It was 70 degrees when we went to bed last night, but we knew from the forecast that it was going to be in the mid-forties when we set off today. Nevertheless, opening that door this morning and feeling the freezing cold wind on my sunburn was still a shock. It had also started raining overnight and at times the rain was really coming down and was coupled with some very gusty winds.
After our short stint on the shoulder-less MS26 highway yesterday we knew that we needed to change the route the guys had planned to Lucedale (since that was what they were planning to ride the whole way!). We decided to instead follow the ACA bike route which would take us to Vancleaf about 30 miles south of our hotel for the night in Lucedale. Beth would then come get us and shuttle us up to the hotel.
We rolled out of the cabins at about 8am as usual in a steady drizzle that picked up as we rode the couple of miles into Poplarville for breakfast. We chatted with a bunch of local residents who all could not be more friendly or interested in the brothers crazy escapade as we watched the radar and waited for the heavy rain to pass. It has been really refreshing to me to see how friendly everyone here has been to us and to each other. Everything from the wait staff at Hardee’s make small talk with us and the other customers, the drivers who give us as much room as possible when passing after waiting for a safe place to do so, and the drivers heading the other way who inevitably wave and smile. It is nice to remember that life doesn’t have to be as harried as we make it I the northeast (and I’m as guilty of that as anyone).
While the people here are as friendly as can be, the dogs need to learn some tolerance. Mark gave one a swift pedal to the head today, but I’ll let him tell that story. In short, my head was on a swivel all day and we got chased several times. And I mean chased. Not run to the edge of the yard and bark. I mean dogs running down the road after us as we sprinted away. They seemed to mostly go for me and Mark and were tired out by the time dad and Brian rode past. You guys are welcome.
The cold today was tough since it dropped down to about 40 and seemed to just stay there right through the early afternoon. We had some light rain off and on in the morning but we eventually got to dry roads about 30 miles into the ride. There were a lot of rolling hills in the beginning but the road gradually flattened out, and it did finally warm up a little. But that was at about 55 miles in and we were all pretty chilled at that point. We were also then battling a very strong cross wind that literally had me leaning into it at times to stay on a straight line. We rolled into Vancleaf after 75 or so tough miles and hoppped in the van for the ride to the hotel. A hot shower may have never felt so good!
I have awesome pictures, but I’m catching flak for my editing/ technical issues so you’ll just have to use your imaginations. Yes, they really do look fine on my iPad…!