The nights have been cold. In the mornings I wake up in an ice cave, my tent, coated on the inside with a thick layer of frost. I've been warm enough though, I'm glad I decided to bring my down jacket. I thought it was overkill at first, but it has proven an extremely valuble item. Thanks to the Bush's and the Fountains for letting us camp on their property, Sara seems to have some good connections in these parts.
Yesterday Jeff and I cruised out early and kept up a pretty good clip en route to Perkinston, MS. 45 miles into the ride I saw 2 other cyclists crest a hill. It was a nice sight, we hadn't seen many others headed east. There names were Danielle and Greg, they started in Portland, OR and headed south, took a left turn and are now headed to the Atlantic. It was great to stop and talk to them and hear their stories. I must give them credit for, by far, the best cycling term yet: 'Ass-hatchet'- noun. a particularly uncomfortable saddle.
The have a blog here: www.dandgtour.blogspot.com
As it turned out, Jeff and I were feeling so good that day, we overshot Perkinston by 15 miles before we realized where we were. We camped at Silver Run Lake in the yard of Mrs. Nella Ruth Rogers. Great place, except her dog peed all over my tent in the morning. Such is life.
Moving as a group, we have been pushing very short days since Pensacola. The group dynamic is interesting. We each have our own unique ideas about what this trip should be and different resources at our disposal. At this point we are pretty spread out.. I'm not exactly sure were the others are. Bryan and I are planning on taking a side trip into New Orleans from here, it will be either the best or worst idea ever.
I've decided that I will rate these different parts of the country with what I will call the "GOTFR index" (Get Off The F-ing Road). The GOTFR index will be a unitless scale from 1-10 based on how awesome (1) or not awesome (10) a place is. It is based on not just the attitudes and behavior of drivers, but the availability of good cheap or free food and lodging, logging truck density, road surface texture, and possibly weather- but it is mostly based on the frequencey with which someone rolls down the window of their truck and yells "GOTFR!" For example, Georgia gets a 3 for nice state parks and low traffic, but is docked a point because they were hellaciously expensive. Southern North Carolina gets an 9 for unreal headwinds and the worst traffic imaginable, but the Outer Banks get a 2. So far Mississippi is a 3 due to good weather and great people, but docked one point for several GOTFR cases and big trucks.