I have always maintained that A/C in an automobile was an unnecessary luxury. Driving in the South during late summer months made me realize that is a provincial attitude, for sure. I certainly appreciate MaryJane’s little Nissan which is fully equipped and cools me off nicely after a long wait in the heat. Can’t tell you how many people have asked if I am not tempted to be a cyclist along with my buddies. (about the same number have remarked that I have the best ride of them all) In case anybody cares…the answer is NO, I’m never tempted, and YES, I believe I have the best ride also.
The radio stations down here play mostly Country Western music or Religion/Gospel talk. I hit the scan button until I hear something familiar – Bruno Mars, Katie Perry, Robin Thicke – HEY HEY HEY – and since I’m by myself, I crank it up as high as it goes and sing along as I look for safe, shady spots to park at ten mile intervals. I learned early on this journey, not to stage meet-ups at the BOTTOM of a hill. Usually, the only thing the riders want or need is ice water or a piece of fruit, which is easy to provide unless we have depleted our supply of ice and there are no stores, restaurants or gas stations on our route to replenish it. On the stretches that have no services of any kind, we eat on the road, and I thoroughly enjoy making picnic lunches to refuel these amazing women so they can continue their arduous journey.
Sag Wagon is what the support vehicle is generally called, but that title is truly inappropriate for the Nissan. There have only been a couple of occasions when the bikers didn’t complete the entire ride, and that was because they ran out of daylight. They end their riding day by checking all the stats on their hi tech gadgets, comparing notes on who gets up all the hills, who rides down the fastest, the average speed, number of hours on the bike, and then plug into a formula which tells how many calories they burned. Makes my head spin, but seems to float their boats.
Tracing the route of the freedom seekers is enlightening, inspiring and sobering. We have also traversed the Trail of Tears, which commemorates another tragic chapter in American history. On our layover days we cram in as much fun, food sampling and sightseeing as we can, which makes for a nice balance. I feel very lucky and privileged to be along on this wonderful trip with good friends.