Friday, September 29, 2006

Day 20 Lula, MS-->Winona, MS

Departure: 7:35 a.m.
Arrival: 4:00 p.m.
115 miles
1,700' climbing
Departure Temp: 45
Arrival Temp: 71

Yesterday was a hard, long day for me given the head and cross winds.I was so hopeful for a good recovery overnight. But alas, I think the cumulative effort is making its mark and I'm not recovering as quickly as earlier in the trip. So today, that I had hoped would be a recovery ride, given the shorter mileage (115) and minimal climbing, turned out to be an effort.

The day was beautiful, again, weather-wise. I stopped to get a pix of the Welcome to MS sign and somehow fell behind the group. So all day I was riding either alone or in sight of only one rider. The pack of folks I was used to seeing at rest stops and passing back and forth along the road were no where to be seen all day. So, it felt a little lonely. Dana (one of the other recumbent riders) and I spent some miles together which was good as were the 20 or so miles I rode with Brett and Andrew, both Aussies, although Brett has been transplanted to RI.

Mississippi. Far and away the folks along the roads in MS have taken far more interest in what we're about than anywhere in the country so far. As many as 10 different vehicles pulled along side of us to ask about our beginning and endings. One guy was on a tractor (that didn't have any brakes) but really wanted to ask Dana about what we were doing. So he coasted his tractor to a stop. Dana's question for him was about the inherent danger of dragging an oil-drenched, huge rag behind his tractor that was set on fire to do a controlled burn of his stubbly, harvested cotton field in the high winds we were expereincing. He assured him it was not a problem at all. The fire would not jump to the green crop. Just in case you ever want to burn your cotton field, now you know.

Our first rest stop was in Belen, MS, nearly a ghost town of 150. A little, 84 y.o. lady came over to tell us she was so glad we were taking a picture of her P.O. because tomorrow would be its last day as a functioning P.O. I have a picture of it I'll share later, plus a picture of all the abandoned circuit boards in the restroom of this P.O. that also served as a general store. The inventory of this store was about 25 items, mostly baked beans.

The Huddle House was the only restaurant option tonight. My, oh my. Definitely not 'haute cuisine.

Tomorrow we're off to Meridian, MS.

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