We stayed at Reed Bingham for 3 nights, before pushing on toward the west. After a couple days on the road I came down with a bug of sorts. It affected my gut the most. We had been moving along Highway 37 on a cold windy afternoon when I got a rumble in my belly telling me I needed to make a pit stop and relieve myself. It turned out it was more when I threw up, I knew something wasn't good. I sat around waiting to see what was to happen and it just got worse so I set up the tent and got inside around 1pm. I bundled up and slipped into the sleeping bag and tried to sweat it out. I would wake and scrabble outside when I needed to. This is going to be pretty direct but I want you all to know this is not all cherry pie and beautiful skies. There are going to be times when it just plain sucks and this is one of those moments. So work with me here people, think back to the last time you had the stomach flu or any kind of sickness where a toilet is used often. Your laying in your soft warm bed with extra blankets and pillows. Watching T.V. and taking naps. Hopefully you have someone who is there to take care of you, bring you hot tea, soup, drawing hot baths for you to soak in and just to comfort and pamper you. And when the urge comes you jump out of bed and dash to the toilet to sit or kneel and relieve yourself. Now image all those comforts gone. You live in a tent and have to undo 3 zippers to get out of your tent just to step out to around 30F chilly night air. And hopefully you have enough time to put on your shoes and move as far away as possible from you tent before you spew the grossness from your body. That is what its like for me and it sucks, but it is all part of the adventure!
The next day I was feeling better and got back on the road just before noon. I needed to get on the road even if I wasn't 100%. I made my way into Camilla, I used a phone book at a gas station to see about cheap hotels. I found one that was low rent and accepted dogs. On my way to the Camilla Inn and Suites we rode past a BBQ spot. I pulled up, not wanting to cook anything and needing some protein and hot food in my belly. The spot was KEBO BBQ, and Kebo himself was working the window when I walked up to place my order. I got a pork and beef sandwich with some fries, and a big sweet tea. Kebo came out with a big ol bone for Coop and sat with me while I ate and talked to me about my journey. He used to be a trucker in that area awhile back and informed me of different towns and roads. He told me to stop by in the morning and he would have some extra staff meal for me before I got back on the road. I got to the hotel right around sun down and checked in. After unpacking everything I jumped right in the shower and didn't get out for close to an hour. Then I curled up with my pooch and got a much needed good nights sleep in a warm bed.
The following morning after loading up we headed down to KEBOs. He was a man of his word and much more. I was given breakfast, coffee, chicken wings and sausage for lunch, some snacks for Coop and I, and some extra layers of clothes to keep me warm. The whole staff came out to say hi and get in on a group photo. While I was eating Kebo and his wonderful wife Virginia talked to me about my journey and a local reported pulled up to do some reporting. He had gotten a couple of phone calls about my existence in their town. We sat down and I informed him of what it is all about to me. The article made front page of two different papers in the area. Here is the link; http://thepelhamjournal.com/content.aspx?module=ContentItem&ID=162141&MemberID=1324 Thanks everyone in Camilla, you live true the southern hospitality definition.
Once I pushed out of Camilla, I decided to head to Florida. I wasn't planning on going that far south but with the unseasonal cold weather that was moving in I decided to get as south as possible. So I got on 91 south and headed to Donalsonville, GA. I rolled in to this town around 3 in the afternoon and rode past a laundromat. I needed to wash some cloths but more importantly I needed to wash my sleeping bag. I hadn't washed it yet and 3 months of farting in it was not smelling so good!!! Once my laundry was done it was dark. I made my way over to a couple of churches that were next to each other and set up between them. It was New Years Eve that night and after I had got the tent set up, everything unpacked and the ride covered, it was 6pm and the Methodist church to the left of us stated sounding off the bells to say a new hour was here. Great, all night getting woken up on the hour with the bells!! But luckily after 10 they stopped. I decided to go to sleep after that. Not much partying can happen in a tent with a dog so nightie night we went. But I knew when the New Year was there because the local fire station across the street brought out all the trucks and sounded all the sirens for the entire minute of midnight. That scared both of us big time. Coop tried clawing his way out to get whoever. I was thinking we where surrounded by the local cops and we where going to jail!! After that it quieted down. The next morning I went over to the fire station and met Tony and CJ the fireman on 24 hour duty. I asked to use their restroom to freshen up and sat with them for a bit to warm up. The temp has been on a big drop and I really don't get up and moving on as early as I would like. I had planned on moving on that day. But the clouds made it look like it was going to be a wet one so we spent another day and night there between the churches. The next morn Tony got off work and went home and cooked me up some breakfast and brought it over to me as I was breaking down the tent. He told me to go over to the fire house and eat and warm up before moving on. When I went over there I met a couple more guys and the Chief. As I ate they stepped outside to look at the ride and noticed that my break pad had lost one of the two bolts that hold it in place and told me where the local hardware store was. I talked to them awhile longer, mostly with Will Owen a local who had lived there his whole life. Donalsonville isn't that big and we got talking about music and he told me some of the bands he liked and I was truly surprised. I imagined him being into country music because that's all they play on the radios around there but it was me still being close minded to everyday people. He even sent my mom a message on facebook telling her that he had met me. She really enjoyed that.
So here it is a new year. And I'm making my way to the 10th state in 3 months. Rested, clean sleeping bag, and rapidly dropping temps. It kinda sucks riding in the cold. This month marks the 1 year anniversary of me thinking up this idea. I planned this trip for 10 months before leaving. One of the things to plan was the weather, this part of the country wasn't supposed to be this cold yet. No part of the country is supposed to be as cold as it has been. Records are being set all over the US with new lows. Once we got into FL it gets pretty desolate, not a lot of towns to speak of. The first night in the Sunshine state it got down to around 20F. I was cold as soon as the sun went down and didn't warm up till noon the following day, I have a 3 season tent and winter is the season it is lacking. That night I was sure that I needed to find some kind of shelter to stay in. Something to get me out of this cold wind. At the end of the day I came across a EMS station and emergency shelter. I knocked on the door and asked Mickey the dude working if I could set up in his bay with the emergency trucks. He said sure and opened up the big bay doors and let us in. It was good to be out of the elements. We talked as I got stuff unpacked and he offered up a couch in the office once he figured out I wasn't some crazy dude who was going to kill him and feed him to Coop. We went inside and plopped down on the couch and talked and watched some TV while Coop snored away curled up on the sofa.
That night I talked to Kim. She lives about 60 miles from where I was and offered up a ride and a place to stay for the week while this cold weather was around. We made all the arrangements and planed on meeting halfway in Ponce De Leon FL. The next morn I got to and encountered some big ol hills. Once I got off highway 2 and headed south on 81, I made it up a huge hill and stopped at the top to catch my breath and text Kim. We had stopped right in front of this guys house and Coop was going around peeing on his mailbox post and some weeds along side the shoulder. This guy pulls up and tells me to "get your dog off my property! What the hell do you think your doing, that dogs gonna shit all over my yard!" I told him "hold on bub, he isn't gonna crap all over your yard all he's doing is killing some weeds in your ditch." He said " if ya don't get that F@$king dog off my property I'm gonna shoot him" Way over the line there. That is my son he is threatening to shoot. I told him he wasn't going to do any such thing and if he didn't watch his mouth we were going to have some problems. He retorted that if "you don't get you ass moving off my property, I'm going to go in the house and get my gun. You f@#king Yankee get a haircut and get a job." That's it. My New York mentality came spewing out at him " what kinda redneck are you? Why don't you have that gun in you truck?' then it was followed by a bunch of trash talking that would make me look bad to you all so I'll keep that to myself. We got the hell out of there and whenever I heard a car behind us I would look over my shoulder to make sure it wasn't him coming to get us.
Once I met up with Kim and her friend Brenda we loaded the ride into Brenda's truck and went back to her place. I left the ride there and loaded up what we would need for the week at Kim's in her SUV. Then Kim drove me to Opp AL to the post office where I needed to pick up some packages that where waiting for me. I got the new part from Main Street with instructions and pictures on how to replace it, Brenda's neighbor is a pretty handy guy and is going to help us on Sunday replace it. I also had gotten some biz cards printed up from Vista Print I got 500 for $5 so now I am legit! And my brother John had made a new sign for the back of the ride with all our info on it so people will know what its all about without stopping to talk to me, he also threw in some food for me and Coop. On our way down to Niceville FL we passed a guy who was walking from TX to Southern FL. I had Kim pull over and I talked to him and gave him some beef jerky and trail mix that my bro had sent. Karma.
Now we are resting up in Niceville in a warm house with lots of food and no worries. I plan on rolling out on Monday or Tuesday after we get the ride road worthy again. I plan on taking highway 90 all the way to TX staying pretty close to the gulf most of the way. So if any of you know anyone tell them I'm rolling thru and to hop on their bikes and ride with us for a bit.
Tell next time
love and licks
Sean and Coop