Counce, TN to Grenada, MS – 228.7 miles
Today had another slow start, but for a very different reason. I woke up to several missed phone calls and text messages from my brother and dad. I have been anticipating these calls during this trip for two possible reasons…one very happy and one very sad. Unfortunately today it was the latter. My mom battled Multiple Sclerosis for over 35 years and took her last breaths this morning. My family had been expecting this day for some time now and we were as prepared as can be expected for such an event. Much of the morning was spent figuring out the immediate next steps.
After a rough morning, Naomi and I packed up the bikes to head down the trail further west. As counter intuitive as it may seem, heading west will take me back east sooner. We quickly left Tennessee and passed into Mississippi without so much as a welcome sign. The only indication we had crossed a border was a distinct seam in the pavement and a dotted line on the GPS. However, the change in scenery after just a few miles was not nearly as discrete. Green rolling hills of open crops were now red clay hills of pine trees and clear running streams had turned into muddy stagnant water. Temps were pushing the upper 90s, so we were more than happy to leave the hot pavement and twist our throttles through clay backcountry. Other than our tires getting a bit squirrelly on several sandy portions and narrowly avoiding dropping into the abyss of a few clay ruts, our time on the road was very uneventful…thankfully. I feel like I’ve had enough for one day.
Today’s lesson: We only get one shot at this wonderful and disastrous life. Choose wisely on what you spend your energy and limited time.