Monday, September 26, 2011
Day Six-Mileage Isn't Always The Thing
Is it unfair that I didn't want to leave the comfort of Don's RV Park? But as Don said has I left, 'you have many hills to cover and many more miles to go'.
Onward and upward.
I couldn't make myself write about Thursday's journey that night after arriving in Marshall, because I was disappointed that I had only hit 44 miles out of an expected 70. But there were some other gifts that made it clear to me that those 44 were just what I needed.
In Tatum, between Henderson and Marshall, I had made a stop to refill on water. My bike was always a sight to see and it had attracted the attention of Peggy, a neighboring shopkeeper next to the store. Peggy was a very outgoing and funny lady who thought I was a celebrity equal to the likes of 'Girls Gone Wild'. The wild girls bus had stopped across the street from her store once and the whole town came out, including her. She was the first and only person on my trip that wanted a picture with me, so I got one with her as well. We had some fun talking for awhile, and this gave me some new found energy to keep on going.
Perhaps our photo is hanging on a refrigerator or wall somewhere next to one of the wild girls.
About 10 miles outside of Marshall the wind started blowing and I knew that the gathering storm clouds were about to break. Fortunately, I was on a bridge that went over a road. I couldn't find an entrance ramp to the road like you would normally expect to find, so I rolled my bike down the grassy embankment, across a small ditch, and across the road below and quickly got under the cover of the overpass. As I crossed the road I saw a big truck that I took for road construction equipment or a military vehicle, as the road did not quite look finished. A foreman eventually drove by and motioned for me to talk to him. He told me it was a coal mine road. He also said one of those very large dump trucks would be rolling by but I never saw any of those. He had me roll my bicycle behind a concrete barrier and had me get farther up the concrete embankment just in case the bigger truck drivers didn't see me.
A heavy rain with distant lightning did start. While I waited out the rain, I saw that Ms. Judy from the night before had called and had told me that her daughter in law just north of me in Atlanta, TX, had reported getting heavy rains. We made a back up plan that if I got stuck I would call her and have her pick me up. Eventually the rain and lightning did die down and I was able to continue on into Marshall with no further complications from weather.
On a side note, when I had noticed the gathering storm clouds earlier in the day prayed that I would not get a drop of rain on me if the clouds broke. This prayer was answered, but I did get a little bit from road spray from cars going past. I offered no prayer for road spray so I can't fault anyone for that but myself.