mikeanddiByCycleTransAmerica travel blog

Started the day with the sunrise that promised all things good!

The Tishomingo State Park was so beautiful, this was just a little...

The Natchez Trace Parkway, so open and well cared for. Perfect road...

The wonderful new friends we met, Cynthia and Woody. They brought a...

You have to do a selfie!! Mike, Me, Cynthia and Woody

The day started with a beautiufl sunrise and ended with a beautiful...

Except it wasn't funny!!

Before I have to make another confession, let's go back and start at the beautiufl sunrise this morning, the colors of the new day reflected in the lake, what a positive way to start the day!!

The night in the tent turned out to be very pleasant! We have a very comfortable night. As the sun went down, the temperature cooled and the humidity was not the problem we anticipated! It was pretty comfortable in fact! But despite all the comfort, I had a terrible night not sleeping! Just brain overload for some reason. So when the alarm went off this morning, it felt way too early!

Along with the impressive sunrise, another plus to the morning, we found the humidity did not effect us like it did the night in Missouri! In Missouri we woke up and everything was damp and nasty! But this morning, it was ok! Maybe because the temperature was a bit warmer. Maybe we can go back to more tent camping! Other than the snake I almost stepped on before going to bed, everything worked out great! No snake nightmares!

To say it was peaceful as we rolled out of the park would be an understatement. There were only a few campers other than ourselves in this whole beautiful park, we left quietly not wanting to disturb the soundless morning.

Oh look, a shortcut to get us onto the Natchez Trace Parkway! That was the route we would be using for the next 20 miles, so we took the connecting road instead of riding the 1 1/2 miles back to the entrance of the park. Must have got ourselves turned around and all mixed up because, you guessed it, we turned left instead of right!!! Now you must be asking yourselves (as we are!) how can they keep doing that?? I call it "muffin brain" or sleepless brain, or just fatigue! Too many muffins day after day for breakfast, need something better?? No sleep? Just been on the road too long? Or maybe all 3? We traveled about 3 miles in the wrong direction before realizing our mistake! When we looked at the map again, just wanted to smack our foreheads, how did we get turned around?? Hindsight is perfect!!

It was much better going the correct direction (for obvious reasons!!) it was now mostly downhill as we started to lose a little elevation, not that we are very high in elevation! But it was a gorgeous parkway. Much nicer road with the forest held back from the road and the grass kept perfectly groomed for miles and miles. Despite the early morning hiccup, we were back on track!

Then another one of those ambiguous instructions. "Leave the Natchez Trace Park way" well, here is a corner and its about the correct distance, is this where we need to turn? It seemed to create quite a bit of indecision! We got out the GPS and it gave us a different route! In the end, we took the turn and it all worked out! It was the correct road! And we were back on track . . . .again!

We managed to get thru the rest of the morning . . . Until . . . Turn right on unsigned John Woolley Brown Rd . . . How can you turn right on anything when there is no road sign????? And did you see this road?? could this be right?? It is lined with dogs barking in just the first few hundred feet, they can already hear us standing here and have started the barking! GPS . . .it took its time loading up but did seem to show enough that we were in fact standing at the corner of John Woolley Brown Road, so we turned. Had to walk our bikes a good distance to prevent these dogs from chasing. Now is a great time to mention our new approach to chasing dogs is working like a charm! Instead of making a run for it and trying to outrace the barking dog, we stop and get off our bikes! It is a counterintuitive reaction to a chasing dog, but it works. As soon as we stop, the fun is over, there is no chase and they all stop as well! Most almost look surprised and slam on their brakes! It makes me feel so much better, I don't even worry about them any more!! We easily made it thru our gauntlet of barking dogs, nothing serious, more annoying than anything else. Pretty persistent but if you even looked at them they backed off. I now get more upset that i have to take the time to walk my bike to keep them away.

Back to our John Woolley Brown turn, we got past the dogs and cautiously eased our way along the road. The dogs were left behind, and no more came out but the road was horrible! It was the hardest part of the whole day! We are sure that we could have stayed on the same road we were on and it would have taken us quite easily to the town of Fulton, but we followed the directions and complained all the way! We did arrive in Fulton. Since I am being completely honest I might as well admit we made yet one more wrong turn!! In my defense Googlemaps was just being stupid!!!!! Checked into our hotel for the night, our reward for surviving the camping last night, and waited to meet Cynthia and Woody!

Cynthia and Woody brought an absolutely delightful picnic dinner to share and we all headed off to the local park on the Tennessee-Tom Canal under the shade of the tall trees, cooled by a soft breeze and had a most wonderful afternoon picnic! We learned all sorts of things about this wonderful couple! They are both runners, have hiked the entire AT Trail, are dedicated to the park system and history of the area! Such a hightlight of the trip! Thank you for the wonderful break and evening to remember! What a great way to forget the trials of the morning ride!

Off to bed to catch up on my sleep so tomorrow will be better!

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