Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Well, as I mentioned in the short morning entry, the weather sucked today. That officially made today "Gitterdoneday" -- where you wrap everything in plastic, tuck in, and keep the pedals turning over just as fast as you can. We rode 93.8 miles averaging 16.2 mph, into an often stiff headwind.

We got 'er done, though.

After a decent breakfast at the Marriott Courtyard, we left just before 9 am, allowing us to retrace the prior day's route to the Trace, though some rather quiet Tupelo neighborhoods. By getting on the parkway after 9 am, most of the rush hour was over and the traffic was just tolerable.

Of course, it was raining ... a fine drizzle that had us soaked within a couple of miles. We had turned on all of our lights and were wearing bright yellow jackets with reflective piping. You'd would have to be out of your mind on heroin not to have seen us.

We stopped at mile marker 241 -- about 20 miles south of Tupelo -- to leave something to commemorate Ester Hageman, the Dutch journalist who was hit by a driver (allegedly out of his mind on heroin) and killed earlier this month.

Pretty forlorn, huh? Our offering of Honey Stingers was the only thing there, and I frankly feel that the Tupelo Cycling Club should be ashamed of this. Even if Ester was not a member of their club, she was a two-wheeled cyclist, and this is something that happened on their turf, and on their watch. If they want to make the Trace safe around there, the Tupelo Cycling Club probably needs to show a little more activism regarding things like this.

By the way, I'm going to post a link to this on their Google group list, as soon as the moderator approves me. RandoBoy doesn't talk about people behind their back ... unless they're bigger than he is.

Soon afterwards, we entered the Tombigbee National Forest again, and rode for 20 miles with no towns. Finally, 40 miles into the day, we turned off on Hwy 8 and went into Houston for lunch. The sign coming off of the Trace said it was four miles, but we measured it closer to three by the time we got to downtown. We did not at first notice the McDonald's north of downtown, and so ended up at Saxon's.

The food was pretty good -- definitely better than McDonald's would have been -- but it would have been nice to sit indoors, where it was probably warm and dry. By the time our sandwiches came, we were shivering -- so we scarfed it all down and quickly mounted up to start pedaling hard and get warm.

The trucks on Hwy 8 quickly had us missing the quiet of the Trace, and once on it we knew that we were not leaving until we hit French Camp. We only made short stops to stretch our legs, use the green door, and to film narratives.

The rain started up again a few miles after that -- a driving deluge that soaked what parts of us had become only mildly damp again, and made us work for every forward mile. We counted down the last miles of the "200s" up to the following rainy marker.

Then it was hammer thru the wet, until we finally reached our cabin at French Camp.

Inside, the place is obviously made for sleeping.

There were even two more beds upstairs.

RandoGirl could not wait to get out of her wet clothing and hang things up to dry.

We quickly showered and put on dry clothing, and then headed over to the Cafe for dinner. By then, look at what the weather had done.

RandoGirl and I couldn't decide if it was ironic or not -- in spite of what Alanis Morisette might say. But we laughed about it anyway, and knew that ultimately it did not matter. We had faced the elements and "got 'er done."

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