The Red Truck.

 

Day 19. | Loxley AL. | End: Wilmer AL. | Mileage 920.4

Right from the start I shall mention my phone is not wanting to show me anything I type unless I submit it first, so let’s see how good my blind writing is. We made it to the edge of the Mississippi boarder in Alabama. I can literally throw a rock into Mississippi if I had one, yet it is too dark to fetch one from the woods. We are the only ones here, a vacant place. Only one light shines down on our tent while the sound of crickets creeping closer and closer drowns the sound of the occasional semi truck speeding past on the highway.

Today has been a long day. we woke up in the sketchiest motel so far and made our way down highway 90. We have been following this road for sometime and things do get redundant. Entering Loxley, the shoulder turns into a game of “who can ride the closest to the white line.” Hurling us closer to the passing traffic, I felt like I was in a circus performing the tight ropewalk. One side was grass, the other traffic, both where equally unpredictable and dangerous. If we bail in the grass, it was a good chance we’d stick our tires in soft gravel and get thrown back toward the road. The best thing is the rumble strip, the area we avoid hitting. A violent shake was the reaction to drifting toward traffic, vibrating anything loose off the bike. From our position, I hated the sound of a car drifting and running the strip over. If I’m on the verge of hitting it and I hear the sound behind me, thoughts are always I am about to die.

With the heat bearing on our backs and the hills getting more frequent, we made regular stops along the way. Water spans the gap to Mobile as we approach the bay. Seeing a storm build in the distance we are forced to make an 11-mile loop around our route due to the tunnel prohibiting foot traffic and cyclists. Pissed off I continued in the wrong direction to begin the loop. We are greeted by the big brother of all storms, while hauling ass to make shelter under the highway. This cell was so well developed that I was even hesitating on our next move. Should we make the dash over this enormous bridge thus pushing us higher into the clouds, so close you can touch the lighting… or find better shelter. The second was the smart route. We hung out for an hour or so, watching the highest point of the bridge get nailed by lighting. I was thinking is that could have been me.

We make the plunge over the last bridge and make it into Mobile after the rain settled. There was no skyline or green grass to welcome us; we ended up getting dumped into the industrial park, led by a ghetto. My pace became slow when I notice my rear tire just ate some glass and is throwing-up air. In the fastest way possible I patch the tube and get back on the bike, keeping an eye on who is around. Some guys eyeballed us as he drove by in his navigator, bumping a system and the rims to match. I peddled a little faster.
We reevaluated the situation and headed for highway 98, one big of mistake. Only five miles of this road before calling it quits. I did not want to be on the front-page news as the road kill of the week. After the first two semi trucks got too close for comfort and the driver of the now infamous “red truck” passed us within inches… there was no doubt in my mind we were lucky. The red truck didn’t even have a right side mirror. Goes to show, if he did have it, he would have lost it on one of our heads. Walking the bikes in the tall grass off the side of what they call “bloody 98” we set our eye out for a truck. Anyone really, someone whom may be kind enough to give us a ride west, out of the rush hour traffic and our road side graves. A couple hours under the sun passed with every minute lasting an eternity. Finally a kind man granted that wish after calling his wife first and explaining we are nice people with beards.
The truck stopped and we hopped out, killing 10 miles the easy way.

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