to Gulfport, MS

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 01/29/2005 - 00:00

I stayed dry through the night of rain, but my gear got soaked.  I resolved to make it a short day so I could dry everything thoroughly before using it again.  But then I decided to visit a library before everything closed for Sunday...

The Gulf was astonishingly calm today.  I mean, I've seen bigger waves on Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.  You would think a body of water that size would have big waves even on a calm day, but apparently the islands offshore reduce the wave action.

New Orleans

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 01/27/2005 - 00:00

The campground was very brightly lit all night, for security.  I draped the space blanket, which I assumed to be opaque, over the top of the tent to try to blot out the light, but some came through.  Between that and the sound of the nearby highways and railroad tracks, I slept poorly.  I woke around 4:00 with chills and put my hat on.  With it over my eyes and earplugs in my ears, I finally slept soundly until 7:00.

to Silsbee, TX

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 01/15/2005 - 00:00

Right after I wrote that it was "a beautiful last night in Texas," I lay down to sleep and smelled a horrible smell... at first I thought I must have put my tent down over a previous camper's cathole; then I decided the smell was more like rotting brussels sprouts, so it must be someone's old garbage.  (Either would be plausible; this was a very "primitive" campground with no restrooms or trashcans nearby.)  But a few hours later when I stepped outside the tent, I realized the smell was everywhere... the wind had shifted, and I was downwind from a paper mill!

Krispy Kreme Karma

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 01/04/2005 - 00:00

Austin is not as crazy about donuts as north Texas is -- there are only a handful of donut shops in the whole metro area -- but there's a Krispy Kreme about a mile from where I've been staying.  About two weeks after I got here, I rode to the local bike shop to get a new helmet-mounted mirror, but I was 15 minutes too early -- they hadn't opened yet.  I took the opportunity to visit Krispy Kreme, whose "HOT DOUGHNUTS NOW" sign was lit.  (I maintain that if they're going to spell it that way, their slogan should be, "Putting the 'ugh' back in donuts!")

to Austin

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 11/23/2004 - 00:00

Today I passed through practically every extreme of weather... flooding, fog, cold, heat, dry air, humidity, hail, high winds, driving rain, gentle rain, and sunshine.  Through most of this I was in pretty heavy traffic with no shoulders.

to Clifton, TX

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 11/20/2004 - 00:00

Today was pretty uneventful... I kept waiting for the predicted "partly cloudy" weather to materialize, but I only saw the sun for about 15 minutes total.  When I was a few miles from my evening destination of Clifton, rain started falling, and it got gradually more intense as I rode into town.

to Owasso, OK

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 11/05/2004 - 00:00

It felt good to hit the road again! Mom made a wonderful breakfast of teriyaki fried eggs and fresh-baked breadsticks. I took Bison Road out of town, which meant Dad and I crossed paths on my way out of town and his way to work. From there I rode on Highway 75 for a few miles and then took "Old 75" all the way into Owasso. Outside Ramona I stopped to stretch my legs and wound up picking up pecans for half an hour!