TRIP 2018

Update #09 - April 01st
Biloxi, Mississippi

Year Total : 272.06 miles (435.30 km)

March 23 - F : Liberty, Mississippi to Woodville, Mississsippi : 05.75 miles (07.20 km)
02.09 C 01.91 R
Trip Total : 84.17 miles (134.67 km)

Fourth day on tour.

I had an okay night in the guest room of the Liberty Baptist Church. The room was pretty good. I went to bed early. I was expecting to wake up early around 6 am but I was shocked when I saw that it was 7:15 am. The room didn't have any windows and the hall was an internal one. I quickly got cleaned up, dressed, and packed up so I could go downstairs to get Allison. The lady sexton had left the fellowship door open for me. I left the church around 8:20 am. Before leaving Liberty, I rode over to a gas station so I could get some milk.

It was probably 8:45 am when I headed out of Liberty. There was a little bit of a shoulder to ride along. I did have to stop along side the road to do a little roadside repair on Allison. About a mile down the road, I stopped to check out a herd of black cows. It didn't take long for the cows to come up to the fenceline. Before I headed out at least 80% of the cows in the herd was up front. A lot of them started to follow me.

The ride was a little slow because of the truck traffic. About 5 miles out of Liberty, MS 569 split off to the Southwest and pretty well all of the trucks turned because there was a sign saying that it was a direct route to Baton Rouge, LA. MS 569 ended at Clinton, LA and then joined LA 67, which then joined I-110.

Right beyond the intersection, the shoulder that I was following ended and there was just a rumble strip at the edge of the road. There was a short rise, so I decided to walk up it before getting back on Allison. I didn't get a hundred feet down the road when a couple in a station wagon pulled off the road in front of me. The guy in the car told me that the rest of the way to Woodville would be really hard because of the no shoulder, the curves, and the logging trucks. They offered to take me to Woodville. The ride to Woodville went quickly. I was dropped off at the motel south of Woodville on US 67 where a donated room was waiting for me.

March 24 - SA : Woodville, Mississippi to Zachary, Louisiana : 23.12 miles (36.99 km)
02.57 C 02.43 R
Trip Total : 107.29 miles (171.66 km)

Fifth day on tour.

I had a really good afternoon and night at the motel. The room was quiet even though it was quite close to the busy highway 61. I didn't watch much television because there was very few channels available. I went to sleep around 11 am.

It was around 5 am when I woke up. There was nothing available for breakfast so I ate a couple of granola bars.

It was around 8:20 am when I headed out. The ride south to the LA state line was kind of tricky because there were several areas of road construction and there was the narrow shoulder with the rumble strip to ride along. I was really happy to get to the LA state line but there was a last stretch of road construction. Just beyond the road construction in Louisiana, the shoulder became a paved shoulder at least eight feet wide.

I stopped to take the traditional picture of the state sign. This was the first time of Allison at a state sign. I stopped at a gas station for a short break.

The ride south in Louisiana was really great. I was surprised at how fast the miles were going by. By noon, I had made a whopping 22 miles. This was three more miles than what I had ridden Thursday and close to my normal mileage.

When I got into St Francisville, things went from good to bad. My wide shoulder disappeared. The roadway became narrow and there was a sloped concrete curb on either side. There was maybe four inches of pavement between the curb and the white line. Traffic did not slow down and move over to give me clearance. Every one hundred feet or so, I had to quickly get off of the road to wait for the traffic to go passed. After about three-quarters of a mile, I finally turned into the parking lot of a gas station. I learned that I would have at least two more miles of curbing before the shoulder came up.

Yesterday, Knox made arrangements through the PCA church in Zachary for a place to spend the night. I called up my host. Mike offered to come and get me. I'm glad that he did because the highway to Zachary was a narrow two-lane highway with no shoulder.

After we got Allison situated in the garage and the rest of my gear in the guest room, Mike took me out to eat at a sports bar- restaurant called Walk-On in Zachary. All of the waitresses were in cheerleader costumes. The black waitress who took care of us was very friendly.

Mike offered to let me stay over tomorrow. Instead of letting me ride through Baton Rouge, Mike offered to take me to Denham Springs.

To help me out more, Mike took me into Baton Rouge to a bike shop so I could get a new rear view mirror.

March 26 - M : Zachary, Louisiana to Denham Springs, Louisiana to Hammond, Louisiana : 30.42 miles (48.67 km)
03.33 C 03.57 R
Trip Total : 137.71 miles (220.34 km)

Seventh day on tour.

I had a good night at Mike's house. Mike was thinking about hiking some of the Appalachian Trail with a friend of his in Sanford, FL so I suggested we watch the 2015 "A Walk In The Woods". It was really fun watching it again even though I've got it on my laptop. I told Mike that he needed to read the book since they had changed and a lot of stuff in the movie.

I was really happy to be able to get all of my clothes into my small rear pannier. Before it got dark, I took my paperback and walked to the Little Free Library box that was in the park up the street. Most of the books were for kids since there was a school close by.

I went to bed around 10 pm. I slept okay even though the room was cold because of the air conditioning. The ceiling was too high and there was no way that I could use a broom to close the vent. Around 3 am, there was a persitant scratching at my door and also barking. It was Ebeneezer. The only way that the scratching would stop would be to allow Ebenezer into my room. The bed was too high so I picked Ebenezer up. This was the first and only time that I'll be sleeping with a dog. Ebenezer wouldn't lie still. He was either squirming or licking me.

It was around 6:30 am, when I got up. I quickly got dressed, cleaned up, and packed up so I could take my stuff to the garage. Mike left his bedroom around 7:10 am. I told him what I had happened with Ebeneezer. He told me that he had kicked him out of the bedroom a few minutes before Ebeneezer started to scratch my door.

Around 7:20 am, we loaded up Allison and my gear in the back of his pickup truck. I am so glad that Mike had offered to take me to Denham Springs. The fog was really thick between the Mississippi River and the Amite River. Mike followed local roads to Denham Springs. We went through the downtown area of Zachary and went through the small town of Central. It was really something else to see all of the damage and piles of house debris from the flooding in 2016. It has been eighteen months and there were still homes and businesses that needed to be repaired.

Mike dropped me off in the back parking lot of the McDonalds. The McDonalds was across the street from the New Covenant Church that I had stopped at to do some volunteer work with All Hands Volunteer. I got a big breakfast with scrambled eggs but I skipped the sausage. It was surprising to hear a group of guys talking about Passover. I told them that Passover started Friday night. The Seder would be held Saturday. This would be the 42nd anniversary of my parents disowning and tombstoning me.

It was around 8:45 am, when I left the McDonalds. I stopped to take a picture of New Covenant Church. The church in the refurbished shopping center was closed and up for sale. The small retaurant in the shopping center was still open for business.

The ride East on US 190 was okay. The sky was a little overcast. US 190 was being repaved so there was a wide paved shoulder. I stopped a couple of times along the way. I was going to stop at the laundromat in Albany but I wasn't sure if the people who there back in 2016 were still working there. When I stopped there in 2016, my clothes were washed and dried for free buy the lady attendant who saw that I was a missionary.

By noon, I had ridden 23.12 miles. This was almost a mile more than what I had gotten in Friday morning. I got to I-55 around 1:20 pm. I stopped at the Super-8. I was able to get my 10 % senior discount. After getting Allison squared away in the room, I walked across the street to the Cracker Barrel for a late lunch. The waitress that I got wasn't very good. She used very poor English. I'm not happy when somebody calls me Baby and Sweetie. I had to wait ten minutes for her to come back to my table so I could get my check. She should have given it to me when she served me my meal. she had to wait ten more minutes because she had gone to the kitchen to get the ticket. I told the lady at the cash register about the poor service that I got.

I'm going to try and get on the road around 8 am. I am really hoping that they have repaved and widened the shoulder between the St Tammany Parish line and the turn-off onto Bus 190 into Covington. I'll be riding US 190 to the interchange of I-12 to get a motel room. Tomorrow morning, I'll either ride all the way to Mandeville on US 190 or find a way east to get on the Trace Bike Trail to Slidell.

March 27 - T : Hammond, Louisiana to Covington, Louisiana : 31.67 miles (50.67 km)
04.22 C 03.78 R
Trip Total : 169.38 miles (271.01 km)

Eighth day on tour.

I had a good night at motel. The motel was pretty modern. There was a good free breakfast.

I left the motel around 8:05 am. The sky was overcast and there was a crosswind from the southeast to deal with. It took a while getting through Hammond. The ride east was okay. There was some shoulder to ride on until I got into the St Tammany Parish.

Once I got into St Tammany Parish, the shoulder disappeared and I had to deal with washboard pavement. I got a little over 20 miles before noon. I stopped at a gas station for a short break. Once back on the road, the ride was a little better because there was some shoulder to ride on until I got into Bus 190 into downtown Covington. The ride through Covington went okay. I stopped for a late lunch at a McDs before heading south on US 190 to the Super 8.

The ride to the Super 8 was really rough because there was no shoulder to ride on. It took me a little over an hour to ride the four miles. I had to stop at every intersection and turnoff to wait for all of the traffic behind me to go past. I got to the Super 8 around 3:45 pm.

March 28 - W : Covington, Louisiana to Mclane City (South Slidell), Louisiana : 40.72 miles (65.15 km)
05.22 C 03.78 R
Trip Total : 210.10 miles (336.16 km)

Ninth day on tour.

I had an okay night. The room was large and it had traditional furniture. The motel rooms were being remodeled to the more modern contemporary style. I watched the first reboot episode of the Roseanne Show. It was interesting seeing the people who played in the televison show thirty years ago. There was some new characters. Darlene was a single mother who had two kids. A teenage girl and a boy about 10 years old. It was hard watching the boy because he was being portrayed as being gay. I didn't watch the whole second episode because the boy wouldn't help do the dishes because the finger nail polish was drying. Roseanne and Dan Connor were supposed to be die-hart conservatives while Roseanne's sister was a Democrat.

I fell asleep around 10 pm but I woke up a couple of times during the night. I did wake up the last time a little before 5 am. I got cleaned, dressed, and went to the office to get some breakfast. Because of the threat of bad weather, Thursday, I decided to make a reservation for two nights at the Super8 in McLane City (South Slidell). I was looking at getting a sr rate but I got a wyndham Rewards Rate that saved me 14% instead of just 10%. Also, I got almost 1,200 in new reward points.

I left the room around 8:05 am but I didn't leave the motel because I talked with the property manager, Melissa. We talked about her 23 yr old African Grey Parrot, Thor. Thor has been at the motel in the office for at least eight years. I learned that African Gray Parrots live at least 80 years in captivity and they should be put in a will to make sure there is somebody else to take care of them when the initial caretaker dies.

I wasn't to get back to US 190 because a guy yelled out at me in front of the Waffle House. I turned around and talked to him for about 10 minutes. I didn't get back on US 190. I crossed the highway and rode through some shopping centers to get on the service road. Once I got on the service road, I had plans to get on Slemmer Road but the sign was missing so I got on Helenburg Road. I accidently stayed on Helenburg Road to its end instead of getting on Soell Road and then followed it to US 59. I stopped at a gas station for a break and then I followed some directions to Robert Road where I got on the Tammany Trace Bike Trail.

The ride along the Trace went okay. In Mandeville, I stopped to talk to a lady who was riding a trike. At the drawbridge on the east edge of Fontainebleau State Park, I learned that the drawbridge every day, In one day, the drawbridge was open seven times a day but there has been gaps of two weeks between bridge openings. The lady told me that sometimes she opens up the bridge to allow a float plane to go through.

By noon, I had ridden about 22.18 miles. The winds had slowed me down a little bit. I stopped at a gas station in Lacombe for a break and some lunch. I ordered a chicken burrito and a small order of fries. When I got the bag with the burrito and fries, I found out that the lady had made me a double portion of fries.

Once back on the Trace, the ride to it's end in West Slidell went okay. There were still plans to extend the bike path but it would swing southeast into some adjoining neighborhoods instead of cyclng around Forest Lawn Cementary and then ending someplace near US 11.

When I got into Slidell, I followed local roads passed the schools and First United Methodist Church. I rode across US 190 and Bus 190. Instead of turning SE on Old Spanish Trail, I got on US 11 (Pontchartrain Road instead). I stopped at a McDs for a Sweet Tea break and then further down the road I stopped at a Wendys for some lunch to go. I didn't know that I was on the wrong road until after I rode passed the First Baptist Church and started to go out of town and ride along the through the marshes of Lake Pontchartrain. If I would have gone any farther, I would have hit the narrow bridge across the Eastern edge of Lake Pontchartrain. The winds were really strong when I got into the marshland. I didn't have to backtrack to get to local roads that would take me past Fritchie Park to Old Spanish Trail. Once I got on Old Spanish Trail, it wasn't that far of a ride to the Super 8 on the North side of the highway.

Friday morning, I'll be crossing over I-10 and then following LA 433 Rigolets Road 5.2 miles to Howze Beach and get on US 90 on the East side of Fort Peck Drive. Once I get on US 90, I'll have an 8.2 mile ride to the MS State Line. Once in MS, I'll have a 16 mile ride to Bay St Louis. In Bay St Louis, I'll stop at the motel where I've stayed at before.

March 30 - F : Mclane City (South Slidell), Louisiana to Bay St Louis, Mississippi : 30.17 miles (48.27 km)
06.00 C 05.00 R
Trip Total : 240.27 miles (384.23 km)

Eleventh day on tour.

Tonight is Erev Shabbos and first night of Pesach. Tonight is the Sedar and the 42nd anniversary of my burial and tombstone.

I Went to sleep too early. I woke up around 5 am. I went for breakfast around 6:40 am.

I left the motel around 7:45 am. Instead of following LA 433 to it's end around the Ft Peck Bridge on US 90, I decided to follow local roads and get on Bus 90. About a quarter of a mile, I saw signs advertising free donuts and prayer drive-thru. Stopped at the small Bible Fellowship Church. Got a donut. Passed on the water. Did get prayed over.

The ride along the rest of US 190 was quite short. Did stop at Dollar General to get some bread. Had to put my coat on. The shoulder was a little rough that I lost one of the large water bottles. Once back on US 90, it was a short ride to the East Pearl River and the MS state line. I rode 13.47 miles in MS. Stopped at the gas station outside of Pearlington for a short break. Stopped to take a picture of Allison at state sign. About four miles out of Waveland, MS, I was able to take off my jacket.

I got into Bay St Louis a little after 2 pm. Stopped at the super8 where I had made a reservation. I've got about a 25 mile ride to Biloxi tomorrow.

March 31 - SA : Bay St Louis, Mississippi to Biloxi, Mississippi : 31.79 miles (50.86 km)
06.79 C 05.21 R
Trip Total : 272.06 miles (435.30 km)

Twelfth day on tour.

The motel room was okay but things were a little worn down since the last time I stayed there back on Dec 10, 2016 when I was heading West to California. I went to bed early and woke up a couple of times during the night to go to the restroom. I woke up around 5 am for the last time. I didn't feel like going to the office because I had a lot of stuff from my last stop at the Super 8 in McLane City.

I left the motel around 7:45 am. I did pick up a few things to go. About a half mile from the Bay St Louis bridge another cross-country cyclist came up from behind me. He was on a cheap bike and pulling a Bob trailor. The guy introduced himself as the Cylcing Friar. He is a Benedictine monk and he used to live at a monestary in New Mexico. Sometime in August, he started on a trip from Washington DC and got caught in Illinois from the bad weather so he turned South. He's been on the Gulf Coast. He had started today from the catholic church but he had his tent at the Episcopal Church in Pass Christian.

Even with the wind, I was able to ride clear across the Bay St Louis bridge instead of getting off and walking it. Near the Eastern edge of the bridge, I had somebody take me a picture of me on Allison. Once I got down to the sidewalk along the beach, the wind really slammed into me. I was barely able to go 6 miles an hour. It was like riding a horizontal wall. I stopped at a gas station in Pass Christian for a break to get out of the wind. I stopped at a Walmart to get a case for my cellphone and another large water bottle to replace the one that fell off Allison yesterday.

Aroind 12:30 pm, I stopped at a Burger King for some lunch of chicken nuggets. The afternoon ride was a little bit better. I was able to take my jacket off. The wind was a little less. There were a lot of people on the beach. It was a slow ride along the beach sidewalk because of the people, the sand over the sandwalk, and all of the broken sidewalk sections where the ground under the sidewalk got eroded and the sidewalk collapsed. I did have to stop to add some air to the back tire. I'm going to have to get a new tire for the rear soon because the old tire is old and the sidewall is flaking off. I'm probably going to get one at the Walmart either in the Ocean Springs or Pascagoula area Monday.

It was around 4:20 pm when I got to the First Presbyterian Church in Biloxi. Tim and the sexton were doing some yardwork out in back by the fellowship hall. Instead of letting me stay at the church for the weekend, Tim transported me and Allison back down the road to the Super8. I offered to pay for both nights so I could get my bonus points. Tim is going to give me cash tomorrow to reimburse me for tonight. Either him or somebody else from the church is going to pick me up tomorrow morning around 9:20 am so I can attend Sunday school.

The next update might be posted between April 08th and April 15th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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