Magic happens!

12Dec09

We are just pinching ourselves today and we have terrific news to share with you!

I’ll start from leaving Donna and Gary Holdiness’s home in Kosciusko, Mississippi.  On Wednesday morning we bid farewell to Donna and her friend Piccolar as they led us back to the Natchez Trace Parkway.  We are so appreciative of the hospitality that Donna, Gary and Piccolar showed us.  Thank you all sooooo much!

Donna and Piccolar in the Mississippi sunshine

We biked 40 miles on Wednesday to a campground off the parkway call Ratliff Ferry.  It was very quiet there and we were the only tent campers.  We arrived nice and early, around 3:30pm in time to set up our tent and enjoy the last few rays of warmth from the sun.  There wasn’t a firepit so we were in for a short evening as it was slated to drop down in the 30s again.  We made a hearty curry for dinner from some sweet potatoes that Donna had given us and we crawled into the tent by 7pm and were asleep by 8pm.  It’s hard to really do anything but snuggle up and sleep in the cold temps.

The next morning we woke up to bitter cold temps in the sunshine and packed up quickly and went to a rest area about a mile away to get dressed for the day in heated bathroom with hand dryers.  We’ve been relying on hand dryers in bathroom to thaw us out as we bike during the day.  We got all ready and headed down the road a ways and came upon a Cypress and Tupelo swamp.

The reflections make the trees seem endless!

After admiring the beauty of the swamp we reluctantly climbed back on our bikes to continue on our journey.  We were hoping to get a big day out of the way to get us to the end of the parkway faster-there were only about 120 miles left. We biked about 15 and took  a break and we were just bumming.  Even though the sun was crystal clear in the sky it was still bitter cold with the windchill.  I kept being brought to tears, it’s just so uncomfortable to ride in the cold.  We just don’t have the right gear to ride in these temperatures.  We are more prepared for 40 and above.  We decided to bike to the Mississippi Craft Center, about 5 more miles down the parkway to reevaluate the day and possibly just get off our bikes and take a bus from Jackson instead of Natchez.

We arrived at the Craft Center and were welcomed by a group of kind artists.  We told them our story and how cold we were.  They gave us a code for wifi so we could figure out our new plan.  We had put in a couchsurfing.org request 2 days ago to stay with a  couple-Emi and Ferro in Madison, MS, a few miles outside of Jackson in case of this very situation.   They had responded positively to our request to stay with them so it happened that their home was about 5 miles from the Craft Center so we packed up and biked over to their house.

Emi and Ferro were absolutely wonderful and welcomed us into their home.   A few minutes after introductions Emi shared with us that she and Ferro had to leave early on Friday morning to go to Houston.  We then told her how were we actually gearing up to get a greyhound bus to Austin.  Emi immediately told us that we could get a ride with them to outside of Houston if it would help us out.  We were amazed!  All of a sudden we were nixing our plans to take a bus and getting our gear ready to ride in a car with Emi and Ferro-incredible! It was going to be a major hassle to take a bus, we were going to have to break down the bikes into boxes (a few hours of work), condense all of gear, find a hotel, figure out how to get from the hotel to the bus station…it was going to be so many logistics!

Yesterday morning we left Madison, MS at 8am and left Mississippi in the dust.  With comfortable seats in the back of Emi and Ferro’s car we watched the miles melt away as we crossed Louisiana and arrived in Texas.  It would have taken us over a week to accomplish the miles that we went in 8 hours yesterday.  We still can’t bellieve that we met such wonderful giving people and that we were all headed in the same direction.  Yeah carpooling!

Ferro and Emi ouside of our hotel

I’m writing to you from a Motel 6 room and we’re about to leave and ride down the road for the first time in Texas.  We are specifically in Baytown, well outside of the traffic of Houston.  We have about 250 miles to get to Austin and we should arrive there next week on Wednesday or Thursday dependent on our pedaling.

We are just overwhelmed by the kindness of people, the power of the internet, and sheer luck.  Couchsurfing is another awesome networking tool for travelers and I highly recommend checking it out.  You can see our profile on it here.

Once again, thank you so much Donna, Gary, Piccolar, Emi and Ferro.  Your kindness humbles us.

We’ll see you soon, probably from Austin!

Debi

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11 Responses to “Magic happens!”

  1. 1 leslie

    what a wonderful story. Austin is so great, enjoy!

    • 2 thrubike

      Thanks! We will. Say Hello to Justin and you both enjoy your great city too!

  2. Love the stories! And thank you for getting me involved with couch surfing. Much love, safe travels and pedal on!

  3. 5 Kate Cross

    What a wonderful gift you’ve received, especially at this time of year! My love to you both, Aunt Kate

  4. 6 Kate Cross

    PS Glad you’re there, it’s now sleeting outside my house, brrrrr.

  5. 8 John Friedrichs

    Hello Folks………Great recounting of your experiences in “ol Miss.Your faith in receiving what the Universe has to offer,withwhich to meet your needs is the way to keep the flow moving……..Sure hope its now warmer for a while……….Warmly,Your Friend,John

    • 9 thrubike

      Thanks John,

      Things are flowing when they are flowing that is for sure!

  6. 10 Gretchen

    Glad you found such kindness. Human nature over all is very good. We just need to exude this positivity (ok probably wouldn’t fly in Bananagrams) everyday and life will overall be good. Anyway, keep heading south. It will be nice and warm soon. Happy Holidays, Happy Solstice you two. We love you.

  7. 11 molly and fern

    The kindness of strangers is amazing, how great that you both get this opportunity to witness human compassion. something not everyone gets to see.
    hope you guys are warmer in texas! thinking of you!


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