October 13, 2001

10/13/01 Tyler, TX

94.9 / 9550 miles

Man, oh man, good call staying here last night! About 2AM, I woke to the sound of a hellish storm outside. This morning found the area with a lot of wind damage, people without power and some flooding. Packed up but waited awhile to see if it would stop raining. I thought the storm was supposed to blow through? Finally said "What the hell!" and left anyway. It's just water.

Any happy thoughts of a sunny day of riding were quickly drowned. Rode through heavily overcast skies, cold rain or mist being the norm. I can deal with weather, but too soon, the road shoulder disappeared. That initial training on the white-line in Virginia and Kentucky came in handy now. Lucky for me traffic was pretty spread out with trucks.

Lunch in Palestine was getting me down. While trying to choke down some food, I kept one eye on the continued downpour outside. But I wasn't going to get closer to Denton sitting here, no matter thoughts of making it a short day.

The hard rain subsided but my glasses were constantly beading up. And I wondered if it was my imagination or was it getting darker. One piece of luck - the very long bridges across Lake Palestine had a full shoulder. The sign for the Tyler city limits was a very welcome sight.

The problem is that average Joe-citizen really hasn't a clue where the motels are. Try it yourself. Where is the closest "clean and cheap" motel nearest you? Don't know, do ya! Started biking around the business loop. Lots and lots of new, national chain restaurants and shops but only a couple of pricey hotels. When it was clear I'd never find a motel like this, went it to talk to Glen at the La Quinta Inn and he directed me to a good, cheaper motel. Only it was another five-miles.

I'm so glad it's Saturday because I'm sure this highway would normally be bumper-to-bumper. It's dark now, very dark and I don't have any lights except my bright yellow jacket. Almost gave up but resisted the urge to go back to the more expensive hotel.

More exhausted than tired, but still sore just the same. Looked over my routes and might make a major push tomorrow. I think I can get to Denton on Monday, a day ahead of schedule. God, I'm so close.