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2/17/14 Bucket List Ride Day 2

2/17/14 Bucket List Ride Day 2

Our night at the “Relax Inn” was fine.  We were tired and glad to have found some place to sleep for the night, but there were no restaurants or grocery stores within miles of this hotel.  They didn’t offer a continental breakfast and I had to go to the office to use the Wi-Fi. It was a hole in the wall hotel and the only light in the entire room was one light bulb in the bathroom. Dad went to the front desk and they gave him another light bulb so now we had two. Last night’s dinner was pizza and we at the whole thing.

The route today was pretty straightforward with very little mapping required.  We followed US 90 into Mississippi and finished in Waveland near the Buccaneer State Park.  51 total planned miles.  I was able to stay behind and do some work while dad headed up the road on his own for about 30 minutes before I left.

It was nice to be able to head out on the low traveled road by myself and just ride.  My goal was to catch him within 45 minutes.  Along the way I passed several military defense plants.  One of the plants was called Textron and there were all kinds of military vehicles being worked on or scrapped.  Some of the vehicles were types that I had never seen before.  Some were battle scared and destroyed and some were new.  It was kind of a strange site, seeing all of this military stuff in the middle of nowhere.  Fences, barbed wire and a good bit of security kept people out and some huge hangers with closed doors kept secrets from prying eyes.

Ten miles up the road I came to a restaurant where dad was waiting.  It was a yellow building and it truly could not be missed.  The Hi Tide Bar and Grill was right next to the water and we stopped for lunch.  It was a pretty good place and dad liked especially because behind the restaurant, tied to the dock, was a sail boat with a touring mountain bike that looked like it was ready to join us on our ride.

After lunch we headed on down the road and there were so many neat things to see.  The houses in this area are very different than what we have back in Colorado and I can tell that they are designed to deal with extreme weather like hurricanes.  Some of the houses look like space ships getting ready to launch.
As we continued to ride we came across Fort Pike named after General Zebulon Montgomery Pike, the same dude that Pikes Peak is named after.  This fort was completed in 1826 and was built in response to the British War of 1812 and designed to shore up the United States coastal defenses. I was so disappointed to see that the park was closed, but I did get some great pictures as we rode over Rigolets Bridge towards Mississippi.

A few more miles down the road and we came to West Pearl River Bridge, a draw bridge built in 1933.  This bridge was very intriguing to me and I tried to visualize how it worked with all the counter weights and rusty beams.  Here is a 30 second video that I found on YouTube taken from thee Pearl River.  The video shows the rare occasion when the bridge is in motion.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmUguONM5wE&feature=youtu.be

After crossing the bridge we had a few more miles before crossing into Mississippi.  Here is where we met Ivan and Greg.  They were sitting outside a gas station smoking cigarettes and drinking beer out of a can wrapped in a paper bag.  With big toothless grins they started talking to us in such a friendly manner.  I had a chance to sit down between them and take a picture while they told stories of all the cyclists that they have seen come through this area.  They mentioned a guy from Switzerland that was traveling around the US but they said that we were unique because we were the first father/son combo that they’ve met.  At least I think that is what they said.  I wonder if they thought our accent was as strong as I thought their’s was.

The roads out here were very nice with great shoulders and a small amount of traffic.  However, we  under- estimated the size of the towns that we were riding through and found ourselves wondering if we were going to be able to find food for the night.  Our target location was Buccaneer State Park, about 50 miles from our starting point and we left without buying any food this morning.  About an hour into the ride I checked our route and realized that there was a possibility that we would not find any grocery store for the rest of today and if we stayed on the same route we might not find any tomorrow either.  Definitely a problem.  I could tell that dad was super tired and I don’t remember the last time he had eaten anything.

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The sun began to set.  I really started to get concerned and decided that it was a good idea for me to scout ahead and see if there were any grocery stores near by.  The good news is that a big town was up ahead so I decided to ride into Waveland.  After stopping at a gas station I received some directions and managed to find a Wal-Mart.  The funny thing about asking people for directions is that I can ask “how far is it to…..?” and the answer I usually get is, “Oh, it’s just up the road a bit.”  This statement is usually followed by me saying, “Well, I’m on a bike, do you know how many miles?”  “What!?, You are on a bike!?  Oh Honey, you’ve got a long way to go, I would never ride a bike on these roads.”

I managed my way to the “un-miss-able” Wal-Mart, just up the road, three lights ahead and to the left.  I am not a big fan of Wal-Mart, but today I was very happy to find this one and I stocked up on all kinds of food.  Too much actually, as I was not able to close the B.O.B. bag and had to bungee cord it to keep everything from falling out.  I was hungry and bought all kinds of junk, including 12 cans of some sort of soup, a bag of Frittos, some really gross bean dip, a gallon of water, a bag of beef jerky and a whole bunch of other crap that I would never buy under normal circumstances.  I was letting my stomach do the shopping for me.

After my shopping spree I waited outside for dad to arrive and I was relieved as I saw him pull up, but he looked very tired.

Final destination is yet to be realized and it is totally dark now.  Not ideal for finding our way around.  The GPS was not giving us great directions and so we stopped at a little neighborhood bar and walked into a smoked filled room with a loud juke box playing.  The bar tender was quite surprised to see us.  My dad, the bartender and I were the ONLY three people in the whole place.

She gave us some good directions but unfortunately our destination was a bit farther than we expected and we were tired when out of the blue my dad said, “Why don’t we just head over there behind that fence and pitch a tent.”  As I write this, we are sort of hiding on a beach behind a fence about 25 yards from a busy street hoping that the police don’t see us and makes us leave.

We got the tent set up and I realized this is the first night I had ever sleept on a beach!  That is pretty cool.

Dad wasted no time getting in the tent and to bed.  When I crawled into the tent after him I noticed that the only things he had taken off before getting in the sleeping bag were his helmet, glasses and shoes.  He even still had his riding gloves on!  It’s 7pm and I guess I’ll follow suit.

I can hear the ocean I the background about 25 feet from our tent.  By the way, when is high tide?

Total miles toady 40.

 

1 Comment
  1. Oh yeah, high tide. Guess that’s something you don’t really think about when camping in Colorado.

    Fritos are the best.

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