Thank you for everybody who is reading this blog. I am a couple of days behind in my postings. I am trying to get caught up. Some of that has to do with internet access in the places that I'm accessing to update my blog. Some of it has to do with the way I have to enter text into my phone. I am a terrible typist on my phone especially for the amount of text I'm typing. So I am using a voice to text feature on my phone. I write out at the end of the day my reflection. Then I speak that into the phone, which takes my voice and translates that into the written word you see. It is not a perfect system and I have to go back and make updates and corrections to that which I have spoken into my phone. This is a bit time consuming.
These events happened on Sunday.
When I pulled in to stay at the Country Inn in Rockdale last night, I felt a little guilty that I didn't try too hard to find a place to pitch my tent. But I just decided because I thought I might play at Allen AME church this morning I needed to get cleaned up and be presentable. And I had some thoughts about not going to church because since services started at 11 I knew I wouldn't be leaving town until early afternoon. My connection with Allen is with Andre, the head music minister I play with at First Baptist Church in Lockhart. He played with Allen AME growing up and his mother and family still go there. Andre said they might need a musician and the church welcomed me with open arms and prayed blessings on my trip. It was a huge shot in my arm and encouragement that touched my heart. I can't believe I thought about not taking that step of courage. If that was not enough, they also took up a collection for me after church. Allen AME blessed me in so many ways, and I thank you very much for all of your unexpected gifts.
I ate at the Subway in town and several people asked about my trip. I ended up leaving at 2 o'clock. The thermometer registered 104. Thirty miles from Rockwall was Hearne, a town I used to travel through going between college and home. The town has really developed over the years. I remember when there was nothing by the overpass and now there is a McDonalds and many other small town type retail stores. To eat dinner at the city park would have meant going over the overpass and back over again so I gave up some comfort for a shade tree at the side of the road. And I received a fine display of someone's third finger who was driving a pickup and a horse trailer. Sorry that I cannot conjure up sympathy for you if you pull up behind a cyclist at a stoplight and then get mad when I can't go faster than 17 miles an hour fully loaded. Go ahead and honk at me, see how that works out for you.
On the south side of Franklin, there is an rv park called 'RV Park'. I went up to the office and though it was closed they had a number to call. I called the number and I asked the lady that answered if I could tent camp there. But she responded that she had no place available for that. Beautiful lawn though, lady. Anyway I asked her if she knew of any other place because I was losing light. She suggested Rockdale. Now I had already told her I was on a bike on my way to Arkansas, so regardless of the fact Rockdale was the city I just came from, I wouldn't be able to turn around and make it there by the time the sun went down. So I firmly believe my "are you serious I'm on a bicycle" response was justified. For some reason my keypad locked up on my phone so I couldn't do a dramatic hang up. Instead I struggled to pull the battery out of my phone to end the call. As I went back down the driveway towards the main road to continue on into town, I decided to get a picture of the rv park sign for internet bad mouthing. She got the last laugh however. I was standing in an ant bed while I took the picture. I found the local Pioneer Motel and Horseshoe Cafe for 39 dollars, a Sleep Inn or a Best Western for 100 dollars. You do the math as to which one I picked. The receptionists at the chains looked at me as if I was a homeless person off the streets. The person who checked me in at the local place was the owner and a very nice person.
While I settled in my room, I was unpacking my bike bags. I found that my body spray was not closed and had successfully expended itself in my toiletries bag.
I am making good time. Out of 480 miles to cover uncover I have 7 days ago, so I am ahead of schedule.
Thanks to the guy in the red truck outside of Franklin who gave me the thumbs up, and the ambulance driver and the woman who waved. You guys keep me going. But someone please let me set up my tent!