An intentioned 7:00 AM start never got going this morning, as I was waylaid by an email and attempted phone call from an MTF friend Stephen. I stayed near the phone, waiting for his call until I had to get on the road, and then did so reluctantly, knowing why Stephen was calling me. My friend Mike had called me the night before, since Stephen works with his son, to give me the 3rd hand news. Not good news and you can read about it at his post on the MTF forum http://forums.delphiforums.com/MCTourer/messages?msg=36203.1
So, by 8:00 AM I was finally on the road, heading east into the rising sun. It was a glorious day today...temps were in the mid 40's at the start, robin's egg blue skies with not a cloud in sight. It would be a little windy coming across parts of I-10, where the wind is unobstructed by nothing but rice fields and cattle range.
I was having a hard time keeping the wheels moving on this day, and I'm not sure why I couldn't keep the gas and bathroom breaks in synch. But, actually, I stopped caring by lunch time and had a nice sit-down meal and Wendy's, somewhere an hour north of Hammond.
It doesn't matter what other people think, I happen to think that Mississippi is a beautiful state. Her highways are in impeccable condition and it's so green and lush and wooded. I passed a field full of contented cows, up to their knees in thick green grass. The further north I got, the more heavily wooded it became going up I-55 towards I-20.
I always look forward to an opportunity to ride on I-20. Truck traffic isn't nearly so heavy. Eastbound it passes through a big portion of Bienville National Forest. Near Meridien, the terrain becomes a little more rugged. And I get a big kick out of the name, Chunky River. There has to be a story here! It's a small-to-medium sized river under the I-20 bridge, and its banks are sandy and covered in vegetation.
At Meridien, the highway takes a decided jog northward toward Tuscaloosa and suddenly I started to feel chilled. Riding through Meridien the temperature was 64 degrees - pretty much the high for my day - but the sudden drop in temperature was noticeable! About 15-20 miles into Alabama, I checked the temperature and it was now 54 degrees. Yikes! That was a big drop! By the time I got to Tuscaloosa, it was 46 degrees. Definitely time to get to the hotel! I stopped at my favorite Sleep Inn, which is next door to a Pilot gas station with a Subway shop inside. Everything I need!
There were no stops along the way, just gas and food. Just a utilitarian day to get 640 miles up the road Tomorrow will be different, though.
Tomorrow: A second try at finding the Little River Canyon headquarters in Fort Payne, and then on into TN for more stamping, a visit to the MOA rally grounds, and then into WV for the night.