Week Eight May 21-27 Bossier City LA - Gulfport MS
May 21, Day 44 Rest day in Bossier City LA
May 22, Day 45 Bossier City - West Monroe LA
May 23, Day 46 West Monroe LA - Vicksburg MS
24, Day 47 Vicksburg - Natchez MS
May 25, Day 48 Natchez MS - Clinton LA
May 26, Day 49 Clinton LA - Bogalusa MS
May 27, Day 50 Bogalusa - Gulfport MS
"Slept in" until 6:45 am in a wonderfully comfortable
bed upstairs in Shirley and Jerry's "country" decorated
two story home.
Margie, Shirley's older sister (by 18 years) picked me up for
church. Margie chauffeurs Gladys, who is legally blind. We went to
Margie and Gladys' church, Cypress Baptist. Nice church, looked new
to me, big sanctuary. The senior pastor, Brother Billy, wasn't
there, so an associate pastor filled in. He preached on
"Finishing the race strong - 4 ways to find out God's purpose
in our lives." There were 4 "stays"; stay in the word
of God, stay close to a friend (accountability), stay away from the
opposite sex (avoid sexual relations outside of marriage), and stay
alert to the tactics of the enemy.
After the worship service, there was a Sunday School group, first
for announcements and prayer requests, then a smaller group Sunday
School. The ladies in our group were all 65-70 or so. We were urged
to look a little further and reach out, so people didn't fall into
the cracks. Do little things, like sending a note, making a phone
Scott spent the morning at the Procells. He's trying to get over a
cough/sinus thing that's been plaguing him.
We had some lunch, and then I tried to make some contacts in
Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Only made 2-way contact with one
place, though. Took a little nap. Woke up as guests for the BBQ
began to arrive. Met some lovely folks, guys Jarrett had gone to
school with, family friends, relatives ... a great bunch of folks.
Jerry and Shirley had prepared such a spread: jambalaya, ribs,
turkey, bread, salad, black eyed peas, home-made ice cream, cake,
After the party, we made plans for tomorrow, SAGging, where to stay,
Tomorrow will begin the push East and South, to the Gulf of Mexico.
West Monroe LA, Vicksburg MS, Natchez MS, Clinton LA, Bogalusa LA,
Gulfport MS, and Mobile AL. I've never been in Mississippi or
Alabama, but I think I know what it's going to be like.
Yours still Biking For The Cure, with "The Swan Lake
Gang," in Bossier City LA,
Marie (and Scott)
On the road again, after a wonderful rest day on Swan Lake Rd.
Shirley SAGged us to Dixie Inn, about 20 miles from Bossier City. Wish we
didn't have to say good-bye ...
Today we rode the 80 Hwy all the way. It's the "old road" that parallels the
I-20. Most of the scenery today was the same; standing water along the
highway, thick verdant woods, an occasional lumber mill, an occasional
glimpse of a freight train. At Gibsland, we passed "The Authentic Bonnie &
Clyde Museum." Wondered if there was a fake Bonnie & Clyde Museum somewhere
Passed through Arcadia, and on into Ruston, home of Louisiana Tech, where
Shirley and Jerry's son Jarrett just graduated, after an illustrious
football career. He has signed a 2 year rookie contract with the Buffalo
Bills, and has been to one training camp already. He goes back to Buffalo in
a couple of weeks, for another training camp. Neat!
Saw many folks on riding lawn mowers, and many folks using their weed
Scott's bicycle computer hit 2000 miles today, and mine will tomorrow.
As the day progressed, and the miles rolled on, it became hotter and more
humid. I must have drank 1 1/2 quarts of Gatorade, plus a gallon of water.
Finally arrived in West Monroe. Seemed to be thriving, with a Tinseltown
movie theatre, Office Depot, Cracker Barrel Restaurant, Chili's Restaurant,
Super K Mart, etc. Arrived at the Holiday Inn Express about 10 minutes after
Jarrett and his friend Robby had arrived with our gear! Perfect timing.
Got situated in the room, showered, then walked to Chili's for dinner.
Made some phone calls, and turned in about 8:30 pm, anticipating an early
Continue to pray for travel safety and physical stamina. This hot, humid
weather is very taxing.
With love from the HD Road Warriors,
Marie (and Scott)
A rocky start, but a strong finish ...
Scott and I didn't leave as early as we had thought we would,
because the continental breakfast at the motel didn't open until
6:00 am. So when Jarrett Procell came to pick up our gear, I had
only carried half of mine to the motel lobby. He arrived at the
motel, got the gear, and left before we had a chance to get my other
two panniers up there. Were we surprised! I called Shirley, and she
called Jarrett on his cell phone, and got him to come back for the
other two bags! I felt bad about the inconvenience, and I could have
carried the two bags, but bless his heart, Jarrett came back, and
took the gear to near Vicksburg, where he transferred the gear to
Sonia Nosser, before heading back to Bossier City. What a neat young
The first 10 miles of the ride were all city, W. Monroe into Monroe.
When we left town, we got into an agricultural area right away. Our
road was flanked by pecan groves. A cropduster airplane was dusting
the field crops, and I thought it best to pull my ever-present cow
bandana over my nose and mouth.
Almost 22 miles along Hwy 80, we came to Start, the home of Country
Great Tim McGraw. The town water tower said "StART" on it;
kind of reminded me of the water towers in Okemah "HOT"
and "COLD." I wondered it one somewhere else said
Next town was Rayville, "The White Gold Capital of the
South." Sometimes I wonder where some of these town nicknames
Stopped in Delhi to eat our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches under
the shelter of an abandoned Ford car dealership. While resting,
Scott noticed that my bicycle pump was no longer in his trunk bag.
He rode back to the convenience store where we first stopped, but it
was not to be found. So now we are riding "pumpless" until
a suitable replacement can be found.
Another hot 20 mile ride to Tallulah. There's a large prison
facility there. Noticed an abandoned CocaCola Bottling building. In
another city, it'd be converted into an upscale "Bricktown"
or "LoDo" type place.
Leaving Tallulah, there were frame Christmas trees with light, right
in the middle of the stagnant river.
Another 13 miles, with field crops of corn and soybeans. Met Sonia
Nosser (a lovely lady whom I had met on the Christian Writer's Group
on the Internet) and her husband Johnny. The Hwy 80 bridge was
closed, so they SAGged us to their lovely home in "Openwood."
It's a large development, which has quite a history. It was
originally inhabited by the Choctaw Indians. The Rev. Newit Vick
(founder of Vicksburg) bought it in 1819, the same year he died.
During the Civil War, General Sherman used it for a Union
Headquarters. Later it passed into the ownership of Mr. Lawrence
Biedenharn, who invented the first recipe for fountain CocaCola.
Later, all but 30 acres was sold to a developer. Quite fascinating,
and very historical.
Sonia and Johnny usually eat out with their friends George & Bobbie Nasif on
Wednesdays but in our honor, they changed their plans. Johnny had to stay
home, though, to baby-sit little 3 yr old Cammie, who had come down with a
End of Part I
After showers, Sonia drove Scott and me to a lovely restaurant in historic
Vicksburg, Walnut Hills. It was built in 1880. It is a favorite eating
establishment for Johnny and Sonia, and I can see why.
It's a round table restaurant, specializing in Southern Home Cooked Food;
Fried Pork Chops, Country Fried Steak, Chicken 'n Dumplings, and Fried
Chicken. Vegetable choices include fried corn, okra with tomatoes, snap
beans, purple hull peas, mustard greens, creamed potatoes, cauliflower au
gratin, coleslaw, and rice and gravy. Biscuits and cornbread compliment the
meal, and they served apple crisp, too.
In an adjacent room a group of female music teachers were dining, and they
sang a lovely song as their grace before meals. So charming!
After dinner, Scott, Sonia, Bobbie, and I enjoyed rocking on the chairs on
the front veranda of the restaurant. George just perched on the railing.
Back to Sonia's. Wish we could stay longer, and do more touring.
Vicksburg had its rendezvous with history during the Civil War. The home of
Confederate President Jefferson Davis, yet Unionist in sentiment, Vicksburg
found itself as strategically important in war as Rev. Vick had envisioned
the site in peace. In 1963, after months of fighting and 47 days of siege,
Vicksburg was scarred, wounded, and subdued, but its spirit was never
From Vicksburg, getting deeper and deeper into the South,
Your Road Warriors for HD,
Scott and Marie
Another day full of surprizes ...
Scott and I SAGged to the outskirts of Vicksburg in Sonia's jeep,
set the bikes up, and started riding. Many "rollers,"
little hills up and down, over the highest point in the county that
Vicksburg is in. Reached Port Gibson, "too beautiful to
burn," said Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War days. Scott said
he felt too weak, and couldn't ride on.
So we stopped at a Shell convenience store, called Sonia, and asked
her to stop in Port Gibson and SAG us to Natchez (she was in the
process of SAGging the gear anyway.) Bless her heart, she had to
drop her friend back at the friend's home, because she wouldn't have
enough room for us, our bikes, and our gear.
Sonia has a wonderful big Cadillac with AC and a big trunk. Scott
removed all wheels from our bikes, and the bike frames fit pretty
well in the trunk. I sat in the back seat with the gear. All the way
down the beautiful Natchez trace, we lamented not being able to ride
it. I could have ridden it, but wasn't entirely comfortable riding
alone. Probably should have, since the
Trace was pretty safe and not that travelled.
Arrived in Natchez at the lovely antebellum (pre-Civil War) home of
Dr. John and Kathy White, and almost 14 yr. old daughter Claire.
Charlotte Reicks and Evelyn Logan had stayed with them last year
when they were riding back across America. Lovely home, 12 ft.
ceilings, used to be a Bed & Breakfast, so each bedroom has a
private bath. Lovely folks, true Southern hospitality.
Kathy fixed us lunch and then took us out to run errands. First was
getting a replacement bike pump. Trek dealership right downtown. The
manager sold it to us for wholesale, due to our cause and Trek
sponsorship. We got word that the Mercy Hospital riding team from
Ft. Smith AR (Johnny and his wife's team) won one of the events held
in Natchez over the weekend! Neat!
Saw the mall in Natchez. Not too impressive. Got back to the
White's, and Kathy fixed spaghetti, salad, and strawberry shortcake.
Early to bed and early to rise ... We plan to start early, to avoid
riding in some of the heat of the day.
Love from the road,
in Natchez MS,
Your Road Warriors for HD,
Marie (and Scott)
The Day of our Melchizedek, Ted
To have the course of events today would have been imposible without
the Lord, knowing that He has plans for us, and nothing is
Left Natchez with panniers and BOB trailer, Hwy 61. Kind of hard
riding, more "rollers," up and down, over and over.
Before we got to Woodville, we spotted two touring bicyclists,
loaded with panniers. We acknowledged each other, and they came
across the median. It was a French couple, with limited knowledge of
spoken English, Betty and
Jean-Pierre Fleck-Jacquin. We gave them a brochure, and told them,
as best I could, about the Frenchman we met last year, Raphael. They
took down his cell phone number, and plan to contact him when they
get back to France. They are from Colmar, the home town of the
sculptor of the Statue of Liberty.
Had lunch at a Subway inside a hardware store-nursery-gas station
place. Then headed E towards Centreville. Passed Rosemont, the
boyhood home of Jefferson Davis, the only President of the
Confederacy. Began to pass brick
church after brick church, each with its own cemetery. Most are
Baptist or A.M.E.
Headed S in Centreville, crossing back into Louisiana again. Between
Wilson and McManus, we noticed a green van parked, with two adults
waving and yelling "Bike For The Cure." At first I
thought, oh, how nice, Coach Holland and his wife have come out to
greet us. But ... as we got closer, I realized that it was Ted
Hatfield (who appeared, out of nowhere,) just like Melchizedek in
Genesis 14:17-20, at the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday, April 8, and
here he is, in Louisiana, ready to SAG our gear the rest of the way
(about 10 miles) into Clinton. Ted tested negative for HD (praise
earlier this month, but he and his family returned to Clinton, his
home town, for his mother's funeral (she died from complications
from HD). The Lord is so gracious ... I am in awe.
Ted, Lana, and their two sons Sean and Caleb SAGged us into Clinton,
to the home of Coach Marvin and Ann Holland. Charlotte Reicks and
Evelyn Logan stayed with them last year, and Charlotte passed on
that great contact.
I slept in a room full of coaching awards and memorabilia. Coach has
influenced the lives of so many young people. (Dr. John White in
being one of them.)
Their home was built in the 1830's, 12 ft. ceilings, on 5 acres.
They have a huge black Lab Jasper, who must have weighed 150 lbs. So
Full of awe, of the Lord's provision for us, orchestrating
"miracles," taking care of us through loving folks like
Ted and his family, and the
Hollands, gracing us with their protection and provision, sharing
their time and lives with us.
From Clinton LA, Grace and peace to you, family, friends, neighbors
... allwho have been touched by Bike For The Cure 2000,
Marie (and Scott)
One more apparition of our Melchizadek
Ted arrived at Coach's house at 5:30 pm, right on time, to SAG our
gear to Bogalusa. Rode out of Clinton on Hwy 10, the Zachary Taylor
Parkway, leaving just as the sun was rising. So beautiful!
Ted had asked us to stop at the pharmacy in Greensburg and give a
brochure to the owner, Mr. Curry. That I did. But the owner
questioned my motivation in riding, saying that God could cure, etc.
After I got back outside, Scott said, "You should have asked
him why he ran a pharmacy!"
Just as we were leaving town, we met a mother and 10 year old son,
out bicycling. They were training. The mother, Lori, wants to ride
in the Focus on the Family series of rides next year. She home
schools her 10 year old son Brandon.
The morning heat began to evidence itself, causing us to stop about
every 5 miles and keep hydrated. Even filling the water bottles with
ice, it melts
in about 15 minutes, leaving us with tepid water.
What a blessing when once more our Melchizadek Ted appeared, on the
return trip from Bogalusa. He brought ice and cold water once more,
gave us some distances, and directions to the home of Bettie and
Claiborn Travis. Ted had to get back to Clinton for his mother's
viewing Friday night, and the funeral tomorrow.
The miles wore on, and we started to wear out. Arriving in
Franklinton, we were bouyed by a sign on the outskirts which
proclaimed "Jesus is Lord of Franklinton LA." We stopped
for a second lunch at Burger King.
Pressing onwards, we continued on Hwy 10, and determined that we
needed a SAG. We called Betty, and she met us on the road, just as
we had completed 70 miles! Her burgandy/silver pickup was a welcome
Betty showed us around Bogalusa a little on the way to her house.
The biggest business there is the paper mill, which emits a smell
much like cooked
Although Claiborn doesn't speak much, I was so touched that he said
the blessing before our meal. Dinner - oh dinner, a roast, creamed
beans, cornbread, mashed potatoes, so Southern and cooked to
perfection! Dessert was bread pudding. Yum.
Bettie is a lovely lady, who takes such good care of her husband
Claiborn, who had a stroke about 4 1/2 years ago.
Early to bed, early to rise again, with a ride back into
Mississippi. Our hosts tomorrow night will be Pat and Frank Strain.
Pat is Bettie's "baby
sister," a church secretary at Pass Road Baptist Church.
Resting comfortably in Bettie's guest bedroom, and in the will of
Your Road Warriors, putting in the miles in the South,
Marie (and Scott)
Headed for our first view of ocean since we started riding April
Up early, to ride in the cool for awhile. Betty is driving to
Gulfport later today, with her granddaughter Amber (from Clinton)
and Claiborn, so she is SAGging our gear! Betty SAGged us over the
river from Bogalusa to about
half-way to Poplarville. Nice ride, forest lined, lots of
"rollers" again. Nothing new, just the usual.
Turned South on Hwy 53, headed for Gulfport. Just little convenience
stores along the way, but one had a nice deli, so we stopped about
10:00 am to get some sandwiches to take to eat later. Were we ever
surprized that these nice turkey on wheat bread, cheese, lettuce,
tomato, green pepper, and onion sandwiches were $1.49 apiece! What a
Continued on South, and about half-way to Gulfport, near Perkinston
MS we spotted a huge brick mansion under construction. Sign out
front said "Future Home of Mr. and Mrs. Mahmoud Abdul Rauf."
I commented to Scott that I think
he was a pro basketball player who used to play for the Denver
Nuggets, someone who changed his name when he changed his religion.
When we got into Perkinston, we stopped to visit with some kids who
had called to us, "Are you in a race?' Went over and talked to
them, and then their mother Sharon came out. Gave her a ride
brochure, and she confirmed the basketball player was Chris Jackson.
She said there'd been vandalism problems already. People in MS are
patriotic, and didn't like it that Mahmoud Abdul Rauf wouldn't
salute the American Flag. Rumors are the house is up for sale, and
it isn't even
Continued along Hwy 53, and in one section, there were 4-5
"shrines," roadside memorials to loved ones killed along
the highway. Thought it must
be pretty unsafe.
At 48 miles, we got to the 4 lane Hwy 49, and cars were cruising by
so close to us! After 1 1/2 miles or so, a shoulder appeared, and
there were Bettie,
Claiborn, and Amber waiting! Our spirits were lifted, and our water
bottles refilled with cold water!
Rode a good while, cognizant of the many folks on Harley's, since
many thousand had gathered to party and play during the Memorial Day
Weekend. Stopped at a bicycle shop for a tuning adjustment for the
rear deraileur on my bicycle.
Got our first glimpse of the ocean not too far from where we turned
to get to the lovely home of Pat and Frank Strain. Pat is Bettie's
After the Travis' left, Frank took Scott and me to Walgreen's, to
drop off some film for 1 hr. processing, and some other medical
needs. I was starting to feel like I had a touch of vertigo, so
bought some meclazine.
We went to dinner at the Homestead, a country all-you-can-eat, with
delicious food. By the time we got back from dinner, I felt really
dizzy, and couldn't write my daily message.
Went to bed early, a wounded Road Warrior, not feeling much like a
warrior at all ...
Love to all from Gulfport MS,
Marie (and Scott)