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Friday 8 July 2011

Day 60 - Police

Todays mileage: 84
Total mileage: 2,982
End point: Okatoma Resort, MS
(About 8 miles north of Hattiesburg)

Firstly don't get too excitred by the title, I'm not in gaol yet! This morning I woke to find the Wisteria Inn deserted, a beautiful house all to myself, but some coffee had been left made for me, awesome. I was a little bit worried about leaving the place unlocked, but the police were next door and as I was leaving I could actually here someone shouting they had been wrongfully arrested as they were taken out of the police car.

My stomach is dodgy again and this combined with the bumpy back wheel has made riding today not so much fun, in fact no fun at all. I headed south east to georgetown and then due east on highway 28. I've seen a lot of interesting signage today, either Christian or political. One particular house had its entire front covered in quotations from the bible. The political signs have been everywhere, and what suprises me is the unbelievable amount of positions up for election:
Governor, Lt. Governor, Treasure, Sheriff, Judge, Superintendint, Chancery Clark, Senator...
The list goes on! The ballot paper for these elections must be huge, let's hope they don't use alternative vote or they'd have to use all the forests here just for the paper ;)

On route 28 I saw a new roadkill, I have seen I think so far dead:
Squirrels, amrmadillos, snakes, cats, dear, antelope, birds, possums.. and probably some other I have tried to forget, but here he was: Fido - I promise I didn't do it! He looked a very aggressive mutt and reckon he had run into the road chasing the last european cyclist who dared to cycle past.

I stopped at my first BP gas station for refuelling, its interesting I thought i'd be more likely to see them out west far from the gulf of mexico spill, but here they were in MS. I think their locations are driven by the previous locations of Amaco gas stations before the takeover. Now BP would be my favourite gas station, but I have spotted such a much better one: 'Kangaroo', which is competition with the supermarket called 'Piggly Wigglys' for best name of the trip. Pam informs me she has shopped at Piggly Wigglys before, I think I should have known this pre-engagement.

I had one guy flag me down to talk bikes on the side of the road as he was doing up a Peugeot road bike as a project. He had a very strange pronounciation of Peugeot just like our old headmaster at school, I think he was pronouncing the G as a hard sound. He also told me about an awesome bike trail to Hattiesburg which I would have loved to have taken but it meant I would have missed my campground.

Heading East I reached McGee. Still lots of forests, less swamp though, rolling hills, oppressive humidity, although I have notice this area looks a bit nicer that the mississipi delta next the river. At McGee I planned to take 49 south, a major divided highway and ride the shoulder. This worked for 5 miles until to my dismay, the should just ran out. I did a few miles in flow with 70mph traffic before my nerves could take no more, this was clearly unsafe. In a layby a man pulled over in a truck and offered me a ride which I was very close to taking. I had an alternative plan, for some other reason the shoulder on the otherside was still in existance and so I rode on the shoulder into on coming traffic. You could see some shocked faces of drivers heading towards me but what was I supposed to do? The shoulder for your information was massive. I thought it was only a matter of time with this approach before I bumped into the police. And bump into the police I did, although ironically not for my antics on the shoulder. Next to the road was a side road for a couple of miles which I tried to take, it just so happened the building on that corner had been robbed. They pulled me over and took some details, but the clearly knew it wasn't me, or I had a great disguise. I explained my situation and he said he was happy for me to ride the shoulder on the wrong side. He was local police, I am not sure state police would be so accomodating.

At Collins I was finally able to get off this road but had to go through quite a detour from my route to get to the campground and didn't arrive till after 8pm. Route 49 had slowed me down a lot. The campground is great thought, the manager, Mary Ellen refused to take my money and asked it go to MSF instead, I managed a quick dip in the pool and have my own pavillion for my tent. This is not the only kindness I have received today, the shop in Pinola refused my money and a gent who I think was called 'Big Worm' tried to buy me drinks in Collins. Southern Hospitality at its best. Tomorrow I'm going to get to the bike shop in Hattisburg to have me wheel looked at; fingers crossed.

Ps. I forgot to mention that on local news last night there were some guys who scuba dive and catch cat fish by sticking there hands into their mouths in the dark. What particularly impressed me was a 12 year old boy who had a fish nearly the size of him.

Pps. Thanks to Tim and Sarah for mega sponsorship today - I really appreciate it, and thanks to everyone else who has donated recently. Ilike to try and write individual replies to people but my email inbox is now out of control and I am playing catch up. I have about 10 wedding related emails from pam I'm supposed to have looked at!!


  1. Hand fishing for catfish is called "noodling". It's only legal in 11 states.

  2. Great pics! This one of your tent and bike under a covered patio could be the book cover. :)