Last night, there were predictions of bad weather, including tornado warnings for the Kountze area. Whether it was anxiety about that or anticipation of the 92-mile ride today, I was not able to get much rest. I kept waking up, thinking I was hearing tornado warnings. So when daylight came, it was almost a relief to get up and start the morning routine.
While there was a chance of rain, it seemed that we might have missed the worst of the storm and maybe we would only see cloudy, cool weather. We left the motel around 7:30 AM. The road was quiet, except for the occasional frog voices, as we rode the first 20 miles. The SAG was supposed to meet us about mile 20, but she was nowhere to be seen at mile 22 (in the town of Fred). So, we made our own SAG stop at a convenience store. It was there that I had my first Yoohoo of the trip. I have been missing those since I left Georgia. The woman at the store said she wished she had a "composition book" for us to register our names and where we lived.
We found out later that someone had a flat, so the SAG had to turn around and help her fix it. That happens sometimes, so we have to stay prepared. The cue sheet suggested that we have lunch at Elijah’s in Kirbyville. It featured lots of real home cooking. From the looks of things, it seems the majority of riders stopped there to enjoy fried okra, butter beans, and Texas corn chowder
As we paid our bills, I began to get really cold. It may have been related to the 2-3 glasses of ice water I consumed with my meal and the still-cloudy weather. In order to warm up, I hopped on my bike and rode fast (for me) for several miles. As I rode, I kept looking for wild flowers. This thistle was the day’s highlight.
Mile 71 of this day was a real highlight. After three weeks in Texas, we crossed the Sabine River into Louisiana.
We had our own celebration there, despite the fact that there was not even a sign marking our entering another state. I really think we felt a renewed energy for the day after that event, even though we had more than 20 miles left to ride.
One of the riders lives in Louisiana, not too far from DeRidder. She had arranged for several massage therapists to meet us at the motel. As I rode in, I saw the therapists setting up their tables in some of the rooms. Just by chance I walked up to one of them and asked about my appointment. He said that I was on his schedule and could see me right away. So, I changed clothes and returned to his designated place. Things always have a way of working out, even when they are not planned. While I would never say that anyone could top Gary, Kathy, Sean, etc. at Power of Touch, the therapist sure did a great job. I feel so much better tonight, even though it was a 92-mile day! At dinner, we continued the tradition of Margaritas as a celebration when crossing a state line. The same friend who had arranged the massages handed out Mardi Gras beads as a welcome. We all returned to our rooms early, in anticipation of another long day tomorrow. As I think back over the past week, I really feel that I am becoming a stronger rider. Now, if I can just stay in good shape for BRAG.