Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Breakfast at BJ’s

January 21st, 2012

Ken visits a small cafe in Vancleave for breakfast. Not the most obvious of establishments…

obpostlogo

Share

Roundhouse

January 20th, 2012

Ken spends the night in a rather unusual building at a campground in Vancleave, Mississippi

obpostlogo

Share

Recognition

January 20th, 2012

Kathy knew I was English, she explained, because I’d said "Brilliant" and "Cheers" on the phone. Mostly my response to news that she’d a washing machine I could use. It was her own as the campground she managed didn’t have a Laundromat and the site was a little out of town. And she hadn’t asked if I was Australian.

Reaching the campground at dusk, I’d met Kathy at the site office. Actually her trailer. Greeted by two friendly Boston terriers and her husband, heading out for work. There were, she explained, options. I’d guessed as much on the phone. Perhaps something she’d said, her tone maybe. But I just knew there’d be more to it than a simple pitch for the night.

It was, she said, hexagonal, but everyone called it the Roundhouse. A fair approximation I replied, smiling. Set up on stilts, it had lights inside and out, somewhere to roll out your sleeping mat, and the washroom was close by. Kept it for her passing cyclists. Of course, I could camp where I liked. But the building was there if I wanted it. Explaining I was never one to make life difficult for myself, I accepted enthusiastically.

obpostlogo

Share

Southern States

January 20th, 2012

Antonio and Brian were riding west towards California and the Pacific. Ninth day on the road they said. I found this very reassuring, confirming my own timeline to the Florida coast to be a realistic one. Planes to catch. They’d been very spooked by dogs chasing them. I sought to raise spirits by explaining they’d not have the same problem east of Louisiana. Definitely a Southern States thing I added.

We parted company and I returned to riding through gently undulating woodland. Warm, sometimes even feeling a little humid. Tranquil. At a gas station a newspaper headlined with "Stone County quiet in 2011", although directly beneath this was written, in bold red lettering, "D I S A S T E R". I meant to buy a copy but then forgot.

Antonio and Brian had asked how long it’d taken to cross Texas. I’d hesitated briefly. Trying to recall where New Mexico had ended and Texas started. I ventured about three weeks. Rough guess I said. I’d just 650 miles left to the coast. Alabama tomorrow afternoon, Florida the same time the next day. Crossing an entire State in about twenty hour hours. Not that Mississippi or Louisiana had exactly taken long. Days.

obpostlogo

Share

Pulled in all directions

January 19th, 2012

It wasn’t the first time. Directions. Given in good faith but frequently flawed. Lefts and rights confused. Crucial twists and turns missed. Helpful landmarks omitted. The odd phone call to remedy. Assuming there’s cell coverage. But, as darkness approaches, in the cold and wet, less than amusing. No matter how well intentioned the advice may be.

I’d reached Poplarville, my first town in Mississippi. Following notes scribbled on the map to find the small apartment Margaret kept for passing cyclists. Quickly finding them to be flawed. Soon heading out of town. Never a good sign. Fortunately I’d a cell signal and was able to call her. She was very apologetic.

I’d not exactly known what to expect of my ninth State. Mish-mash of mostly film and television influences. Late 70s US drama Roots. Gene Hackman in the film Mississippi Burning. Scribbled in my pocket book Klu Klux Klan. And mud pie. Imagined it to be mostly flat and swampy. Instead gently rolling green fields. For the most part at least. And still the loose dogs, free to chase passing cyclists. Defining feature of both Louisiana and Mississippi.

obpostlogo

Share

Mississippi burning

January 19th, 2012

Ken crosses into Mississippi. Not expecting a welcoming party, but a sign would have been good…

obpostlogo

Share
Terms & Conditions of Use | Copyright © 2009-2020 Ken Roberts