August 7, 2022 on

Month: November 2022 (Page 1 of 2)

Day 100+ – Final Thoughts and Thank Yous

It’s been a week and a day since my return on day 99 last Sunday, November 13. A slow week, as I was in bed or resting for most of it. I caught a cold that hit full force on Monday, and on Tuesday, I went to the doc to get tested to make sure it wasn’t COVID, RSV, or the Flu. Thankfully, it was none of those, but that didn’t dissipate the symptoms at all. It was Saturday before I really felt like rejoining the world. I did that by visiting my friend Evelyn to watch the PSU-Rutgers game. Also, my second welcoming event was this ➡

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Day 99 – Homeward Bound

A very nice weekend came to an end on Sunday morning as Dana and I packed up the car with our bikes, my bags and racks, and everything she had brought for the weekend. There were even a few square inches left over, but not a lot! I got to drive for the first time since Denver in September. I even checked my license to make sure it was still valid. We said our good byes to Kathy, Dave, and Charlie, and headed out in the much chillier morning. The temps yesterday were in the 70s, but today were in the 40s, and there’s snow in the forecast back home in State College.

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Day 97 – Another OMG (or two or three…)

Yesterday’s ride was not an auspicious way to finish up my trip, but Birmingham was my last tour stop. I hopped on the Amtrak Crescent to Baltimore and 20 hours later, I rode the ½ mile to the light rail station and hopped on the train to Lutherville.

This was the culmination of a couple weeks of planning with our friends Dave & Kathy who were hosting Dana for the weekend, but it didn’t all gel until I was in New Orleans.

Dave picked me up at Lutherville and took me back to their house where we had some wine and waited for Dana. She thought I was with a Warm Showers host in Birmingham, a little ruse that was not unexpected for this trip.

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Day 96 – Slog day

November 10, 2022, Birmingham AL. Well, all the good things I said or thought about Alabama roads were thrown out the window today. US 11 out of Tuscaloosa was OK for about 3 miles, and then reverted to little to no shoulder. Add in the high speed traffic and tractor trailers, particularly logging trucks, and you have the makings for the worst 25 miles on this trip so far. OK, maybe not the worst, but definitely tied with KY 8, and that wasn’t as long. Overall, the drivers weren’t bad and waited or gave me room (‘cept for one, but I escaped that unscathed. Thank goodness for the rearview mirror).

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Day 95 – Tuscaloosa

October 9, 2022 — York AL to Tuscaloosa AL.

I knew I had a good 7 hour ride in front of me to a motel in Tuscaloosa. The only Warm Showers host in the city never answered my message or text, and the closest campground would have added another 10 miles to today’s 73 and tomorrow’s 57. Add in the time to set up and tear down and pack and that’s a significant cut out of already short days and I did want to have some time in the city, too.

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Day 94 – Sweet Home, well, Alabama

November 8, 2022, York, AL. Today, I got up early and readied my bags and bike for the short jaunt to the Amtrak station. After saying “Au Revoir” to Karen and M.A., I hit the street. About 2/3 of the way to the station, my front tire went flat. Knowing I had only a mile to go and stopping to pump it up or fix it there might make me late for baggage check in, I walked Papa H to the station. Once there, I got checked-in but asked the clerk for 15 minutes to fix the flat. I found a beer bottle arrowhead embedded in the tire. At least it was easy to see and extract. I booted the tire where the glass came through and put my last new tube in. Had it ready with time to spare. I’ll need that time today as I don’t get into Meridian until 1:30 and then I have at least a three hour ride to York AL where I’m overnighting. Sunset is now just shy of 5 pm and it’s dark by 5:30.

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Day 93 – 1815, 1934, and now

November 7, 2022 NOLA. Today I got on the bike for a long ride. Karen suggested Chalmette National Cemetary/Park where the Battle of New Orleans essentially ended the War of 1812. Karen and M.A. recommended the Lakefront airport as a good example of the Art Deco period. Folks at the Po Boy Fest recommended the Levee along the Mississippi, and I found a route that went along Lake Pontchartrain. I found a way to hit them all and keep it to 62 +/- miles.

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Day 92 – The Second Line and Po Boys

OMG! OMG! OMG! What a day! Karen and M.A. had a great day in store for me today. Though they were both working again and couldn’t join me, I took their suggestions to go to a Second Line parade and a Po Boy festival that was happening on the other side of town. Bonus: Their friends Dave and Joyce live just a half block off of the festival street and 20 yds from one of the festival stages, and they have a party and their own music. Karen sent them a note to expect me and Dave said, “Great! We need somebody to drink the beer!”

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Day 91 – NOLA

Saturday November 5, 2022, New Orleans, LA (NOLA) Both Karen and M.A. were working today, so I was on my own. Eeyore returned in force with drenching rain and occasional thunder. It was actually the first time in three months that I put on rain gear, which for me consists of the little $1 ponchos you can buy just about anywhere. Why not full rain gear? (1) I have to carry it for the 98% of the time it’s not raining, (b) I find it much more comfortable than a waterproof jacket in which you sweat so much on the inside you may as well be wearing nothing. The poncho keeps the rain off but lets the air flow, (3) I expect my legs and shoes will get wet anyway, and today I had on Teva’s, so no socks to get wet either, and (d) the poncho fits over a small backpack I take along when I don’t have my panniers attached.

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