Day 12: Vancleave, MS to Poplarville, MS or "the secret animal society"

Miles today: 73
Total miles: 780ish (yeah, didn't write down stats again and I'm already laying down)
Dog chases: 4
Dogs maced: 0. Could you mace a chihuahua?
Cyclists met: 4! All heading east...
Wildlife: bee to the face, butterflies, 3 deer, one tiny turtle
Hills: larger rollers, super fun
Potholes: my cup runneth over

I woke up to this beautiful sunrise this morning. Yeah! And it was warmer so I was able to comfortably break down camp and hit the road by a little after 7. I went off route into town looking for a giant breakfast but the only restaurant in town, a delicious, mouthwatering soul food joint, is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Who does that?! Well, I found a donut place, Lou-Joe's donut hut. Pretty tasty and cheap, but it held me over for about twenty seconds. Until tonight, I hadn't eaten a real meal since lunch in Pensacola on Thursday, and peanut butter and granola bars were starting to make me ornery.

Speaking of which, I realized this morning that I now have my first golden anvil of the trip since I've been carrying around a broken stove and all it's accessories for two days now. But it's too valuable to throw into a ditch with all the other appliances I have seen by the roadside. Not that I would ever do that (hey, Bobby Jo, go throw a tarp over that sink hole!).

I was feeling considerably fresh after a 97 mile day and the morning started off great. But it got hot fast. High of 81 today and the sun was a blazin. But some way cool stuff happened. Here's how it went down:
I wound my way 20 or so miles down the road through some beautiful pine forests, like this one:

When I ran into a couple cycling east. Adam and Christy (forgive me if I misspelled that) are doing a 50 states tour. When they get to the east coast of Florida they are going north and then back west again to Seattle! They will be on the road for 10 months and make me feel like a pansy. Way to go guys!
After that spirit-lifting encounter, not 15 miles down the road I met another couple who are doing a two week tour starting in New Orleans. Meet Steve and Tracy:

Steve is an engineer and Tracy does metabolism research using worms. Very neat. And very nice chatting with them. Tracy even gave me some of her water because there were no services for the next 40 or so miles. Super nice of her and I really appreciated it. Thanks again!

The last 40 or so miles were, well, testing. I miscounted the miles again, now clearly an error I made five days ago when planning my stops that has carried over into every day since. Really gotta start double checking that. Morale suffers mightily when you realize late in the day you have to go 17 miles farther than you originally thought. Bummer!

But it could've been much worse. Butterflies were my companions for most of the day. About ten miles outside of Poplarville, I spotted a pug type dog on the side of the road pacing and looking a little nervous. When I got right next to her I happened to glance into the bushes and saw there was a beagle and a cat sitting in there just hanging out. It was almost as if I had stumbled upon a top secret animal conference and the pug was on high alert at the impending intruder. I laughed out loud at that for a few miles and it still brings a smile to my face.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I want to thank everyone who has donated money. I certainly wasn't expecting it and I really appreciate it a lot. So big thanks to Gene Roberts, Steve Peeples, Michelle Leonard, Suzanne Fuqua, and Lisa McAuliffe. Really sorry if I forgot anyone but I think that's all. It's hard to keep track with all these town names in my head all day, plus I have a terrible memory anyway. But thanks again.

Nice and green

Clydesdale statue in front of a very wealthy ranch

Must say adios. Sleepy time!

Much love,

1 comment:

  1. You are quite welcome; Paypal has been beating me up about it thinking that I must have donated by mistake. Shelby says Hi, and is very envious!