YAHOO! I Made It Right Across the States Because I Didn’t Stop: Thurs, May 2nd

YAHOO! I Made It Right Across the States Because I Didn’t Stop  Thurs, May 2

  • Don’t stop to take photos
  • Don’t stop to pee
  • Don’t stop to dilly dally

DON’T STOP – DON’T STOP – DON’T STOP

This was the message we were given the night before our last and final ride to the Fire Station on the outskirts of St Augustine some 40 miles away.  We had to arrive all at the same time in order to meet up with the police cars that would escort us 6 miles through town.  AND WE DID JUST THAT! 

The Cops had their sirens blazing, their lights flashing and had blocked off all the side streets on our way to our final destination …….The Atlantic Ocean in St Augustine,  the oldest city in the USA.

Here’s a 36 second video of our parade that our pal Keith made as we rode into town.  I’m the Cycle Chick in the purple jersey right next to the white car in the middle of the procession.

 

This has been an amazing adventure for me.  An adventure of a lifetime.  However, I didn’t make it all by myself.

You see, some days especially when those dirt filled, gale force winds smacked me right in the face while riding uphill on that Texan chip seal, I wondered if I was ever going to get to the Atlantic.  I more than once fantasized about sneaking out of my motel room in the middle of the night with my bike and suitcase in tow to head for home.

Then, when I would finish for the day, I’d pull out my ipad and see your words of encouragement and I was okay.  I was ready for another day of riding and I made it.

Big Hugs and Kisses to you all.

 

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Crawfordville – It’s Life Jim But Not As We Know It – Sunday, April 28

Crawfordville – It’s Life Jim But Not As We Know It – Sunday, April 28
Marianna to Quincy 54 miles
Quincy to Crawfordville 48 miles

20130428-095345.jpg
If you put on your specs and take a really close look at the map you can see a RED DOT. That ‘s Crawfordville.

Today was a day off and Wakulla Springs State Park is nearly spitting distance from our hotel outside Crawfordville so I spent the day with some most unusual critters. This is where all the Tarzan movies were filmed as well as one of my favorite horror films, the Creature From The Black Lagoon”.

20130428-205000.jpg
Let me know if you remember this film. It was so kitch/bad/awful it is still sought out by crazies like myself today.

20130429-174524.jpg
It’s mating season so this lovely couple is fixin’ to have a bit of fun. Turtle coupling can be like a roller coaster ride for the male. The males have claws so that they can hold on – truly.

20130429-200914.jpg
Lots and lots of alligators reside in these springs too. We saw 5 of them a stones throw from the designated swimming area. I guess these creatures are entitled to some fast food too.

20130429-202119.jpg
There was one last furry friend sited today? Ain’t she cute

20130429-202320.jpg
Only 4 more riding days left. Can hardly believe it. Enough for now. As usual it will be an Eat, Ride, Sleep Day.

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Florida – Ninety On The 90 – Thursday April 25th in Marianna

Florida – Ninety On The 90 – Thursday April 25th in Marianna
Dauphin Island AL to Pensacola FL 60 miles (100 kms)
Pensacola to Crestville 69 miles( 111kms)
Crestville to Marianna 94 miles (151)

20130427-200026.jpg

Finally made it to Florida. It took a wee while. The ride the day we got here was 100km & mostly straight into 25 mile an hour head winds. We are kind of getting use to head winds now but I do feel silly for saying right up front on my Home Page that the winds were going to be mainly from the west. That may be true for the jet stream but it certain.y isn’t here on the ground.

Getting to the panhandle of the Flower State couldn’t have been easier. We took a 40 minute vehicle ferry from Dauphin Island. Always hungry, here is one of our crew snacking on her lunch at 8am while waiting to get on the ferry. By the way, the name Dauphin seems like it should be spelled DOLPHIN after a marine mammal but it’s named after an entirely different mammal – a French prince.

20130427-200621.jpg

20130427-201711.jpg

The Gulf of Mexico that we passed through was absolutely littered with Oil rigs. We had a few feathery friends along the way.

20130427-201742.jpg

20130427-201759.jpg

This post mentioned Ninety On the 90 from the get-go. This has been a very long day full of rolling hills – don’t you just love them – so I am going to get some shut eye now.

20130427-210516.jpg

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged | 6 Comments

Short But Sweet Home Alabama – Monday, April 22nd

Short But Sweet Home Alabama – Monday, April 22nd
Wiggins to Moss Point- 72 miles
Moss Point to Dauphin Island – 44 miles

Hey, we finally made it to Alabama, however, it has been a short but sweet stay – only 2 stops.

20130422-173305.jpg
That’s me in the middle doing a bit of ‘can can ‘ because I can make it to Alabama.
To get here we had to cross some formidable bridges so high that i thought my heart was going to stop at just the thought of going over them.

20130422-173923.jpg
The first high-in-the-sky bridge we crossed was over the Singing River. It’s not called the Singing River because you can sing a tune while pedaling up it. Hell, I was lucky enough to have kept breathing (not really as I am now use to hills but I wanted to be a wee bit dramatic).
It’s called The Singing River after the indigenous people who suffered a horrible death in it.
On quiet evenings a strange, some say haunting, melodic sound has been heard coming from the river. People who have heard it say it sounds like singing.

However most of the area looks like Bayou where homes need foundations high enough to keep flood waters out.

20130422-175822.jpg
As we got closer to the Gulf of Mexico I started to feel a bit homesick as we were now right next to the sea.

20130422-180530.jpg
These gorgeous fish were caught right off this pier.

20130422-180802.jpg
Furthermore, our home for 2 nights is on a beach that the locals call, “The Redneck Rivera “. That’s what they may want to call it but I’ll just refer to it as HEAVEN. And honestly, I haven’t doctored the photo. The sand really is that white.

20130422-181042.jpg
Off to Florida tomorrow. Until then……..

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged | 6 Comments

MISSISSIPPI – Where Dogs Can Be Dogs and Cyclists Can Be Nervous: Fri, May 19

MISSISSIPPI – Where Dogs Can Be Dogs and Cyclists Can Be Nervous: Fri, May 19th
Bogalusa, LA to Wiggins, MS – 61 miles (100kms)

20130419-205159.jpg

“I’ve really had it with my dog,” said the Mississippi guy to his neighbor. “He’ll chase anyone on a bicycle”

“Hmmm, that is a problem,” said the neighbor. “What are you thinking of doing about it?”

“Guess the only answer is to confiscate his bike!”

20130419-205519.jpg

There are dogs in Mississippi. Big dogs with ‘I would like to eat you sized teeth’. Medium sized dogs that can run like the wind and nip like a mosquito in heat. Little yappy dogs that can jump out from nowhere and be straight in front of your front wheel in the bat of an eye.

I just seems like EVERYONE here has a dog and virtually none of them are contained behind a fence. As a result, I have spent a considerable portion of my day keeping myself from being torn from limb to limb.

Of course I am dramatizing this a wee bit but these damn out of control dogs are a big nucience. It seems that nobody in Mississippi cares it their dogs bite and I finally discovered why.

Mississippi dog bite laws tell the people that it is okay for their dog to bite someone, once. That they are not responsible for it. That there is no consequence when it happens. That they can look the other way. Shrug it off. Forget about it.

Then I saw these folks and I truly understood why these Mississippi folk don’t worry about the dogs on the road. Hell, the dogs would never be able to reach them.

20130419-212008.jpg

Tomorrow we’re off to Moss Point, Mississippi – 72 miles. Later”……

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Never Saw a Man Shot For Doing Dishes – Thurs. April 18, 2013

Never Saw a Man Shot For Doing Dishes – Thurs. April 18, 2013
Lafayette to Francisville 96 miles
Francisville to Hammond 92 miles
Hammond to Bogalusa 55 miles

20130418-215256.jpg
This sign was proudly displayed at “Not your Mamas Cafe” on our 2nd day in the state. It sure sums up Louisiana people – laid back, funny and full of the joys of life. Not only are the people outstanding but so are the vittles (vittles means food in Yankie speak).

You can get not just great but outstanding food everywhere and I do mean everywhere. My first meal here was at the Chevron petrol station. Imagine getting an excellent barbecue meal at a gas station. You can even find artisan bread and magnificent French pastries everywhere.

20130418-220934.jpg
Culinary signatures of the region do include gumbo (roux loaded with meat or seafood) and jambalaya (a rice dish that’s a close cousin of Spanish paella) but there is so much more. These” so much more” dishes include rich craw-fish étouffée (a rich buttery stew served with rice), turtle soup, poboy sandwiches (a type of submarine sandwich), boudin (sausage skins stuffed with rice and meat) and black-eye-pea everything.

20130418-222513.jpg
We’ve had a great deal of fun here as you can see from these bicycle acrobatic antics.

20130418-223257.jpg
tomorrow we ride to Mississippi. Dang it! I’d like to stay here longer. Catch you later in Wiggins.

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged | 2 Comments

You Got To Be Crazy To Understand Crazy – Sunday, April, 14

You Got To Be Crazy To Understand Crazy – Lafayette – no miles

This is no- miles Reynolds from sunny and really not-so-sunny-at-all Lafayette. However,before I talk about Louisiana I thought I’d share a couple of last thoughts about Big T….Texas.

You know those long horned cows I shared a couple of blogs ago? Well we has our very own long horn right on this here trip (I’m still tryin’ to sound Texan – How you reckon I’m doin’?). You’ll notice that this Longhorn has disguised himself as Donna, from The San Francisco Bay area. Furthermore, he’s really got it wrong as his horns have slipped right down to the middle of Donn’s chest. Dumb cow, he’s even showing them off.

20130414-181121.jpg
We even had our very own Sous Chef Sheriff deep in the heart of Texas. Ann gives our cook a hand with a wee ole’ smile every night. If you look closely you can see her Texan Sheriff’s badge on her chef’s hat.

20130414-182400.jpg
Texas county lines/boundaries are also something……well, special. You know the chip seal that I have been going on about? Some counties have ‘The Seal’ and others don’t. So, when you are riding along and you see a sign like this…

20130414-204157.jpg

I am usually hit by acute anxiety and even fear. This is because each county is ultimately responsible for their own roads. In fact just after the county announcement sign about 10 feet down the road you see a change in pavement marked like this and you never, never know if you’re going to get a new bout of chip seal or not after riding on a smooth road.

20130414-203539.jpg
Unfortunately 10 miles from the Louisiana border, Texas left me with one last gift. A NAIL. However, it wasn’t just any old nail. It was a HUGE nail masquerading as a piece of gravel. And that nasty piece if metal went straight through my very last tyre making it utterly useless.

20130414-205329.jpg
It was then Hello To the land of the Cajans and their bayou communities.
Now comes the explanation about why I didn’t ride today. IT WAS NOTHING MORE THAN THE FACT THAT I WAS DEAD DOG TIRED!!!!!! Also my knee hurt and it rained like bejesus nearly all day AND the next day…tomorrow…is a 96 miler.
So long for now. Just maybe I’ll chalk up another Century…no promises

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Yea, Made It To Louisiana – Saturday, April, 13

Yea, Made It To St Charles Louisiana – Saturday, April, 13

20130413-205542.jpg

Goodbye Texas. Cleveland and Silsbee were the last 2 towns I bedded down in the great state of Texas. After over 3 weeks of riding through Texas I was a wee bit sorry to say goodbye to the Lone Star State. Its got to have some of the most friendly people in the whole USandA. These folks will chit-chat with you all day long and as a result I’ve learned a lot from them – as in slowing down and really listening to a conversation. Not just the words being said but also taking in the entire warmth of their conversation from the smiles on their faces to the Texan style bear hugs that they give.

One thing I won’t miss is their chip seal roads. The oh-so rough kind that make you feel like you have been on the end of a jackhammer for a 6 hours at a stretch.

OMG. Just looked at the time so I will give this a quick post and catch up with you later……….

Love me

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Navasota, TX, 77868 – Founded on Slaves, Guns & Cotton

20130410-144633.jpg

NAVASOTA, Zip 77868, Population 7,204 – with a name that means “Muddy Water” in the county of ” Grimes” it’s really not difficult to believe that just a couple of years ago the Texas Rangers and Federal Police had to come in to quell riots and drug dealing. But…….what a fantastic time was had by all to get here (except Pat who fell 2 days ago and had to go home for surgery).
NOTE: by the way, things have calmed down now and you would be hard pressed to find a friendlier place in America

From Blanco we truly travelled through the Bible Belt. We went to Bastrop and then La Grange to our current destination. Everywhere we travelled we saw ‘Southfork’ like mansions with names on them like, “Heavens Gates” and “Until He Returns Ranch”. ‘Biblical passages’ as well as warnings that, ‘Citizens in the area are all armed and ready to use them if need be’ we’re frequently spotted in front of dwellings on the road frontage.

20130410-152234.jpg

The little sign that says,’ Pray For The Nation’ on the left hand side of this photo ends with a bible reference to Cronicles 7:14 that says…..

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

Along our route we saw some amazing Texan Longhorn and Brahman cattle

20130410-153543.jpg

20130410-153632.jpg
We even found a MOOSE surrounded by KOALLAs bedded down amongst a sea of roadside wildflowers.

20130410-154306.jpg
OMG…it has stopped raining. It should be a great ride to Cleveland, Texas tomorrow (75miles)

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Over Half Way To Florida and I’ve Gone Texan – April 6, in Blanco, Texas

20130406-203748.jpg
Yes, That’s me after a 65 mile (105 kms) in Blanco, Texas with my newest acquisition – my foldable cowgirl hat. YEE HA.

It was a truly great day. Here are a few of my new friends that I met along the way.

20130406-204641.jpg

20130406-204702.jpg
I made even more friends today but Armadillos blend in so well with the countryside that they appear rocklike. So unfortunately no photos were to be had. What was strange was that the Armadillo I disturbed today looked very much like the stuffed cloth toy one that sits in our TV room at home in Auckland. Yes friends, I really do have a stuffed toy armadillo at home.

The Hill Country around Austin where Lance Armstrong use to do his training is truly amazing. We’re on the East side if it now and it is Unbelievably Green. What also is so unbelievable is that time seems to have stopped in these parts for awhile. The country store in Waring was a real find. This place really isn’t a store at all. It’s a cross between an old style soda fountain, where they STILL make milk shakes with ice cream and milk, and a Honky Tonk. They even sold ice cold sodas in bottles from a chest that had to have been used in the 1950s.

20130406-211033.jpg

20130406-211425.jpg
You can’t really go Texan though unless you have some Tony Lama shit-kickers. Yep, I got those too. They are a bit hard to bike in so I got Mr UPS to send them to Davey’s post box on LA.

20130406-212159.jpg
Tomorrow we ride 93 miles to Bastrop so I had better drink up for tomorrow we ride at dawn. That is…down my sparkling water and head out at 7:15am but that doesn’t sound Cowboy now does it?

Posted in Daily Trip Record | Tagged , , | 11 Comments