Since we spent the last two years either in Mexico and traveling around the US in a small car, we couldn't take our mountain bikes along; we simply didn't have the room. So they had been living in my (Emily's) mother's basement, woefully neglected.
It was time for that to change.
With some excitement, we finally pulled them out while staying at Marathon Lake campground in Bienville National Forest in the beautiful state of Mississippi, because we knew some of the roads would be unpaved. We'd learned our lesson about attempting gravel roads on our Bike Fridays already. Once burned, twice shy!
Barry figured out a promising route using Google Maps. He said it would be around 10-15 miles, which sounded about right for a maiden voyage.
However, some of the roads are not marked, and we ended up missing an important right turn onto a gravel road. We thought the road we saw was associated with a landfill next door, but it turns out that it was the road we should have turned on. Unmarked, of course.
So we pedaled on and and on down a paved road, looking for our right turn. We tried two different unpaved national forest roads, which were beautiful, but both ended in dead ends.
The first was a mile each way, no biggie; but the second was 5.5 miles each way. That's a detour!
Expecting a shorter ride, I had not taken enough water and NO snacks since I'd just eaten lunch. D'oh! It was turning into another of our (in)famous adventure days.
After backtracking on the 5.5-mile road, we decided to head back the way we'd come. We were still not sure about the road beside the landfill, so took a longer "sure thing" route back on paved roads. We ended up with over 33 miles on the day and over three hours on the bikes!
In retrospect, it now seems funny. But I was one happy camper to get back to our site -- and water and food. One would think I would better anticipate and prepare for these inadvertent adventures. Maybe I have finally learned this lession!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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