Day 8

Mon 2012/08/27

Start mileage 4960.5 end 5016.4 daily 55.818 trip 281.0

Route: Nacogdoches to Carthage Best Western.

I was able to pump up tires properly at a bike store that I spotted next to Steven F Austin University (“SFA”). My portable bike pump will only give me about 65 pounds pressure (need 100 to do it right).  I asked a few directions (the staff on duty didn’t seem to know much about the area), and traveled on.

I am completely drained. Headwinds and hills at start. Rain and more rain. Several breaks at country churches for rain.

Pizza and milk for lunch at 15:00+ at a gas station in Gary TX (“Gary City”?) while I waited out a little questionable weather.  When it seemed to be good going, I left.

A detour on hwy 10 south of Carthage (North of Gary) forced me from Gary via hwy 999 back to hwy 59, an additional 4 miles or so. Heavy rain started on hwy 999, about 10 minutes away from Gary.  Flat (front) tire and more heavy rain on hwy 59.  My sunglasses fog up in the rain, and I am almost blind going down some hills on 59, with fast traffic to my left.  A lot of debris on the shoulders to avoid (also, a cause of flat tires).

Everything is soaking wet when I arrive at the hotel.

I anticipate headwinds and rain from hurricane Isaac soon. The Republican convention has worked around it and sent it on my way. I might have to quit around Texarkana because of the weather on the way.

There are a lot of chicken farms today and I have passed at least a couple of Tyson chicken processing plants. A lot of the traffic on these back roads is chicken trucks. They smell bad – empty or loaded. In the rain, they are nothing less than vile. The spray from passing vehicles stays with you. Yuck.

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