I met up with a couple of the deacons after the service, I got a GH of $80. Before I left the church, there was another GH.

The deacon who I sat with offered to take me out for some dinner and also to transport me to a motel. We loaded everything into the back of their suv. We went to a local biscuit place. After lunch, we went back to check out the motels near the interstate. We stopped at one motel but they wanted $70 including tax. I didn't want to go back to the motel that I had stayed at last night because I didn't know if I was going to get another room with problems. We stopped at another motel that looked like it might have had low cost rooms but the office was locked up. The motel looked like it might bave been used as some kind of welfare motel.

The deacon remembered that there was a motel on US 78 near Temple. We rode over there. The motel wasn't that bad. I got a room for under $40. There isn't wifi but I don't need it every night.

September 28 : Temple, GA to Bremen, GA : 12.77 miles (20.43 km)
Trip Total: 7,646.47 miles (12,234.35 km)

I wasn't expecting to get much sleep. There was just a venetian blind in the window and there was a bright light outside the window. I hung up my short tarp to cover up the window. The tarp helped some but it didn't cover all of the window. I fell asleep but I didn't sleep very soundly.

When I woke up, I was quite surprised that it was 6:30 am. I left the motel around 8 am. The sky was overcast and it was a little damp. It did rain some during the night.

I really didn't feel like trying to ride very far. When I got to Bremen, I decided to try and stop. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. I was able to talk with the secretary. She really surprised me when she pulled out a $50 bill out of a desk drawer and gave it to me. She told me that there were some motels near the interstate south of town.

I had stopped at a motel South of town before but it had been closed down. I passed on a Quality Inn because I saw that there was a Motel 6. I was hoping to check in right away but they had a 2 pm check in time. I didn't want to go and check out the other motels in the area. The guy from India told me that if I checked in at 2 pm the room would only be $39.95 before taxes. If I wanted to check in now, the rate would be almost $20 more.

There was a Wendy's next door and I went there to get some lunch. After I ate, I went back to the motel and I took my computer into the lobby to wait. Around noon, this American lady showed up to take over the desk. Around 1:20 pm, the lady offered to check me in early and she also gave me a $5 sr discount on the room. I'm not expecting a good night since the motel isn't really up to Motel 6 standards. There is some problems with the wifi network.

September 29 : Bremen, GA to Oxford, MS : 48.22 miles (77.15 km)
Trip Total: 7,694.69 miles (12,311.50 km)

I wasn't expecting to get much sound sleep and I didn't. Even though I got maybe seven hours of sleep, I woke up yawning. It would have been nice if the wifi network worked. The room was too far away to get connected with the lobby wifi network.

I left the motel around 7:50 am. It was a couple of mile ride to US 78. The sky was overcast and there was a light mist. It was about a 14 mile ride to the Alabama State Line. When I crossed the state line, I crossed into the Central Time Zone and I gained back an hour.

Once passed the state line, I had to do a lot of climbing especially between Fruithurst and Heflin. I rode through the Talledega National Forest. I stopped for a break at a gas station in Edwardsville. I got into Heflin around noon. I had ridden 31 miles. I stopped to get some groceries.

I was going to stop for the day in Heflin but I decided to go on. The ride became more flatter. I got to the outskirts of Oxford around 2 pm. Just to the south, the sky was darkening up and it looked like it was going to rain hard. At a gas station, I found a motel coupon book. The sky was getting darker so I decided to get a motel room instead of trying to connect with a minister. I found a motel room under $40 so I used some of the money that I got from the First Presbyterian Church in Villa Rica.

September 30 : Oxford, MS to Pell City, MS : 30.39 miles (48.62 km)
Trip Total: 7,725.08 miles (12,360.13 km)

I wasn't expecting to get much sound sleep and I didn't. The room had it's problems. I was hoping to get a non-smoking room but I got a smoking one. The room didn't smell that bad but when I woke up I noticed that my lips were hurting from the nicotine in the pillows. The headboard of one of the beds had fallen off the wall and it was in parts behind the bed. The bathroom didn't have any washcloths. I was able to get the room warm but the unit was loud. There was light leaking around the curtain.

I woke up a little before 6 am. I checked out of the motel a little after 8 am. The breakfast provided was just a couple of wrapped pastries. I got back on US 78. Most of the ride to Lincoln was flat. There were some hills but they weren't that bad. Most of the way there was a shoulder but it was narrow. I did have to deal with some rumble strips.

I got 21 miles in by noon. I stopped at a gas station for a break on the west end of Lincoln. The ride to Pell City went okay. I got into Pell City around 1:30 pm. I stopped at a McDs for a late lunch. Because of not getting much sleep last night, I decided to try and stop for the day instead of going on to Leeds as I had planned.

I stopped at the First Baptist Church. The church is part of the ministerial association. I got a voucher for a room at a motel near I-20. My goal tomorrow is to get into and through Birmingham tomorrow. The high tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70s.

October 01 : Pell City, AL to Pratt City, AL : 46.73 miles (74.77 km)
Trip Total: 7,771.81 miles (12,434.90 km)

I had an okay night. The room was okay but I had problems with staying on the motel network. It kept on dropping. I was able to get some rest. The morning would have started out okay if the main floor was actually ground level. It took me five trips to carry everything up the flight of stairs and then outside. According to Microsoft S&T, the motel used to be a Ramada Limited.

I left the motel around 8 am. I headed North on US 231 for about 1.5 miles and then I turned North on AL 174. The ride on AL 174 went okay. Traffic was light and there were quite a few hills. After about 6 miles, I headed South on a local road that took me passed I-20 and then on to US 78 near the small town of Cook Springs about 1.5 miles from where it split off from I-20.

The ride West went okay. I stopped for an early lunch at a McDs at a truck stop near Prescott. I got 22 miles in by noon. I was going to stop in Leeds but I decided to go on through Birmingham. Us 78 became a divided 4 lane highway into Birmingham. The ride through downtown Birmingham went okay. I hit some streets with very little traffic. I did have to stop and ask somebody how I could get to Bankhead Highway.

It started to drizzle some. I got back on US 78. Truck traffic was pretty heavy. When I got into Pratt City, I saw a sign for a very low cost motel. At least, I will be out of the weather tonight. The disappoiting thing is that I'll not have internet access tonight.

I'll be riding to Jasper tomorrow. I have to time my arrival into Oxford, MS so that I'll get there a week from now.

The first hurricane for the year, Juan, is getting ready to head up the East Coast. Landfall will be somewhere North of the Outer Banks. There was a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon today.

October 02 : Pratt City, AL to Jasper, AL : 40.13 miles (64.21 km)
Trip Total: 7,811.94 miles (12,499.10 km)

I had a somewhat okay night even though the motel wasn't even a one star. The room didn't get cold even though I wasn't able to get the small portable electric heater to work for a couple of minutes at a time before it shut off, I put a towel down at the bottom of the door to cut out any draft that might be there. The people next door were quite loud late at night. I woke up around 6:30 am. Sometime around 7:30 am, there was some loud banging on the door but I didn't investigate.

I left the motel around 8 am. It was misting a little bit. A couple of miles down the road, I stopped at a closed tire store to put on my hooded sweater. I wasn't really feeling that well so I thought that I'd stop at a church that I saw some cars at. The janitorial staff was there but nobody was in the office. There was an attempt to try and connect with the pastor but he wasn't available.

I rode secondary roads through the small towns of Glenwood and Allendale before I was able to get on US 78A (the old US 78 before I-22 was put in. A couple of miles out of Sayre I got stopped by a rear flat tire. I found a small nail sticking out of the tire. I put in one of my spare inner tubes but I accidently cut the valve stem. It took a while to carefully inflate the second spare inner tube to at least 55 psi.

I stopped at a Walmart in the Surriton area to get a new inner tube. I didn't get far down the road when the front tire went flat. I found two small pieces of wire sticking up inside the tire. I put in the spare inner tube but I accidently cut the valve stem on that tire. It took a long time finding the holes in the old inner tube but I was able to patch it up. I used an electric air compressor that was at a trailer nearby to inflate the tire.

It was almost 3:30 pm when I left the Surriton area. The 14 miles into Jasper went okay. It was a long ride into the downtown area. I stopped at the police station. The lady dispatcher there didn't know of a local minister but the sheriff department did have a chaplain. He was actually on patrol with a deputy. I rode over to the sheriff station to meet with him. The chaplain had only been in town for a few months. The deputy with him was able to connect with a pastor of a Baptist church that had a soup kitchen. The church van was dispatched to go and pick me up. There was already a lady staying at the church so the minister who lived across the street made up the living room couch for me. I did have a scare for about 2 hours. The pannier with all of my clothes in it was missing. Somehow, it hadn't been removed from the van and brought into the church before somebody else left with the van. The van was located and my clothes pannier was retrieved.

October 03 : Jasper, AL to Guin, AL : 34.67 miles (55.47 km)
Trip Total: 7,846.61 miles (12,554.58 km)

I had a really rough night. I was pretty wired for almost losing my clothes pannier. I couldn't believe that the clothes pannier had been left in the van and somebody else had taken it from the church. I was also pretty shocked at how bad the pastor's house was. Half of the house was unliveable. The living room that I was going to sleep in was filthy. There were piles of dirt and trash on the floor. There was a cat and a dog. I got into my sleeping bag because I didn't trust the blankets. There was a lot of noise to deal with. I found out in the morning that there was an exhaust fan in the bathroom that was running and the shower was turned on in the bathtub. Sometime during the night, I woke up to something crawling over my face. When I turned on my headlight, I found a roach climbing up the wall behind the sofa. The sofa was short so my legs got cramped up some. I don't know if I got maybe three hours of sleep.

The sun came up around 6:30 am. I moved all my stuff over to the church around 7:15 and I got everything packed up. I left the church around 7:35 am. The sky was overcast and the temperature must have been in the upper 50s. I followed local roads to get on AL 118 and I started heading West. A couple of miles out ofJasper, this guy in a car rolled up next to and asked me if I wanted a hot blueberry muffin. He tossed one to me. He told me that he was taking them to his mother who was in a nursing home. The muffin was good and it helped because I didn't have any breakfast. About a mile more down the road, I stopped at a gas station for a restroom break, to fill up some of my water bottles, and to get some milk. As I was finishing up my milk, this lady came up to me with a GH.

The ride West went okay to Carbon Hill. I got there a little before noon. I rode around to check out the churches but I didn't find anybody around. I didn't find the police statiom. I got back on the road and headed to Winfield. I got into winfield around 2:30 pm.

I found two police officers at the station. They were pretty friendly. One of the officers tried to contact some of the local ministers but he didn't have any luck. He called the police station in Guin. Arrangements were made at a motel outside of Guin. One of the officers went to his house to get his pickup truck to take me to the motel. The other officer came out of the station with a bag of drinks and some snacks. At the motel, we were met by an officer of the Guin police department. He offered to go to a local restaurant to get me a hamburger and some fries.

I'm going to get on the road early and ride to Hamilton about 16 miles away.

October 04 : Guin, AL to Guin, AL : 01.72 miles (02.75 km)
Trip Total: 7,848.33 miles (12,557.33 km)

The room was pretty good but I didn't sleep to well. There was some background noise that I could place and my mind got onto it. I woke up really early before 6 am. The motel didn't serve any breakfast so I had something off my bike.

I left the motel a little after 9 am. It was a short ride into town. I was planning to stop at the United Methodist Church but I didn't find much about it on the internet. The first church that I came to was the First Baptist Church. I got to meet the pastor before the Sunday school hour. I went to the adult sunday school class in the sanctuary. I was able to share a few minutes. After the service, I got permission to stay in one of the classrooms that was in the gymn part of the building. One of the deacons took me out to lunch at a nearby local restaurant.

I'm just going to be riding to Hamilton tomorrow. I have to time my arrival in Oxford and get there Thursday because my lawyer will be out of town for a trial until Wednesday night.

October 05 : Guin, AL to Hamilton, AL : 14.87 miles (23.79 km)
Trip Total: 7,863.20 miles (12,581.12 km)

I had the option to go back to the motel or stay in one of the classrooms in the gym area of the church. I probably should have gone back to the motel. The thermostat in the gym area was really cranked down low so the area was really cool. I just can't imagine wasting that much money keeping that big area cool. I would have understood keeping the gym cool if there was a youth program at night but it wasn't. I spent most of the evening watching movies on my laptop.

I left the church around 8 am. The temperature was cool in the upper 50s but it warmed up so I was able to take my jacket off. There was a really long hill to climb to get out of Guin. There were two more hills to cross to get into Hamilton.

I got into Hamilton around 10:30 am. I stopped at a Walmart to get a new innertube for the front wheel. I stopped for an early lunch. It was around 12:15 pm when I got into the downtown arera. The city hall was behind the First Baptist church. There was a picnic table at the city hall and I took a break there waiting to see if somebody was going to come back to the Baptist church after lunch. When I went over to the church, I saw a sign on the office door saying that the office was closed because of a funeral. I rode over to the United Methodist Church. I caught the secretary coming back from lunch. She contacted the pastor. Arrangements were made at a motel a couple of blocks away.

October 06 : Hamilton, AL to Fulton, MS : 27.29 miles (43.66 km)
Trip Total: 7,890.49 miles (12,624.78 km)

I had a somewhat okay afternoon and night at the motel. I was able to get some sleep.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. The temperature was warm enough that I didn't need to put on a jacket. It was about a 13 mile ride to the MS state line. There wasn't any state sign. The only indication that I had to show that I was in MS was the change in roadway surface.

It was about a two mile ride to where I got on the old US 78 (MS 178). I stopped in Tremont for a short break. Once back on the road, it was about a 7 mile ride into Fulton. I was able to connect with my friend at the MS Extension service. She met me at the local motel. One of the other ladies in the office had gone out to get me some lunch.

I'm not going to be riding to Oxford as planned. This weekend is homecoming week at the university. There are going to be no motel rooms. I'm going to go as far West as Pontotoc. From Pontotoc, I'll be riding South to Eupora and then head West to Greenville where I'll cross the MS River to SW Arkansas.

October 07 : Fulton, MS to Pontotoc, MS : 31.97 miles (51.15 km)
Trip Total: 7,922.46 miles (12,675.94 km)

I had a somewhat okay afternoon and night at the motel. One of Romona's friends came by with a fish dinner. Around 7 pm, all the power in the area went out. When it got dark, I was probably the only person who was comfortable in their room because I had the bicycle headlight and the caving headlight. The power went on around 8:15 pm. I was able to get some rest during the night but the rest wasn't really refreshing.

I got Alice packed outside around 8 am. Romona came by around 8:20 am with some breakfast. Before she left, she slipped me $50. I left the motel around 8:50 am. It was about a two mile ride to US 78 and the bridge across the Tombigee River. US 78 was a 4 lane divided highway with high speeds. US 78 from the state line to Tupelo is going to be I-22 like it was from Birmingham, AL to the MS state line. The ride across the bridge was kind of hard because of all of the trash on the shoulder from logging trucks and blown truck tires. It was almost a 4 mile ride to where I could get off.

I got off the highway at exit 101 and got MS 178 (the old US 78). I rode through the small town of Moore. Around 11:40 am, I had to pull of the road because the rear tire was going soft. I had to walk a couple hundred feet to get off the hill and find a flat place to repair the tire. I was probably six miles out of Tupelo. I found a small piece of wheel sticking up from the inside of the tire. Before I put a new inner tube into the tire, I glued another patch onto the inside of the tire. This was the third patch. I called up Romona to tell her what had happened. She told me that she was going to come and get me. I was able to get the tire fixed before Romona showed up. Romona had one of her co-workers with her. We loaded everything into the back of Romona's SUV.

I'm glad that Romona offered to take me to the bike shop because the downtown area of Tupelo was under road construction because of redevelopement. We got to the bike shop in West Tupelo around 12:40 pm. I was at the shop a couple of years ago to get a new rear wheel. I had originally stopped at the bike shop to get a new front tire but I came out of the shop with a lot more. Romona and her co-worker bought me the new front tire, a new rear tire, a new inner tube for the rear tire, and a set of plastic tire irons. I used one of the shop's floor pumps. I accidently blew out the front tube. It must have gotten pinched but it didn't damage the tire. The owner of the shop gave me a new inner tube.

I was on the road around 1:50 pm. It was two mile ride to US 278. I stopped a couple of times on the way to Pontotoc to take breaks because the temperature was in the upper 80s. It was about a 15 mile ride into Pontotoc. Romona called me and she told me that she had gotten in contact with somebody in Pontotoc and they arranged for a room at one of the local motels.

I'm going to try and get on the road really early tomorrow morning. The temperature is going to be in the upper 80s. I'm going to get on the Natchez Trace tomorrow for a bit. My goal for tomorrow is to get into Eupora.

October 08 : Pontotoc, MS to Mathiston, MS : 56.97 miles (91.15 km)
Trip Total: 7,979.43 miles (12,767.09 km)

I had a somewhat okay night at the motel. It was good that there was a guest laundry but the machines were quite pricey but I still used them. There was an okay breakfast but it wasn't hot.

I left the motel a little before 8 am. I cut across the Burger King parking lot. As I was leaving the parking lot, I heard this lady yelling behind me. I didn't turn around because I wasn't sure if she was yelling at me. I rode down US 15 a bit and turned on a side road because I was trying to find the Tanglefoot Rails to Trails path to Houston. About a half block, I got stopped by two ladies in a car. They told me that they were recently at the Burger King and they had a GH from the black lady at the BK. They directed me to the bike path.

The bike path was okay but it wasn't really spectacular. They had removed everything from the closed down railroad. There wasn't much of nice scenery. I did stop and take a few pictures of a herd of sheep. There were quite a few lambs. The path took me through a couple small towns and ended in Houston. I got into Houston a little before 11 am. After a short break at a gas station in Houston, I rode to US 15 and headed South.

The ride along US 15 was hard because of a narrow paved shoulder because of rumble strips. I got about 29 miles in by noon. I stopped for a break at a gas station in Woodland. I had to stop at a gas station outside of Mantee to wait out a rain shower. The rain lasted about a half hour. The rain blew my chances to get to Eupora before dark.

I tried to make connections with a minister in Mantee but I wasn't able to. I got a back on US 15 to ride the 4 miles to the Natchez Trace. There wasn't much along the Trace and the roadway was pretty bumpy. I was thinking about trying to find some place to camp out but the woods along the road were pretty bad.

I got into Mathiston around 5:20 pm. I was surprised at finding the youth pastor and the music director in the office of the First Baptist Church. The youth pastor arranged for me to get a room at the small local motel. Before I left the church grounds, the music director slipped me a small GH.

October 09 : Mathiston, MS to Winona, MS : 41.63 miles (66.61 km)
Trip Total: 8,021.06 miles (12,833.70 km)

I had a somewhat rough night at the motel. The room was really inadequate. The motel was probably a half star. The only lights in the room were ceiling lights. Before it got too late, the Indian owner came by with two packs of Indian cookies. He already gave me a large bottle of Powerade and a small bottle of water.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. I had to do a sewing repair on my pants. The temperature was warm enough that I didn't have to wear a jacket. The ride West was slow and tricky because I had to deal with a rumble strip in the shoulder. Sometimes I was able to ride on the shoulder and in other places I had to cross over to the main lanes.

I took a short break at a gas station in Europa. West of Europa, the rumble strip quit for a while. Traffic was mostly light. I got about 21 miles in by noon. I stopped at a gas station/ convenience store outside of Sibleyton for a break. I was going to have a pack of the Indian cookies along with a drink that I had bought at the store but I had something more substantial to eat. One of the other customers at the convenience store gave me a McDs double cheeseburger that they had recently bought in Europa.

The afternoon ride to Winona went okay except for when I had to deal with rumble strips again. I got into downtown Winona around 2:30 pm. I wasn't sure that I was going to find anybody at one of the churches but I found the secretary and music director in at the First Baptist Church. Arrangements were made for a room at one of the motels near I-55 west of town. Before I left the church, the music director gave me a small GH and the secretary gave me one as well. I wasn't able to directly ride to the motel. I got halfway and I had to stop at a church with a covered walkway because of a fast moving thunderstorm. The rain lasted about twenty minutes.

I'll be riding to Greenwood tomorrow.

October 10 : Winona, MS to Greenwood, MS : 25.59 miles (40.94 km)
Trip Total: 8,046.65 miles (12,874.64 km)

I had a somewhat off night at the motel. The room was very close to the highway so I heard a lot of road noise over the sound of the air conditioner/heater unit. I didn't sleep too soundly.

I left the motel around 8:30 am. The sky was overcast and cool. The ride West was slow because there was a lot of rolling hills. At least there was some shoulder to ride along amd some recently paved roadway. I stopped for a break in Carrollton. I got a call from my friend in Fulton and she told me that one of her contacts in Greenwood arranged for a room at a local motel in winona.

About 8 miles out of Winona there was a long downhill run. There was also some road construction that I got through. After the downhill coast, the highway pretty well stayed level to Winona.

I got 21 miles in by noon. I got into Winona around 1 pm. Before going on to the motel, I stopped at a McDs for a late lunch.

October 11 : Greenwood, MS to Greenwood, MS : 03.27 miles (05.23 km)
Trip Total: 8,049.92 miles (12,879.87 km)

I had a somewhat off night at the motel. The room was a smoking one but it got sprayed. I got moved to the room because the wifi sector with the non-smoking rooms was down. At first, the room smelled okay but the smell of smoke came back the longer the heater unit stayed turned on. There was a lot of light coming into the room. The other guests of the motel were noisy. There was some kind of party going on. There was supposed to be a continental breakfast but there wasn't much except for some stale bagels and small wrapped pastries.

I left the motel a little before 9 am. It was a little over three miles to a P.C.A. church that I found on the internet. I got to the church about twenty minutes before the service started. I got to meet the pastor before the service. During the beginning of the service, I got introduced but I didn't get the chance to speak. After the service, there was a bi-monthly congregational potluck meal. After the meal, one of the church members slipped me a GH. Also, the pastor arranged for a room at one of the local motels. One of the deacons took me to the motel with his truck.

The front of the motel and the lobby looked really nice but that was the only good thing about this motel. It used to be a resort motel with a restaurant and meeting rooms but these have been closed down in a while. Indian owner. The motel needs a lot of repair. At least the room that I got in back was okay but the wifi network was down.

October 12 : Greenwood, MS to Indianola, MS : 27.63 miles (44.21 km)
Trip Total: 8,077.55 miles (12,924.08 km)

I had a somewhat off night at the motel. I just couldn't get comfortable. I did get some sleep but I woke up really early but I didn't turn on the light to find out what time it was. I did spend a lot of time tossing and turning. I didn't venture to the office because I was pretty sure that there wasn't going to be any breakfast. It would have been nice if the wifi network had actually worked.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. The temperature was warm enough that I didn't wear my jacket. The high for today was going to be ninety. For the first five miles, there was some shoulder to ride along even though it was rough. The shoulder disappeared and the rumble strip started. There was a strong wind coming from the Southwest between ten and fiteen miles. Because of the wind, I wasn't able to stay on the narrow shoulder left from the rumble strip.

I had to ride very close to the left of the white lane. This was complicated because the speed was 65 mph. I rode my mirror a lot. I had to keep my eye on the traffic. Most of the motorists were courteous towards me but there were six vehicles that got really close to hitting me because the motorists didn't move over. There were several times that I had to quickly get off the road onto the dirt and stone shoulder.

By noon, I was able to get 21 miles in. I got into Indianola around 1 pm. I stopped at a McDs for a late lunch. I was planning to go on to Greenville but I decided to see if I could stop for the day. I rode into the downtown area. I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church. The pastor and two of the deacons were in. The pastor was getting ready to lead an afternoon Bible study. One of the deacons took me over to the Super 8 motel on the West side of town to get me a room. There were some cheaper motels on the East side of town but the deacons told me that they weren't that good. The temperature tomorrow is supposed to be a little bit cooler.

October 13 : Indianola, MS to Greenville, MS : 23.77 miles (38.031 km)
Trip Total: 8,101.32 miles (12,962.11 km)

I had a okay afternoon and night at the motel. The motel was pretty new so the room was pretty good. I woke up around 5 am. I tried falling back asleep for a little while longer.

I left the motel a little before 8 am. The temperature was much cooler than yesterday. It had rained some during the night. The wind speed was way down. From the motel to the Washington County line, the shoulder was wide enough on the right side of the rumble strip so I rode there instead of getting into the main lane of traffic. Once into Washington County, the highway was improved and there wasn't a rumble strip to deal with. The ride to Leland went okay. I took a short break in Leland. Leland is where Jim Henson used to live and they call it the birthplace of Kermit the Frog. There was some road construction to ride through on the West side of Leland. The rumble strip returned West of Leland. The shoulder was narrower but I was able to ride it.

I got into downtown Greenville around 11:30 am. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. The secretary and the pastor was in. I got permission to spend the night in one of the classrooms on the second floor in the education wing of the church.

I'm about 8 miles away from the Mississippi River.

October 14 : Greenville, MS to Hamburg, AR : 52.87 miles (84.59 km)
Trip Total: 8,154.18 miles (13,046.69 km)

I had a somewhat okay afternoon and night at the church. The second floor of the education wing was kind of run down expecially the halls. The pastor did say that the floor hasn't been used much. I woke up really early.

I left the church a little before 8 am. It was about a mile ride back to US 82. There was a shoulder for about six miles and then it disappeared. At least the traffic was light to the Mississippi River Bridge. The bridge was pretty new and there was a wide shoulder to ride on. I was able to ride across the bridge but I had to get off and walk over the expansion joints. The River was pretty narrow.

Once off the bridge, I stopped to take several pictures of Alice at the Arkansas state sign. The shoulder was pretty wide to Lake Village. I stopped for an early lunch in Lake Village. Even with the lunch break, I was able to get 22 miles in by noon.

The ride to Montrose went okay. I got into Montrose around 1:30 pm. Montrose was going to be a stopping point but there wasn't much there. It was a town of under 500 people. I stopped at a closed down car wash to get out my laptop and check out my mapping software. I decided to go on to Hamburg about 20 miles away. The ride to Hamburg went okay. I had to take quite a few rest breaks because it was pretty hit and I had to drink a lot.

I got into Hamburg around 4 pm. I found the secretary and the pastor in at the First Baptist Church. There was an offer to get me a room at the local motel. Before I left the motel, I was taken to the kitchen to have some spaghetti that was going to be served tonight for the family dinner.

October 15 : Hamburg, AR to Bastrop, LA : 33.58 miles (53.78 km)
Trip Total: 8,154.18 miles (13,046.69 km)

I had a somewhat okay night at the motel. The room was okay. The only problem with it was that it was really close to the highway. I woke up early again before 6 am.

I left the motel a little before 8 am. The ride South to the LA State line went okay even though the shoulder was a little rough. Once I got in Louisiana, the ride went really well because there was a wide paved shoulder along the divided 4 lane highway.

By noon, I was in the Northern outskirts of Bastrop. I had ridden 31 miles by noon. It was a short ride into the downtown area. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. The secretary was just getting ready to leave. She told me that the minister wasn't going to be in the rest of the week. I rode over to the First Baptist Church. I hunkered down to wait till the office reopened at 1 pm. I didn't want to attempt to leave town because the temperature was in the mid 90s. I found out that the church was between pastors. I did talk with the adult education minister. He offered to take me to the motel downtown and get me a room for the night.

I'm just going to have a short day to Monroe tomorrow.

October 16 : Bastrop, LA to West Monroe, LA : 29.47 miles (47.15 km)
Trip Total: 8,217.23 miles (13,147.57 km)

I should have gone to the other motel that the adult education minister at the First Baptist Church suggested. I thought that the motel in the downtown area was okay but it wasn't. I was assigned to a room close to the office but the electronic lock on the door didn't work right so I was assigned to a room that was quite close to the road. The room wasn't that good. I wasn't able to get a good wifi signal. The room was also a smoking room. The other people in the motel were noisy quite late. During the middle of the night, the room got really noisy. The soda machine outside the door started to act up. Sometime around 4 am, a loud vehicle came into the motel parking lot and there was some loud talking. I was woken up and I couldn't really fall back asleep.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. Once out in the country, there was a good paved shoulder to ride along. There was also a tailwind coming from the North. For a while, I was cruising over 12 mph. I didn't want to go any faster because the shoulder started to have a lot of cracks. I stopped for a short break at a gas station in Sterlington. I got into the Northern Outskirts of Monroe around 11 am.

A couple of miles from the downtown area, I saw a sign for the First United Methodist Church. I wasn't sure if I was going to find somebody at a church since this was Friday. I found a very friendly secretary in the office and another lady who did the finances. The pastor and assistant pastor was out for the day. The secretary called the United Methodist Church in West Monroe to see if they could help me out since I was coming through West Monroe on US 80. There was an offer to get me a room at a motel in West Monroe but the motels that the church dealt with were full. There was a suggestion to contact another lady who worked with some other ministries in Monroe. Mrs Crow said that she was she was coming into Monroe with her husband and she would come and meet me at the church. She told the secretary that she and her husband would help get me a motel room. While we were waiting for Mrs Crow to show up, the youth minister showed up. He offered to get me a room at a motel using the church's discretionary fund if Mrs Crow couldn't get me a room. When Mrs Crow arrived, she told me that she was going to give me a large GH and then I could use that money to get a room. Instead of me doing that, the secretary called the youth minister who had gone out to do some visitations and arrangements were made to get me a room at one of the motels in West Monroe near I-20. It was about a four mile ride to the motel in West Monroe.

I'm going to be heading West to Ruston tomorrow. I plan to attend a church in Ruston Sunday and try to spend the rest of the day in town. From Ruston, I'll be heading South to Alexandria and then I'll be swinging Southwest to Southeast Texas.

October 17 : West Monroe, LA to Ruston, LA : 28.88 miles (46.21 km)
Trip Total: 8,246.11 miles (13,193.78 km)

I had a pretty good night at the motel. I was able to get some much needed rest. There was a pretty good breakfast.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. The temperature was cool in the upper 50s. It was a little over a mile ride to US 80 where I turned West. The ride West went okay. Even with taking a couple of extended breaks, I was able to get about 21 miles in by noon. There were rolling hills. I'm no longer in the Mississippi River Delta and in the Pine Hills Region.

I got into Ruston around 1 pm. I decided to stop at a low cost motel. The motel looked really old and dicey but the room rate was okay. The big plus was a very strong wifi signal. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some rest tonight.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between October 24th and October 31st.




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