Autumn in Bonham! Just what I needed.
I rolled into Bonham, TX last night (Friday, Sept. 25) after 122 miles of rolling hills, not exactly merciful wind and chip and seal highways. I was more than tired, but I got up at 5 a.m. and at 6 a.m. Jon and I headed to the Multi-Purpose Community Complex where the riders were gathering for the annual Autumn in Bonham Bicycle Rally. When I originally planned the trip route, I had thought that if I were lacking miles to get 2,000 for the trip, I could pick up at the most 64 miles at the Autumn in Bonham. Having ridden 309 miles in three days, I opted for the shortest event. Jon and I rode the 14-mile route together. As soon as we were finished, we set up a booth that the chamber was so gracious to provide for us. We got a few donations and sold a few t-shirts, but we also got the word out about the project. It was a good day.
When I got back to the guest house where we're staying compliments of Jim and Raynell Glaser (Bonham residents and Ixtapa part-timers) I slept three hours. I don't think I realized how tired I was. I've ridden in the cold, some rain, some sun and all on rough roads for cycling. I thought my bike was more rigid than the one I used last time on a trip like this, but a guy at the ride today (Saturday, Sept. 26) told me the new chip and seal highways (I didn't know the terminology before today) were really hard to ride on. I thought I was just getting slower, but he said they slow you down by about two miles per hour. No wonder it took me so long to get to Bonham. (I arrived just after dark.) I'll take smooth Mexican roads any day.
Now I'm sitting out on the front porch with a view of the north Texas countryside. The sun is sinking, the horses are grazing in the pasture, the temperature is perfect and the cat is preening himself. Did I mention I was in a rocking chair? Not bad.
Also, I'm sitting here knowing that I only have four more days until I get to Oklahoma. Yesterday's ride was from Wichita Falls to Bonham, so I rode parallel with the Texas-Oklahoma border all day. Every few miles there was a sign for a town on the Oklahoma side. It was all I could do to keep going straight instead of turning left. I could have been in Oklahoma City today...but I still don't have my 2,000 miles. Right now I've logged 1,802.
I'm ready to finish this thing, but I'm also enjoying the visits over the last few stops. I got to see my aunt and uncle and cousins in Stephenville; I stayed with my cousin and his wife and family in Wichita Falls, and tomorrow here in Bonham I'll see members of New Zion Baptist Church, who visit us every year in the Zihuatanejo area.
After church tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 27), we head north. Our original destination was Tupelo, but we're not sure we're stopping there or not. We just want to get up the road a ways so the next day won't be so difficult getting to Okmulgee.