Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cycle 35 Miles Longleaf Trace through Bassfield, MS

Rest stop sponsor sign on Longleaf Trace

Monday, April 19, I'm up at 7:00 after I tossed and turned for a couple of hours. Eventually I got a good rest. I finished John McEnroe's "You Cannot Be Serious." Interesting book. He sure is hard on himself and doesn't seem like a very happy guy sometimes.

Our neighbors on both sides leave early. The curbside folks with the skinny, good-looking dachshund and Schnauzer have their antenna up as they come around the circle by the pond. I run out and wave to flag them down. Somehow they saw me and got out to unlock their RV and lower the roof antenna. He yelled out thanks as they left.

We take a break at Bassfield Trail Head

We load up the bikes and hit the trail at 10:45. I mail some cards at the post office across from Sumrall Trail Head. Bob is by the trail bulletin board and a gal in a car turns right onto the trail and zooms down the hike and bike trail to the next block where she makes a right turn. That is completely illegal; not to mention dangerous. Bob was trying to get her attention but she was completely oblivious. I can't imagine if cyclists were coming down that hill at 25 mph and came around the turn to run into a car going 30 mph in the other direction. Yikes!

Luckily we go the opposite direction and head northwest, although into a headwind. It is mostly uphill this way and my knees and leg muscles really feel it after 14.2 miles of incline to Bassfield Trail Head. The scenery is beautiful with farms, cows, llamas, and emus. The azaleas are blooming everyone. And we spy one coral-orangey colored ornamental bush or tree that we've never seen before. On the way back we stop and take some pictures of it. The color is almost like a 1970's coral nail polish that I had.

Does anybody know what this unusual colored bloom is?

In Bassfield we can't find the restaurant on the trail that Bob scoped out on-line. We search all over at the crossroads of 42 and 35 and end up wasting 40 minutes and killing my knees cycling around in sand and soft gravel on the shoulders. Finally Bob makes a command decision to continue on towards Carson Trail Head (4.2 miles north.) First I tried to call Lau-Tori's back in Sumrall to see how late they stay open today. But incredibly I can't get a cell connection in the town of Bassfield. Only 2 or 3 other times have we ever not gotten a signal when we're in an actual town.

We cycle north about four miles and decide to turn around. We'll hit the Carson Trail Head next time. On our way back towards Bassfield we find the restaurant right on the trail with a new bridge to the parking lot. But it is closed up tightly and we can't tell if it is out of business or just closed today. The hours Bob found on-line are not right or else it is closed for good.

Love these cool car signs on the trail to indicate on-coming traffic

We stop at the Bassfield Trail Head and eat our PB&Js and fruit under the pavilion. About 1:40 we head back towards the truck in Sumrall. It is much easier going with the wind but my knees and legs are fried by now. A little dog runs out nipping at our heels and I can't out cycle him at first. But he gives up after about 400 yards. I'm not sure if his little legs got tired or it was the edge of his property.

Bob brakes for three cars that appear around a curve as we were zooming downhill around 10 mph. I was watching the curvy road to my right for the speeding cars and came within a half an inch of crashing into Bob's back tire at 20 mph. That got my adrenaline going! We have been cycling on flat ground for a month and when you stop peddling you almost come to a stop. But going down these hills you have to be careful about you're stopping distance.

At last we make it back after 2 hours and 20 minutes. It looks like Lau-Tori's is open as we go by so we load up the bikes and head over there. Sure enough they are open every day, all day. We get a new waitress today and sit in the front room across from the 'wet paint' mural someone is putting on the wall.

I try a cup of their Chicken and Dumplin's. It comes in a big "Dootsie coffee mug and tastes just like Gram Rood's (my paternal grandmother.) I also had a Chicken Pita with cucumber sauce and hash browns. The pita was grilled and browned and heavenly, along with the sauce it was a great wrap. Bob had Lau-Tori's grilled chicken with ham and cheese sauce. We're both happy after our long ride.

Hattie the campgournd beagle hangs around outside our back window

We get a paper and head home where we try taking both bikes and the rack off the truck all at once. It worked and we stored in under the 'carport' created by the 5th wheel overhang. We'll see how bad it is to lift back up on the truck's hitch next time. Maybe I won't be this tired and sore.

It's 4:55 p.m. and 71 degrees with only 28% humidity. The low humidity makes it feel much cooler. I work long sleeves and Capri's to cycle and was still chilly on the bike. The high was 77 after a low of 59. Our major network TV channels keep coming and going here.

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