Waking up this morning I thought it was winter. Rolling over still in my burrito of covers, I realize we had blasted the air-conditioning all night… a luxury we don’t see very often. So I smiled and went back to sleep. It was great to finally relax and catch up on the sleep that I seemed to have been robbed of during the last couple of days. Both of us were in better moods… rather than the zombies on a typical morning. While stuffing my face with food, I had the weather channel blaring and inches from my forehead. We were expecting more bad weather… not one day without trekking through the rain. We then packed and set off once more.
Highway 49 was a graceful road. Two double lanes stretched into the horizon, touching the sky when the waves of hills seemed to crest. The shoulder was forgiving… nothing to compare with HW98. With almost an entire lane to ourselves, we were free of stress and enjoyed the ride. I knew it was inevitable; the weather met us in the little town of Magge. A day without rain is like winning the lottery… twice. A man laughed and joked with us about the storm… saying it was going to be a beautiful day to ride a bike outside of the corner store. I smirked and threw on the rain coat, one of which has been put through so many tests… Colombia should be proud. A pillow, blanket, fly swatter… and much more this jacket has become.
After making good time on HW49, it was a disappointment to see our beautiful shoulder turn into every nightmare in one. Glass, wood, tire shreds, gravel, hell even a dirty diaper or two covered the sorry excuse for a shoulder. Our progress dropped to a crawl and with that our spirits. As if the road gods damned us, from then on we kept getting screwed. Wrong turns, busy streets, pot holes so big a small child could swim in them and the dogs. Oh the dogs. Fat ones, skinny ones, big ones… even an ankle bitter or two. What ever it was about today the dogs loved us. The two memorable ones would have to be the “stealth bomber” and the “black wolf.” As we were navigating through some back roads to avoid running through the city of Jackson, through the corner of my eye I catch this mass of tan fur fast approaching, not even a warring bark was uttered by this pooch. All I know is Dirk moved the fastest I have ever seen him go, and hell if someone starts to run… I’m not going to wait around to find out why. We booked it. Dirk screamed at the dog, I kicked, anything to scare the dog. Some how we got away.
The second, “Black Wolf” was another story. The yelling didn’t work, not even the highway traffic kept this dog from pursuing us. I guess it was either I looked like a juicy bone or Dirk looked like a plump turkey, either way the dog saw red and wanted one of our asses. After being punished by a series of huge hills, ones that could rival those of San Francisco, we were beat. As I was just about to round the top of what I thought was the last hill, the beast let out a bark. With its head down and paws tearing through the sod, the chase was on. We booked it. Hauled ass and didn’t try to yell after the first five times failed. The dog came to a halt. My heart raced… and I took another look behind. The dog waited for a car to pass then continued its attack. The rest was a blur. I mean we moved so fast, the dog saw a blur. Never moved so fast in my life. The people in the car behind us must have had a good laugh.
We made it to Vicksburg in one piece. Beat and ready for bed, we grabbed dinner at the gas station. The food of champions… or maybe just the one’s that get away from dogs.