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Man.  I think I’m going to invest in a skycard so I can update my blog, check email, pay bills, and get directions when I’m traveling.  I went over a week without internet access.  Big mistake as I failed to plan our return trip.  Ooops.  And that made me grumpy….even though everything turned out well.

Here’s a quick wrap up of my trip.  We drove from El Paso to just past Abiline on Day 1.  We stayed in a Walmart lot and it hit about 20 degrees that night. 

Day 2 we hit Tyler State Park.  We rode that afternoon (first time in wool tights in over a year) and took off the next morning.  Only a few hearty souls were camping there.  It hit about 20 again that night. 

Day 3 drove to Birmingham and spent the night at Oak Mtn. State Park.  We rode the next morning and then headed to my mom’s in SC. 

Day 4 we rode Lynch’s Woods (seems like that would not be a very PC name in the deep south).  Lynch’s was covered in leaves but still rideable.  We had a good time trying to keep from drifting completely off the trail. 

Days 5 and 6 it rained.  So we didn’t hit any trails.  We really wanted to ride FATS, but it was closed. 

Day 7 we headed to my dad’s and hit Harbison on the way.  Spiderwoman was a treat….especially on the SS.  Everything else was kind of blah.  Below Jen is checking out some long leaf pine.  This species was almost completely wiped out by the timber industry who really liked growing loblolly pine due to it being a bit straighter and faster growing.

jen at harbison checking out long leaf pine

Day 8 we rode Marrington Plantation.  That was rippin’ fast as they use leaf blowers to get all the leaves and pinestraw off the nice sandy trails.  We saw this big fat bloated dead aligator.  It stunk really bad.  

bloated alligator                    leaf blower action

Day 9 I gave Jen a quick tour of Charleston.  I showed her my old school/church and checked out the Battery.  Later that day we hit Edisto Island.  It’s famous for its shells.  We scored a bunch of nice ones which we still haven’t sorted yet.  We’ll be making shell jewelry for everyone’s christmas present next year. 

Jen getting the Charleston tour        This is the corner of Broad and Church St.  ( I think )

live oaks over road  The roads to the islands have these huge live oaks growing over them.  They are quite nice during the summer.

campsite at Edisto  Jen can’t believe that palms grow wild.

horseshoe crab  This ancient creature was still alive.


the slide out  My dad’s camper has a slide (his girlfriend paid the additional charge for the slide)…..

rear awning …and a rear awning.  It’s a sweet rig.

Day 10 we headed back home with not much of a plan.  I got grumpy and Jen got mad at me.  We ended up driving a bit further than we planned, but we got to ride the ’96 Olympic course in Conyers on ….

Day 11.  The second loop of that course was a blast.  What a perfect single speed course.  Too bad no one was racing 29ers back then.  That course was fast!  We drove straight through Alabama and Mississippi and spent New Year’s eve in a Walmart lot in Lousianna.  Yee Ha!  Luckily it was pretty windy so our heater stayed on most of the night and we didn’t have to listen to all the necks firing off their bottle rockets. 

Day 12 we made it to Tyler again and rode a lap and a half.  Everyone we passed was in their freakin’ granny gear on a brand new high dollar rig.  We packed up and head across Texas and made it back to Abiline that night. 

Then we drove most of Day 14 back to El Paso.  How’s that for a wrap up?

I hope everyone had as good a year as I did.  Sometimes things seem really crazy and stressful, but then when I look back on it all I realize how cool everything was.