60 Miles - Little to No Shoulder on Highway 84; Quentin MS; Brookhaven MS - March 20, 2017
Brookhaven was my goal for today
I struggled to get into a rhythm as I biked out of Natchez. Fear still had a grip on me most mornings.
The same old stuff: Would I make it? How to handle the dread of knowing I had to make it? Would I get a flat? If so, could I fix it?
A "not too shabby" to start Day 40 ...
About five to six miles in, I stopped under a bridge.
I prayed. I took deep breaths. I tried to be in the moment.
As you'll note in Mississippi, there was essentially no shoulder. Usually I biked to the left of the white line. With the
exception of a harrowing stretch on Day 42, thankfully I'd ride in underpopulated areas with most vehicles having ample room to pass safely.
There were some instances where a group of three or four cars and trucks would ride together,
usually because someone was in the left lane and not passing. In those cases, I'd see them coming in my mirror and I'd temporarily
get on that narrow slither of pavement to the right of the rumble strip.
There was one unique characteristic about Highway 84. While there was a town every 10 to 15 miles,
often the actual village would be off the road and in the forest. There would be few to no services on the highway.
Even with the temperature hitting the 80s, I biked just fine. However, at one point I needed a rest break and longed to get inside a store,
and my mapping system showing nothing ahead for a long while. I just figured I'd have to suck it up all the way to Brookhaven.
Then, around a bend, I spotted the Quentin Quick Stop. I was so happy to be there.
I bought some drinks, and outside I had a nice talk with Debbie, a local of the area. She took great interest in my trip.
I got a shot of her while she was explaining she's not photogenic, but I disagreed. She looked fine.
Inside, I decided to buy my third shirt of the trip: a bright orange Quentin Quick Stop shirt. (The other two shirts were in
Top of the World, AZ and
Eventually I made it to the southwest side of Brookhaven where Interstate 55 crosses Highway 84.
Across from my motel in Brookhaven was Bowie BBQ. Oh my goodness, my meal of ribs, corn on the cob, and
green beans was so good. I wholeheartedly recommend this place.
And if you don't take my word, take it from Archie Manning who loves the place too. :)
My hair was taking a beating on this trip,
so I got it some TLC at a hair salon inside a Walmart. :)
My motel room at the America's Best Value Inn was higher-priced with modern decorations and a cozy bed. The accomodations were nice enough that I would've
loved to have stayed more days, just for the feeling of being on vacation, but alas, the open road would call the next morning.
With each day, I was thinking more and more about the end.
You are welcome to stay connected with me on my author page.