Easy street

A hilly morning the likes of which I hadn't experienced since the worst of Alabama had me knocked out and crying uncle by noon. I had lingered in my tent on waking up a little more than the usual not wanting to toss myself outside into the chilly morning. My sleeping bag kept me nice and toasty. When I found the resolve to pack up and get going I was hopeful that the sun would warm Mississippi up for this rider. Instead, even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky its rays barely jolted the lower atmosphere into the 60's.

But, like I said, it wasn't the cold that really got to me so much as the hill-after-bloody-hill topography which I thought out of character for the state and this close to one of the world's largest rivers. Or perhaps I should say that I was more than a bit spoiled after several days of relatively flat terrain. The GPS computer on my bike shows I have gained and lost over 2,400 feet in just four hours of riding. Not sure if that's accurate or not but it certainly feels like that much. Either way I still accomplished only a measly 35 miles and it's my sincere hope that that is my low point for the entire trip or I'll never get to Seattle. In addition to wearing me out mentally the hills wear me down in a very physical sense. At the approach of each one my brain rallies with cheerful pep talk for a brisk presto but my legs deliver only an unhurried andante. After four hours of this more or less nonstop my knees are hurting in a bad way and my brain's go-get-'em team has been replaced with apathetic whiners making excuses for why it's okay to quit for the day. It's hard not to listen.

The Days Inn, that hallmark of lodging mediocrity, had the grand chutzpah of asking sixty-something a night which irritated me but not so much that I would have gone another ten feet over to the next motel to be insulted by their rates. Tomorrow I hope to make it across the Mississippi river and into Arkansas. Wish me luck!

Day 24