Collinwood TN to Tupelo Mississippi
Today was originally supposed to be an 89 mile day, but last night they said it would be 96, by the time I arrived at the church I had traveled 99.7 miles and yes I did finish out the century with another rider by riding circles in the parking lot.
I volunteered to sweep today with Sarah Doren. Sarah had generously volunteered to be sweep yesterday since she knew the mileage alone would deter people from volunteering to be sweeps. I volunteered because I wanted to catch up with Sarah since it’s been so long since we’ve been together in person.
The Natchez Trace was beautiful today, but it was cold. Thank God there was no rain today. When we left in the morning it was in the 30s. Many of the riders including myself bundled up with all the layers we could, even sweaters and sweat shirts that weren’t bike gear. It was reported that the high today would be 58o, which is not bad cycling weather if it stays 58o. However the further below that temperature it gets the more uncomfortable a ride can be, especially if there is wind.
It was chilly in the morning, but gradually became better. The ride and the scenery were beautiful. Luscious trees with green or sometimes red leaves, endless miles without stop signs or stop lights, we saw cows today on a farm off the Trace a ways. There was also long fields of grace off to the sides.
Sarah and I had some interesting adventures on the trail while sweeping today and we encountered some interesting challenges. Most of the challenges emerged from the fact that we share a similar problem, we both have weak bladders. Generally this wouldn’t be a problem since trees are usually all over the place on these rides, but since the Trace is such a well-kept and well groomed Parkway the trees and brush are cut back to a certain point and then it’s impossible to creep through them any further. Also sometimes there aren’t any trees around.
Sarah had the brilliant idea of using the bridges on the trail as bathrooms. I took the right side of the bridge and Sarah took the left and there was enough cover before the gap in the middle of the bridge to hide us from each other as well as anyone who may be riding a car along the road.
Also we crossed through two states today – Alabama and now we’re in Mississippi!!!!
The ride was long and exhausting, but we finally made it to the church – it’s a big facility with showers and they served us a huge meal. We had fried chicken, baked chicken, mashed potatoes, pastas and all kinds of foods as well as deserts. We met George the President of the Fuller Center here and were given a warm welcome.
We have our build day tomorrow and I can’t wait to get up and get to work blessing a family in need! Good Night!