Monday, April 22, 2013

All Because of a Flood

We did something today that I've never done on a tour, but I'll get to that in a moment.

We enjoyed a nice hot breakfast in Roy's Store this morning. I had French toast, bacon, and grits. The same gal, Pam, who was there last night, was there this morning too. I commented to her that she sure works long hours. She said she works 92 hours a week. On Sunday, the store closes at 2:00, so she gets the rest of the day off. Just as an aside, besides the free camping, we were very lucky in a couple of other ways. First of all, we didn't have any dinner food for last night. It turns out the cafe in the store only serves dinner (supper) on Friday and Saturday nights. Had we been a day later, we would have had no dinner. Also, had we been a day later, the store wouldn't have been open at all when we got there. Lucky lucky!

Because I didn't have to clean up after breakfast, we were able to hit the road a little earlier. We left Roy's just before 8:00. The ride north was pleasant to start with--sunshine and no wind. It was a little chilly, but fine once we got riding. We had about 20 miles to Greenville. Along the way we stopped at one of the last remaining mansions (The Belmont) in the area. It was for sale! I had to pee, so Christian went on. Just as I caught up to him, I noticed an MRT sign that told us to turn left. Christian rode past it. I hollered to him that we needed to turn. SH 1 had just gone from a two-lane to a four-lane road. The MRT route went into Greenville on a much quieter road.

We needed to get groceries and find wifi in Greenville. At Hwy 82, we turned off the route to what looked promising in the way of a grocery store. I stopped and asked a young guy if there was a grocery near by. There was a Kroger just down the road. We got the needed re-supply and rode back to where we had seen a McDonalds for wifi. McDonalds wifi is typically not very good or doesn't work at all. I checked BEFORE I bought anything. Well, lo and behold, the wifi was excellent! I published the last two posts in no time! Since it was almost acceptable lunch time, we bought lunch there. I think the last time I ate at McDonalds was in New Zealand (also for wifi--if only Subways had wifi...).

After we accomplished our necessary tasks, we left Greenville. There was not really much else to see there. Back on SH 1 (now back to a two-lane highway with a good enough shoulder) we came to the Winterville Mounds. Unfortunately, the museum wasn't open until 1:30. The mounds have something to do with the Native Americans. A couple of them were pretty big.

Shortly after getting back on the road, the headwinds really picked up. We would spend the next 35 miles going against the wind. Due to the endurance I have in my legs, I just put my head down and kept on pedaling. Consequently, I got way ahead of Christian. There weren't any real points of interest along the way anyway. In fact, it was mostly just corn fields and fallow cotton fields.

I went through Benoit and Beulah--blink and miss them towns. After Beulah, with just 5 miles to go, the wind finally became a tailwind. Woo Hoo! Finally able to go faster than 10 mph!

I got to Rosedale, and followed the signs to Great River Road State Park. My plan was to check in, pay for the site, then wait for Christian. Only one problem...the park was closed. I went back out to the highway to wait for Christian. Just before he arrived, one of Rosedale's police officers drove up. I took the opportunity to ask him about the park being closed. He said it was because of the flood from 2011. They had not cleaned up the park yet. I asked if it would be okay to camp by the boat ramp. He said it would be no problem. Nobody would bother us. We needed water, so we went to the Piggly Wiggly (been wanting to go to a Piggly Wiggly) and bought a gallon of water. I strapped it on top of my front rack for the short ride to the boat ramp area.

So we set up our tents near the boat ramp in a nice grassy area. There was a park bench and a couple of trash cans. One had a bunch of dead fish carcasses. Christian moved that one. Although no one bothered us, we were certainly not alone. Multiple cars drove through. Some stopped for awhile. Some people stopped to fish a bit (not catching anything). Except for one older guy, no one asked us what we were doing.

After awhile, we decided we would ride our bikes into the park itself. We could easily go under the gate. It was about two miles to where the look-out tower overlooked the Misssissippi. Even though the park was not available for camping, it was still pretty nice. As we stood at the top of the tower looking out over the river, we decided to move camp. We returned to our tents and took everything down, packed it up, and moved into the park. We set everything back up in a huge gazebo next to the tower. Since we are under cover, I didn't put the rainfly back on.

All because of a flood two years ago, we set up, took down, and set up again in one day (something I have never done)! By the way, it is much nicer here. No other people. There are some occasional critter noises, but we are pretty secure in the gazebo...I think...

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