October 12, 2001

10/12/01 Crocket, TX

89.5 / 9453 miles

Stayed up way too late watching TV. Oh, did I tell you I'm a TV addict. Poor self-discipline, I think.

Today definitely wasn't a day to sleep late. Had over eighty-miles to do. Eventually I did make it out to the road. Had a quick cinnamon roll at the Donut House but didn't finish it. Now, that's not normal for me.

The weather was to change late in the day, so my plan was to get to Crocket as fast as possible. Yeah, right! Under overcast skies, I prayed to Nancy to help me concentrate. I focused on a few feet ahead of my front tire. And I hammered!

The predicted severe weather was because of a clash of warm, moist air from the Gulf and the icy, cold fingers of a Northern front. Had a slight tailwind that felt good on my back. The sun came out once and I saw my shadow, something I thought I'd lost in the last few days. As I got closer town, you could definitely feel the cold breath on my face.

If I ever thought I was going to get killed on this trip, this morning was going to be it. I can't even count all the close calls I had on this shoulderless road. The headlines would read "Cross-Country Cyclist Killed by Passing Bass Boat!" Thankfully, a shoulder, a brand new wide shoulder appeared. Man was it fast. I had covered seventy miles by 2PM. And that despite stopping for lunch in Madisonville.

Saw my shadow at mile 9431

I wish I could tell you more about the countryside I rode through but it was hard to remember to look up. The road was pretty straight with only gentle rolling hills. When I did notice my surroundings, cattle seemed to occupy every pasture. Some types of cows sure are ugly.

Crocket has a business highway loop around the town. As I rode to the center square, the effect of that city decision was extremely evident. I don't think I've see any town this size with so many boarded up shops. Even though Crocket is only 5,000 people, I felt very uncomfortable with so many people. Like they were closing in. I didn't stop, but headed back to the outskirts of town.

Ended up circling town on that loop anyway, looking for a motel. Seems the area is mostly booked up because of the Peanut Festival in a nearby town. Had a great burger at the locally-owned Texas Burger. "The local high school football game is away tonight," the owner said when I asked where all the other customers were.

Ended up here at the motel tonight because of severe weather headed this way, possibly tornadoes. I'm hoping by morning to have clear sailing for my last few days to Denton.