Monday, April 19, 2010


With my friend Mike Tucker, above, unexpectedly so gravely injured and me being 1,000 miles from home, I don't think I can bike safely and would prefer to be around friends and family right now. So I'm taking a break from the MRT for a while. My friend Ben is currently on his way to Natchez, MS to pick me up and I'm looking for ways to head north so he doesn't have to drive all the way down here for us to meet up.

As I've been talking with people over the last day I'm reminded of little anecdotes from the trail that I negleted to mention in my end-of-day wrap ups. I'll share some of those short stories as the week unfolds until a final decision is made on resuming the MRT. I'd like to restart my trip here from Natchez next week, but I won't be able to make that decision for several days.

I'd also really like to express my thanks to the staff here at the Hampton Inn, especially Dominique, who were able to help me out as my situation is so fluid right now.

Thank you all, and please send Mike your best wishes.

-Chris (from his Palm Pre)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Feeling Far Away

This bike beside me and my phone are the only connection with home.

-Chris (from his Palm Pre)

Staying an Extra Day

With Mike in such critical condition, I wanted to stay an extra day in Natchez where I'd have phone service. So two rest days here, I guess.

-Chris (from his Palm Pre)

Mike Made it Through the Night

-Chris (from his Palm Pre)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In Mississippi

Arrived safely Natchez, MS today. Yea, one state done!

Unfortunately got bad news today: a good friend of mine was seriously injured in a climbing accident today. And I just heard this minute that the doctors aren't opimistic. So I don't really feel like blogging tonight.  So just the stats: 41 miles yesterday and 54 today. Weather: hot.

-Chris (from his Palm Pre)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 7 - False River

This was posted on day 8.

Got off to a late start today because I couldn't sleep well last night. Funny thing how resting an entire day makes it hard to sleep at night :)

Still got in 78 miles today. 284 overall.

Decided to shortcut the MRT this morning and took route 1 instead of following the the levees around the ox bows of the river. And it was a great choice! With a wide, smooth berm and a strong tail wind I cruised close to or over 20mph for a couple of hours. I'm not deluding myself that I'm a fast bicyclist, because I barely passed a butterfly during that time. Still it was nice to make so many mile in so little time.

Saw a sign for Bayou Goula and laughed cause I thought it sounded like a fog horn: "ba-YOU-gou-la". I included the pic to show the weather I've had for the last week. Gorgeous.

Also saw my second MRT sign on route 1 - which was funny since I wasn't on the MRT at the time. The pic, though, shows on of the later ones. I passed 5 yesterday so they're getting better. Since with today's 5, that make a grand total of 6 signs so far.

Second part of the day was along 77, a curvey road with little or no berm, but beautiful scenery and hardley any traffic. It was really nice.

Like the last bike day, I had another detour, but this was minor in terms of distance, but again had to cross bridges (2 draw bridges, this time) that were closed to bikes - I'm just not sure how closed to bikes they were as one the bridge operators waved to me as I biked across.

I saw my first cemetery where the people where buried under ground - until now it's been in above ground crypts. 

And then a milestone: I crossed I-10! Woo hoo!

Continuing north I came to route 190 and north of 190 the road got narrow and traffic got heavy. Combined with a consistent head wind and just general tiredness by this time in the day, this area was kind of scary. Most trucks stop behind me when they can't pass due to on-coming traffic. Then you can hear their diesel engines kick in as they're finally able to go around me. One truck's driver shouted something at me as he drove by then pulled into the convient store at the end of the street. I could see him get out of the truck and wait for me as I approached.

"Let me buy you a drink" he offered as I approached. (whew, I wasn't in the mood for a fight). Turned out he was real nice. Kieth, was his name. Used to bike all over the area and was out delivering a little west of his usual area. Nice guy.

But the sun was starting to set and didn't want to be biking in the dark again. So I headed out - and on to a much nicer road (thanks, Kieth, for the heads up).

This area is known as False River, a section of the Mississippi (I think) that is now a lake. Reminds me of Chautauqua. That's the last pic.

As I biked, now only 10 miles from my destination I noticed the rear tire was really low. So I pumped it up. And it was really low again in about 5 minutes. So, with the sun going down, I was faced with changing the tire and biking in the dark or pumping it up three or four times and arriving during twilight. I choose the later.

Made it safely to Jim's Campground, which is really an RV park that allows tent camping. Met some nice folks there and was able to shower. Forgot to get a picture there or get the GPS coordinates. So I'll include the fantastic seafood restaurant I'm having lunch at now:,-91.46340250968933

They've got great cat fish!

Only planning on about 45 miles today, but primative camping tonight, so I'll probably post very little tonight to save battery.

-Chris (from his Palm Pre)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update Delayed

Sorry, I've got limited battery and signal tonight. Should be better in town tomorrow. So just the nuts and bolts for now:

Biked 78 miles today to just east of New Roads, LA (I can't get an exact fix) and am staying at Jim's Campground.  Can't beat the price, either. For you climbers, it's the Miguel's of RV parks - without the pizza. For you non-climbers, you'll have to ask a climber what that means.

Will have to fix a flat before headed out tomorrow, but don't know what the plans are beyond that, yet.

-Chris (from his Palm Pre)