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TRIP 2015

Update #21 - October 31st
Brenham, Texas
8,607.57 miles (13,772.11 KM) - Year Total



October 18 : Ruston, LA to Ruston, LA : 03.17 miles (05.07 km)
Trip Total: 8,249.28 miles (13,198.85 km)

I had a pretty rough night at the motel. The motel was probably one of the worst that I've stayed at. Almost half of the rooms were in very bad disrepair. The room was really bad. The floor was falling apart next to the bed. I got awoken up really early and I just tossed and turned instead of falling back asleep. I found some roaches in the bathroom.

It was a really long wait till daylight. I left the motel a little after 8 am. It was about a 3 mile ride to the Trinity United Methodist Church North of I-20. I got to the church a little over half way through the first traditional service. I was able to talk to the sr pastor after the service. Arrangements were going to be made for a room at a nearby Super 8. I went to one of the adult sunday school classes. I got to share a little bit. The second service was okay. Most of the music was by the church's bell choir.

From the church it was less than a half mile ride to the motel. I'm switching my plans to Texas. I was going to head South tomorrow but I'm going to ride West to Minden tomorrow and then head Southwest from there. Going this way, I'll have three days of riding in Louisiana instead of at least six more days.

October 19 : Ruston, LA to Minden, LA : 41.27 miles (66.03 km)
Trip Total: 8,290.55 miles (13,264.88 km)

I had a somewhat okay afternoon and night at the motel. I was hoping to get my clothes washed but the lady at the desk didn't have any soap boxes. There wasn't any way to get any soap from housekeeping. The lady at the desk was hard to talk to because it seemed that she didn't know much English. The room was okay but sometime mid-morning I got awoken up by something outside. I was able to fall asleep but I didn't sleep really deep. I did a lot of tossing and turning before I decided to give up. I didn't go up to the lobby to check out the breakfast. It was good that I ate off the bike because there wasn't much there.

I left the motel a little before 8:30 am. It was cool so I got out my coat. I headed South and then got on LA 150 and headed West. I stopped on the side of the road to do some repair work on my saddle. I stopped in Grambling to get some supplies. I finished up LA 150 East of Simsboro and then I got on US 80 going West. A couple of miles out of Simsboro I got stopped by a lady and she gave me a plastic shopping bag. In the bag was a bottle of Powerade and a large bottle of water. She told me that I looked thirsty.

There were a lot of hills to climb over West of Simsboro. By noon, I got 22 miles in. I stopped alongside the road for a brief lunch break. I was able to take my jacket off.

The road got really bad between I-20 and Minden. The road surface was really rough and bumpy. I was only making 5 mph at best.

I got into Minden around 3:30 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. I talked with the associate pastor. There was an offer to get me a room near the interstate South of town. We loaded Alice and my gear in back of the pastor's truck. There was a restaurant at the motel and the pastor arranged for me to have a buffet meal.

I'm heading to Coushatta tomorrow.

October 20 : Minden, LA to Coushatta, LA : 41.74 miles (66.78 km)
Trip Total: 8,332.29 miles (13,331.66 km)

I had a somewhat off afternoon and night at the motel. The meal provided in the restaurant was okay but something caused a fast bout of diarrhea. I was able to get my clothes washed and dried but the machines were quite expensive. I didn't get much deep sleep. I slept pretty lightly. I woke up really early. I didn't feel like getting dressed and go to the restaurant for breakfast. I ate out of my food pannier.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. I did stop at a gas station to get some chocolate milk. It was cool in the 50s so I wore my jacket till around 11 am. The ride South went okay. The highway was a lot better than what I had to deal with East of Minden. There was a shoulder to ride along.

I got in Ringgold a little before noon. I got almost 20 miles in. I stopped at a gas station for a short break and I took a little longer break at a church a couple of miles South of Ringgold. The afternoon ride went okay.

I got into Coushatta around 3:30 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. I was able to talk with the pastor. Arrangements were made for a room at a motel that I had passed coming into town.

I've got about a 27 mile to Mansfield tomorrow.

October 21 : Coushatta, LA to South Mansfield, LA : 26.79 miles (42.86 km)
Trip Total: 8,359.08 miles (13,374.53 km)

I had a somewhat okay night at the motel. I was able to get some rest last night. I slept maybe 6 hours.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. The temperature was warm enough that I didn't have to wear a jacket. It was a little overcast. I headed West for a couple of miles and then I turned North for about 8 miles. At Grand Bayou, I turned back West. Traffic was light. There were some hills but they were okay.

I got into Mansfield around 11:40 am. I stopped at the First Baptist Church East of the downtown area. I was able to talk with the pastor. The church had arrangements with a motel in South Mansfield. On the way to the motel, I stopped for lunch. The motel was pretty nice. I should have a good night.

October 22 : South Mansfield, LA to Center, TX : 35.42 miles (56.66 km)
Trip Total: 8,394.50 miles (13,431.20 km)

I had a somewhat off night at the motel. I was hoping to get a full night's sleep but I didn't. Somebody close to me decided to turn on their diesel truck early and leave it on for a while. I wasn't able to drown the sound out.

I left the motel a little after 8 am. It was good that I didn't go to the lobby for breakfast because there wasn't much other than pastries. The sky was pretty overcast.

The ride to Logansport went okay. There were a good shoulder to ride along. There was a slight tailwind to push me along. I spent a lot of time coasting. I got into Logansport around 11 am. There was a little bit of road construction to get through. A new bridge across the Sabine River was being built.

I crossed into Texas a little sooner than what I had expected. I stopped in Joaquin to get some bread. A couple of miles West of Joacquin, I got on TX 7. The road surface was a little rough but it wasn't chipsealing. By noon, I had ridden 23 miles. I stopped at a church for a short break.

The rest of the ride to Center went okay. I got into Center around 2 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. The pastor was in the office. He arranged for a room at a local motel.

I'm going to be riding to Nacogdoches tomorrow. Hopefully, I will make it all the way there before some heavy rains start.

October 23 : Center, TX to Center, TX : 01.48 miles (02.37 km)
Trip Total: 8,395.98 miles (13,433.57 km)

Today was an unplanned rest day. I was going to leave around 8 am but it was raining hard. A hurricane was getting to make landfall into SW Mexico and there was a lot of rain from it. I wasn't sure how bad the rain was going to be. I waited till around 8:30 am. to head out. I was going to try and find the Methodist church and see if there was anybody there. If there wasn't, I would go ahead and head out of town. I found the secretary in the office of the Methodist church. There was an offer to get me a room back at the motel.

October 24 : Center, TX to Nacodoches, TX : 34.07 miles (54.51 km)
Trip Total: 8,430.05 miles (13,488.08 km)

The rain didn't last long yesterday. It only rained for about an hour and a half. I went to bed early. I woke up early and tossed and turned. It started to rain hard around 8 am. It lightened up around 8:40 am so I headed West to Nacodoches. About 4 miles out, it started to rain hard. I stopped at an old abandoned house for a break because the porch was still good. I waited about 20 minutes and then I got back on the road again. There were a lot of rolling hills till Martinsville. I only got 18 miles in by noon. Once I got into Nacodoches County, I started to have a paved shoulder to ride along but there were several long stretches of chip sealing.

I got into Nacodoches around 2:40 pm. It was a long ride into the downtown area. It took a while to find the police statiom. I really wasn't expecting much because the population was over 30K. The officer that I talked to didn't know much. The department didnt have a chaplain and there was no ministerial association. There was a homeless shelter but the officer told me that it was kind of unsafe. He did call around to some of the motels to see if there was a sort of cheap room. I used a good portion of my emergency money to get a motel room.

October 25 : Nacodoches, TX to Nacodoches, TX : 02.47 miles (03.95 km)
Trip Total: 8,432.52 miles (13,492.03 km)

I had a bit of a rough night. I was hoping to get a non-smoking room but I was assigned a smoking room. The room didn't smell that bad. The problem was that there was nicotine in the pillows. I woke up in the middle of the night with my lips burning from the nicotine. I had a hard time falling back asleep but I didn't stay asleep that long. I tossed and turned for about an hour and then I gave up.

When I went to the office to get some breakfast around 7:20 am, it was raining pretty hard. I waited till around 9 am and then I headed back downtown to the First united Methodist Church. The first service was almost over when I got to the church. I caught the last half of the sermon. I was able to talk with the pastor. There was an offer to let me stay in the church for the night. I was invited to take part in a sunday school class. I got to share a little bit. After the second service, there was a fall festival with gumbo. After I ate, I got Alice into the church. I settled in one of the libraries to wait till the pastor would tell me which classroom that I could sleep in. Instead of letting me stay in the church, the property manager told me that he had paid to let me stay in a bed and breakfast a couple of blocks away.

The westher should better tomorrow.

October 26 : Nacodoches, TX to Nacodoches, TX : 00.00 miles (00.00 km)
Trip Total: 8,432.52 miles (13,492.03 km)

I had a bit of a rough night. I was hoping to a full night's sleep but I didn't. I woke up around 4:30 am. It was too early to get up so I tried to fall back asleep but I only tossed and turned. I went downstairs for breakfast around 7:30 am. During breakfast, there was a discussion that the weather was going to be bad today. There was a chance for more rain and the winds were strong. The remnants of Hurricane Patricia is still coming through the area. Because of this, I was given permission to stay over for free. I did venture out to go to a nearby grocery store to get a few things.

Tomorrow is going to be a lot better. I'm going to have a long day to Crockett tomorrow.

October 27 : Nacodoches, TX to Crockett, TX : 54.37 miles (86.99 km)
Trip Total: 8,486.89 miles (13,579.02 km)

Yesterday was an unexpected day off because of the weather. It was pretty windy and the rain hadn't cleared out of the area. I didn't do much but stay in my room. I did go out to a nearby grocery store and get a few things. I was hoping for a better night but I didn't get a full night's rest as I had hoped. I woke up around 4:45 am. It was too early to get up so I tried to fall back asleep but I only tossed and turned. I got out of bed around 6 am. I got cleaned up and packed up. Around 7:20 am, I got everything downstairs and outside. I got Alice packed up. I wasn't expecting any breakfast but the Hardemons had breakfast around 7:40 am. There were some homemade biscuits and some of the biscuits were packed up for me to take with me. Along with the biscuits, there was a small GH. This was the first GH since Monroe, LA.

I headed out about 8:10 am. I rode the sidewalks through town until I was able to head West on TX 7. The ride West started out a bit rough because of some rough road surface in the shoulders. The sky was still overcast and it was a little chilly because there was a light wind coming from the West. There were rolling hills. I was quite surprised that I got the first 20 miles in by 10:45 am. By noon, I had the first 27 miles in. I stopped alongside the road to eat one of the biscuits. I got into Ratcliff a little after 1 pm.

I got delayed a little bit in Kennard because there was a serious car accident. Vehicular traffic was delayed going both directions. I was able to get around the accident scene by going through a schoolyard parking lot. Right out of Kennard, there was a five mile section of road construction. I was able to get through the construction zone before the Westbound traffic started to come through. The two ambulances who were at the accident scene road passed but they didn't have any lights flashing or alarms sounding. This could mean that there were no survivors in the accident. I got the first 40 miles in a little after 2 pm.

I was surprised at getting into Crockett by 3:30 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. The pastor was outside talking with another gentleman. There was an offer to get me a room at a motel on the East edge of town. The church has done some work with the motel before. The motel room is okay but the wifi network is down and nobody knows how to take care of it.

I'll be riding to Madisonville tomorrow

October 28 : Crockett, TX to Madisonville, TX : 41.12 miles (65.79 km)
Trip Total: 8,528.01 miles (13,644.82 km)

I got a little more sleep than what I had expected. I just wished that the motel's wifi network worked. I left the motel about 8:30 am. I backtracked into the downtown area and then I got on TX 21 heading Southwest. Once out in the open, the winds hit me. I was only averaging about 6 mph. I rode through Texas Oil Country. By noon, I only got about 22 miles in. I stopped alongside the highway for a brief lunch break.

The afternoon ride was a little better because the wind died down some. I stopped for a short break at a gas station in Midway. I got into Madisonville around 3:30 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. They were between pastors. I talked to the youth minister. There was an offer to get me a room at a nearby motel that the church had arrangements with.

October 29: Madisonville, TX to Navasota, TX : 46.72 miles (74.75 km)
Trip Total: 8,574.73 miles (13,719.57 km)

I got a little more sleep than what I had expected but it still wasn't a full nights rest. The motel's wifi network was down. The room was pretty run down and small.

I got on the road around 8:20 am. The ride South went okay. There was a stretch of road construction where they were redoing the highway. Once out of the section where there was just dirt, there was a pretty smooth paved section but no real shoulder. After about six more miles, there was a good section of freshly paved shoulder. This section ended after about six miles but the real road with shoulder appeared. By noon, I got in about 22 miles. I stopped alongside the road for a short lunch break.

The afternoon ride went okay. I got into Navasota around 3:15 pm. I rode around the churches but there was nobody around them. There was a sign at the First Baptist Church saying that the office would be open till 5 pm but there was nobody around. I did find some people at the Presbyterian church but they were doing some kind of after school program. There was nobody in the office.

I found my way over to the police station in the city hall. I was able to talk with a police officer. He tried to contact with somebody at the churches but he wasn't able to. He told me that it would be okay for me to camp out in some kind of picnic shelter pavilion in the city park West of town. I was told that the restrooms would be open there but they weren't. Another law enforcement officer (constable) stopped to check me out. He told me that I wouldn't be able to camp in the city park. I was told to ride to the RV park on the other side of the airport and find a spot there. The RV park is owned by the city. Hopefully, I will not be awakened by another police officer asking why I'm here in the RV park and not in the city park.

I'm only going to ride to Brenham 24 miles away tomorrow. There are supposed to be some serious thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon.

October 30 : Navasota, TX to Navasota, TX : 03.37 miles (05.39 km)
Trip Total: 8,578.10 miles (13,724.96 km)

I'm not sure if I got any sleep or not. There was a lot of light and also a lot of noise from the nearby highway and the airport behind me. The sun didn't come up till around 7:30 am. It was lightly sprinkling. I quickly got everything packed up and the tent down.

I didn't really feel like riding on to Brenham 24 miles away. There were reports about bad storms today. I decided to head back into town to see if I could connect with a minister. There was nobody at the First Baptist Church. I found out that the Methodist minister was out of town. I did find the Presbyterian minister in his office. There wasn't any place for me to stay at the church because of an after school program. He gave me a GH and told me that there was a motel in town Where I could get a room with the GH and have some money left over.

October 31 : Navasota, TX to Brenham, TX : 29.47 miles (47.15 km)
Trip Total: 8,607.57 miles (13,772.11 km)

I had a pretty rough night. I really don't think that I got a lot of rest. There was a lot of light coming into the room around the curtain and there was a lot of noise coming from the nearby ice making machine and soda machine. I didn't turn on the air conditioning unit as a noise blocker because there wasn't a heater unit. The room was cool because the wall heater didn't work. I woke up early around 4:30 am and I tossed and turned trying to fall back asleep.

It really rained hard between 6:30 am and 8 am. It was lightly drizzling when I headed out around 8:40 am. I got on TX 105 going West. I stopped at the RV park to see if I could find the headlight that I had accidently left there but the site was clean and there was nothing there. The sun came out around 10 am. There were rolling hills on the way to Brenham. I got about 21 miles in by noon.

I got into downtown Brenham around 1:30 pm. I rode around the downtown area to check out the churches to see if somebody might be around them but there weren't anybody. I couldn't find the police station. I found out that the station was actually on the West side of town. I thought that I would stop and see if anybody was at the downtown fire station to see if anybody there knew a local pastor. Before getting there, I saw some activity at this old fire station that was now a museum. There were three guys. One of the guys was the fire chief. He called around and found out that the churches pool their money into a local mission project. That project was contacted and the fire chief learned that there was a voucher program. The voucher program went through the police station so an officer was contacted and he came to the fire station museum to talk with me. I was given directions to a museum on the Southwest part of town and the officer met me there.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between November 07th and November 14th.




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