More notes from the road


BACKWOODS TARGET PRACTICE: A favorite pastime in rural Mississippi and Alabama seems to be driving along backroads, drinking beer and shooting at road signs.
The evidence: Signs riddled by bullets or mangled by shotgun blasts and beer cans strewn along the shoulders. The bubbas, perhaps figure conscious, seem to prefer lite beers, judging from the cans of Bud Lite and Miller Lite littering the roadside.
Camou underwearCAN YOU SEE ME NOW?: Camouflage seems to be the favored attire in the rural South — even for many women. It is deer-hunting season, after all. A woman in Merryville, La., said she has several pieces of camouflage clothing in her wardrobe and that pink camouflage is sold at the Kohl’s store in nearby DeRidder.
A REGULATED COMMUNITY: An upscale community near Silver Run Lake in rural Stone County, Miss., proclaims on the signs at its various entrances that it’s “a community with covenants and bylaws, rules and regulations.”
I puzzled over why a community would want to advertise at every opportunity that it’s highly regulated. It’s not a feature that would make we want to live there. But then I saw some of the ramshackle homes along the roads, usually battered trailers whose yards were littered with junk, garbage and detritus of all sorts, and some with a chained dog. Perhaps a highly regulated community is a reaction to that lifestyle.
CRAZY OR BRAVE?: As we rode through the rain on Monday headed for a rendezvous with Tropical Storm Ida, reactions from the locals varied sharply. Some thought we were crazy or foolhardy. One woman who was shopping at a small convenience store in rural Mississippi seemed to be in awe of our bicycle journey from San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla. “You guys are brave,” she said. “The guys around here. They hunt and fish. But you guys are brave.” She didn’t know that we have four women in our company.
Several people offered places to stay to wait out the storm and all offered dire warnings about what we faced down the road later in the evening.
BRITNEY WASN’T AT HOME: On Nov. 7, our bicycle caravan passed just south of Kentwood, in the Louisiana parish of Tangipahoa.
And why take note of that town of 2,205 astride Interstate 55? It’s the hometown of Britney Spears. The town boasts on its Web site that it’s “Britney Spears’ hometown” and it includes a “Britney link” to her home page. But, alas, Britney wasn’t at home. She was in Perth at the start of a tour in Australia.
Britney MickeyThe Web site RoadsideAmerica.com says that Kentwood “is planning to open a Britney Spears museum for their famous teenager. A special wing of the Kentwood Museum will feature memorabilia from Britney’s years in the bayou, her stint on the Micky Mouse Club, and rise to pop stardom. We recommend a memorable photo op: a larger-than-life plywood cutout of Britney, allowing visitors to peek out through her navel.”

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4 Comments

Filed under Americana, Cycling across America, Journeys

4 responses to “More notes from the road

  1. I’d be more threatened by bubbas than by Ida. Take care, Dad. You are almost there!

  2. Nice photo Dad. Did you take that during the ride? If so, I might have to consider a transcontinental bike ride myself. Take care and ride safely during this storm.

  3. Ben

    Dad,
    I thought that you were going to say that some drunk hunters took potshots at the cyclist group. Ride safely. Almost there!!

    Ben

  4. I am your new fan 🙂

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