Categories
bicycle touring Uncategorized

How We Roll

PsychadelicBlanket



Waking up to this blanket will get you moving faster than ice cubes in your underpants. Once your eyes have adjusted, notice that it is the official Motel 6 blanket, the one from the room we stayed in the other day. Gabrielle and I got an early start that day, enticed by the prospect of all you can eat pancakes at IHOP across the street. So we geared up and were out by about 8:30, which is dead early for us–usually this is when we are thinking about getting out of bed. We actually prefer Waffle House, but you really can’t beat unlimited pancakes with 2 eggs and hashbrowns for 5 bucks (full disclosure: IHOP’s a sponsor (Psych-a-BOO-ski!)) So we at a couple plates, and got moving.

On our way out a member of the Kerrville, TX PD was roping in this crazy old bat that was wondering around outside. I saw her running across the blvd. a few seconds earlier, and the wind was so strong that a gust almost picked her up and put her on the roof of a high school. But seriously, the winds were blowing at about 20-30 MPH, the remnants of the front that blew through east Texas up to Oklahoma, causing all of those tornadoes. Some how we missed the brunt of that front. As we started to pedal it quickly became apparent that we weren’t going anywhere fast. In our easiest gears, we battled down Rte. 27 going a meager 4 to 5 MPH, which, if you don’t ride a bike is slow as molasses, and exceedingly frustrating. Brie likened us to those stupid seagulls you’ll see at the beach hovering above the shoreline. By the time we reached the next town, 7 miles and an hour and a half later, I was ready to call it a day, but we threw caution aside and pressed on. Once we entered the mountain passes the winds lessened to a great degree, and began to calm in general. At this point, the rolling elevations and the beautiful, temperate, sunny day took center stage and things began to look up.

This part of Texas has some problems right now. There has been a drought here for so long, that most of the people we’ve come in contact with have forgotten when it began. It seems that, essentially, the environment is changing over to a desert climate. It is dry everywhere. Everything is either yellow or brown. We have made countless river crossings that are nothing but a bed of rocks, and a lot of these beds have tire tracks so prominent they denote the river is no longer a river, but a road. Despite all of that, there is something alluring about the landscape that keeps the riding interesting.



BrieTurned



WoodTruck



Despite Brie almost being crushed by this family conveying an ass-boat full of fire wood to someplace or another, the rest of our ride that day was without incident. We passed by these two dudes headed east digging in to this killer pass that we were lucky enough to be headed down, and shortly coasted into Vanderpool where we hoped to find something decent to eat. As we sat outside at the picnic table spooning in mouthfuls of Frosted Mini-Wheats and drinking cans of Juminex two locals pulled up, one on a dirt bike and the other in a pick-up. The driver just about fell out of the truck, before heading in, and a minute later he and the other emerged from the store with a pack of pop-rocks each. The kid on the dirt bike dispensed with formality and dumped his whole bag right through his kisser, while the other looked him up and down and called him crazy with a smirk. I was just like these two motherfuckers just made a trip down to the store for some pop-rocks, and kept eating my cereal, when someone else showed up and bought a bag of corn nuts. I don’t even know. I suppose you get cravings, even in Texas Hill Country.

Well, somehow I managed to get a flat tire between the picnic table and the road. After I fixed that flat, I got another flat pumping up the new tube I installed after the valve broke off. That’s when I had a mini-breakdown because by them it was almost 5:30, and sundown is a little after 6:00. Meanwhile, we don’t know where we’re camping for the night. But, because I was so pissed, I declared that we were just going to have to camp right there on the spot. Gabrielle suggested we go through this gate that was open a few hundred feet back, which made sense because it would get us off the road. That’s when we discovered that every part of this part of Texas that isn’t the actual road is covered with big rocks. I can’t speak for everybody, but I don’t like to sleep on rocks. I had to fix my flat, again, and fast so we could keep moving, and I did so hastily. Luckily that patch held, and we were able to keep moving for the last light of the day. A half-mile further down the road there was a sign advertising a picnic area 1 mile away—-up a basically vertical 500 ft. elevation climb. That is when Gabrielle lost it. Climbs are still hard for us because we do things like eat a shit-ton of bar-B-que every chance we get, and if people are pouring wine, we’ll drink ’till all the bottles are dry. This climb was no exception, and neither of us wanted to do it, but We Bad, so we busted it out.



Fence



It wasn’t anything at the Picnic Area but a picnic table and a cold, hard slab of cement, so that was out. However, across the way the shoulder veered off to the side and down into a table covered in deer bones and empty cans of Big Red. What made this a desirable place to bed down for the evening was that some thoughtful somanabitch had the foresight to throw a mattress off his truck right there, we just had to pull it out of the brush. Working the bugged knot out the telephone wire binding it up, we pondered what we’d do if a dead whore flopped out. Releasing the knot, the mattress popped like a jack-knife, and we were somewhat relieved that we would only have to sleep on it, rather than run from it.



TentMatress

Categories
bicycle touring Uncategorized

FEMA Trailers

dsc_08581



I don’t know enough about FEMA to properly criticize the agency, but this is some effed-up shit. Our friend from Baton Rouge showed us this site before dropping us off on Rte. 190 in Louisiana. There are thousands upon thousands of FEMA trailers in this field, which apparently stretches for three miles or so. All of them were brand new, and have been sitting here rotting away for about 3 years. The story is that a handful of people tried to sue FEMA because the trailers were making them feel nauseous due to the “new-car smell”—-glue and formaldehyde. SO long-story short, they took all these trailers and stuck’em in a field. The government pays $300,000 a year in rent. That’s almost a million in rent thus far, plus the costs of the trailers, which I certainly can’t calculate. Good-bye, tax dollars!



dsc_0853

Categories
bicycle touring

How We Made it From Alabama to Louisiana

endofnatchez



The cold weather finally broke and it is beautiful and warm now in the deep south. Since we started riding again back on January 3rd it has been either freezing or raining, or a combination of both. The weather made things very stressful. This post is to acknowledge and thank the people who helped us along the way from Alabama to Louisiana.



courtlandwilamena



Courtland and Willamina hosted Brie and I while we were in Birmingham. On the first day in town, Willamina drove us all over the place so we could buy new tubes, and do the wash. She also was very knowledgeable about the history of Birmingham, and we had a wonderful time talking with her. The next day Courtland brought us to The Original Pancake House where we had an awesome breakfast, and then showed us around the city. We are very grateful for their kindness and generosity.

We are thankful that Hugh and Lona Plylar put us up in their extra house in Parrish, AL. It was freezing that night and they saved us from spending the night in the post office.

Also while in Parrish, we met a group of gentlemen at Smokin’ Joe’s who helped us a great deal, but specifically, it was Terry Barnes who helped us find our way through Alabama that day.

After finally making it to Mississippi, we stayed a night with Ryan Storment in Starkville. He is a student at MSU, and was a very interesting fellow, with a fresh perspective on life. He also escorted us on our way the next day, and gave us flawless direction to the Natchez Trace.



donnagary



Donna and Gary Holdiness were the consummate hosts. While we were there, the temperature fell into the single digits. They put up with us for longer than they should have because we were too fearful of riding in the cold. Donna put some wedding ideas in Brie’s head which has really stirred the pot, and created a lot of trouble for me, but I can forgive her for that. If you are ever touring down the Natchez Trace and a women driving a white Suburban accosts you, just go with it–you won’t be sorry you did!



brieonnatchez



donbeckylittleriver



The last family we stayed with in Mississippi was Don and Becky Potts, and their daughter Cedar. As you can see in the picture, they have a mini horse. This is significant for two reasons: 1. They lived right in the middle of Jackson, MS, and, 2. Look at how cute she is! The horse’s name is Little River, and Brie fell in love with her at first sight. It was definitely cool seeing a mini horse walking around the yard of this neighborhood. Don took us to the Rainbow Co-op, which he helped found like 30 years ago, and now it’s a flourishing alternative grocery store. We ate dinner and then they proceeded to pour endless glasses of wine for us, before we moved on to Irish Cream and Caramel shots, talking and laughing all the while! We had a great time with them, and are thankful for their hospitality.

Two days later we rode over the Mississippi River and into Louisiana. Since then, the weather has turned for the better and we are looking at endless days of 70º weather, and sunshine. This weekend we are headed into New Orleans for some jazz, cajun food, and booze. We can’t help but think we wouldn’t be here in such good spirits and health with out all the people we met through Alabama and Mississippi.



msalbridge

Categories
bicycle touring Uncategorized

Two Rooms: Part I

On our last day in Birmingham, AL, Gabrielle and I stayed at the Sloss Furnaces too long, and ended up having to find a place for the night. We stopped and had an early dinner at The Bottle Tree, a cool place on the east side of town that has a decent menu and books some pretty good bands [full disclosure: we stole one of their Los Campesinos! posters from the ladies room–sorry guys! but we really loved it.] So anyway, we were hanging out for a while and drinking a few beers, and before we realized it, it was dark outside. We had to find a room for the night, and a close one. We did a little online research and found the closest motel was a mere .4 miles away: The Star Motel. So we rolled down there, and paid a visit to the office. Many of the low budget motels in the US are run by Indian family’s, and so was this one. We did did business through the money slot, bending down to talk so our voices would carry through the tiny opening, the rich pungent smell of curry punching us in the face. The women said: You pay rent first, 42 dollars, an expression which perplexed Brie to no end. We paid and were passed the room key and remote.

Opening the door to the room was akin to being slapped in the face with a giant pack of Double Mint Chewing Gum. As we ventured in, and our eyes adjusted, it was confirmed that we had indeed booked our night of rest in a flophouse, but it started to pour outside, and we generally sleep in a stank-ass tent, so whatever. As I do every time we get a room, I immediately turned on the television (a bad habit), and there before my weary eyes: The Playboy Channel!



Dildo TV



Brie thought it was hilarious that I was initially reluctant to change the channel for fear we may lose it, but in the end SHE was the one who kept turning back to it. Pornography’ll take a hold of you! So we watched that and the Weather Channel, while we waited for a pizza that never showed up. Later, after we had gone to sleep, a couple came in the room next door, and either the walls were paper-thin, or they were loud, or both, and she was excited to watch TV Land, but I think he was more interested in the PBC, because something prompted him to declare that he would “kick yer head in like a soccer ball if you keep messing with my station!”

Categories
abandoned bicycle touring

The Sloss Furnaces

justsloss

We couldn’t leave Birmingham, AL without visiting one of the main reasons for its growth and early years of prosperity: Sloss Furnaces. Located on the east side of the city, after producing much of the country’s steel for nearly 90 years, this monument to industrialism was nearly lost in 1971, when it was argued that maintaining the facility would not be feasable, and therefore it was recommended the furnaces be dismantled. Luckily, a dedicated group of citizens known as the Sloss Furnace Association fought for its preservation with the help of a number of other organizations, and 12 years later, on Labor day in 1983 the site was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark.



doublewall1



Making iron requires three components that are found in abundance in the Birmingham area: iron ore, limestone, and coke, a derivative of coal. The process of making iron goes something like this: the aforementioned raw materials are brought to the furnace by rail car, where they are unloaded into a stock bin located close to the blast furnace (the structure in the first photo that looks like it has a platform on top). Next a skip car, attached to a conveyor hoist, is loaded from the stock bins and and the raw materials are transported up and into the mouth of the furnace. Upon entering the furnace, the raw materials are blasted with extremely hot air that is blasted from the bottom of the furnace. The hot air blasts burns the coke which produces a chemical reaction with the iron ore, and the limestone acts as a cleansing agent which removes impurities from the ore. This reaction creates molten iron which would collect at the bottom of the furnace, along with the impurities, a stony waste matter known as slag. The slag was lighter than the iron, and would sit on top of it in molten form, where it would then be drawn off the top at the bottom of the furnace through a higher notch, while the iron would be drawn out through a lower one.



pipesteel



The remainder of the facility was dedicated to producing the hot air, which needed to reach 1400ºF in order to be effective. Among the essential components of this network is the Boilers, the Blower Building, and the Hot Blast Stoves. Water was boiled in the Boilers, which run alongside the Blower House, in order to create steam which was probably the most important element in the running of the furnaces. Steam produced the power to run the skip car hoist, the generator producing electricity for the furnace, and the steam engines/turboblowers which produced the air that ran to the Hot Blast Stoves. The Blower Building housed the enormous engines that produce the air. Eight engines standing at more than thirty feet each turned flywheels (giant cogs) at speeds of 70MPH. One of the more gruesome sounding deaths at Sloss (of which there were 20) was of a man that was eating lunch in the Blower House with a co-worker. He was leaning close to one of the flywheels, and the story goes his co-worker looked at him, looked away for a second, and looked back and he was gone, sucked into the flywheel. By the time they could stopped the engine, nothing remained of him. It’s stories like this that lead many to believe that Sloss is haunted.



myfavslossshot



Pictured above is a couple of the Hot Blast Stoves which were responsible for heating the air before it was sent into the furnace. Constructed of steel shells, lined with a layer of heat-resistant bricks, and a lattice of bricks called checkers. The waste gases from the furnace were burned in order to heat the checkers, which in turn heated the air before it was carried to the furnace through a series of large pipes.



recsteel1



One of the coolest things that I learned about Sloss Furnaces is that they turn it into a Haunted House for Halloween. This place is perfect for it. While the self-guided tour is a lot of fun, be sure and try to make time for the guided tour, which is led by a Sloss historian who clearly loves the place, and has many interesting stories to relate. I encourage everyone to visit if they ever happen to be in Alabama, especially around October 31st!



moldywall1

Categories
bicycle touring Uncategorized

Almost to Birmingham, AL

clotheslinemoon

Thunderstorms: 1 — Brie & Phil: Doughnut. Ultimately, it was the rain that kept us at the University Inn for a second night. With reports of flash-flooding and dangerous wind/tornado warnings, we thought it best to let all of that pass before venturing any further westward. One of the benefits of this extended stay was the joy of cooking dinner in the tub for the first time (via a camp stove) despite Gabrielle’s protests. It was either that, cook in the rain, or order Papa John’s, and we’re supposed to be on a budget, so logic prevailed. In any case, after eating all that we couldn’t carry, we woke up the next morning to relatively blue skies, so we anxiously packed up and left Jacksonville, AL for the last time.

This day of riding beat the shit out of us, basically. We were reminded just how out of shape we are, and it wasn’t pleasant. The whole day consisted of riding into 20-30 mph headwinds, and many, many climbs. On the brighter side of things, we could have been stupid enough to leave the day before, and had the same ride, coupled with torrential down pours. And, the reports of flooding were not false. Here is one example of an athletic complex we passed early on in the day:

hpim0871

As you can see, the one building there is flooded up to the roof. Alabama has been going through an extended drought, along with a large portion of the rest of the south, and this is what happens when you get days and days of rain, on hard, dry ground that is not ready to absorb that much precipitation. We rode past a number of properties that had flooded up to the doorsteps of many homes, and the funny thing is that the people outside would always smile and wave as we passed by. I have to think that I’d be pretty pissed at that moment, but maybe it’s a case of ‘you can get used to anything’.

We pushed through about 45 miles of Alabama on that day, and it truly was a fight the whole way against the weather, and against the dogs! So many dogs!! We are getting used to being barked at, but still it always feels like THIS will be the dog to bite me, and honestly you never know. If anyone out there plans to ride their bike through Alabama, be prepared for many, many dogs, especially pit bulls–try to guess which ones are friendly!

alabamacampsite

At the end of the day, we were in the middle of nowhere, and out of water, with no foreseeable chance of getting anymore, so we stopped and pitched camp for the night atop this cluster of property for sale. There were the remnants of former homes in about 4 or 5 spots, a great deal of tires and beer cans. We chose the highest and driest spot, that still had its electricity meter, and a clothesline: it felt the homiest. The sun goes down about 5pm in Alabama this time of year, so shortly after that is bedtime. We’ve been getting to sleep about 7. It makes you feel like Ben Franklin or somebody.
pinesunset

Categories
Uncategorized

On the Road Again

newhome

Welp, once again Brie and I have decided to forego the comfort of a warm bed, and other modern technologies, like the “shower”, for the inviting tenderness of a cold slab of cement beneath a pavilion in places like Rockmart, Georgia. Having completely let ourselves go physically during our hiatus in dadgum Gainesville, GA, neither of us was at all ready to start riding again, but, we had set a date for January 3rd, and we stuck with it, despite the threat of heavy rain, dense fog, and no concrete lodging plans. That’s right, we bad! Our plan was to ride out via the Silver Comet Trail, that runs from Smyrna, just outside of Atlanta, all the way to the Alabama state line, about 60 miles, where it meets up with the Chief Ladiga Trail, which runs for an additional 33. Both trails were absolutely beautiful, and our first day riding through the fog really enhanced the scenery. The fog in northern Georgia is one thing I’ll definitely miss.
cometunel

Naturally, riding and sleeping in the rain had to make one of us sick, and it happened to be me. So, on our third day, we find ourselves spending the night at the University Inn in Jacksonville, AL. Meanwhile, it’s pouring outside, and we don’t feel too bad about breaking down and getting a room. After a day spent in bed sweating out a fever, and watching shitty t.v. (with the exception of the 2 hour Cosby marathon) I, for one, am already restless to go, and Brie has fallen into an A&E Intervention K-hole. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for more thunderstorms, but it’s going to be real warm, so we’re going to make a break for Birmingham.
silouhette

Categories
bicycle touring Cats Uncategorized

Focus on Rigel

Rigel

Recently, Rigel (rye-jel) has thought up a new way to get me out of bed in the morning when she’s hungry. If you are reading this, and you happen to be a cat owner, then you are aware of the lengths that cats will go to in order to have their food dish refilled. The strange thing about Rigel is that she does all the dirty work for her big sister, Sirius (sear-us), who stands by the wayside and waits for us to cave (i.e.: drag our asses out of bed and fill the bowl.) One of our favorite techniques in Rigel’s repertoire was the period when she would climb up on the television on top of this like entertainment case we kept in our bedroom.dscn3224 She would stand up there for a while, and look down on us in judgement, or something, knowing that we knew why she was up there, and when we would turn over to go back to sleep, she would leap down from this perch right onto the bed. On a good morning, a morning when Brie or myself would refuse to budge, she would go through this routine a good 3 or 4 times, and to be honest, we would often fake sleep so she would do it again. That phase passed after a while and she went back to her old stand-by: scratching relentlessly on one wall or door or another. But recently, Rigel has upped her levels again. We’ll be fast asleep, still dark out and the whole nine, and all of a sudden I’ll feel a creeping down around my feet–then a tap tap, and a pat pat, and then: CHOMP!–she’ll bite right into my big toe! Not like a gentle nibble or anything like that either. I’m talking about a serious bite, all teeth and no remorse. That’s just the way Rigel rolls, and we love her for it.

The reason I am writing this post is because Brie and I will be leaving her, and her sister, behind soon, and basically my heart is breaking in despair. We originally drove Rigel and Sirius down here to Georgia back in May (’08) a few weeks before we left Rochester for the first leg of our bicycle trip. I won’t embarrass Rigel by rehashing the horrors of the drive down; suffice to say that it was not a pleasant car ride for her. We spent a few days down here with them while they became accustomed to the new apartment and . . . the dog (Harper.) At one point Harper had his jowls wrapped around poor Rigel’s backside, and I was ready to call off the whole trip right then and there, the thought of her being devoured enough to call off anything, really. Rigel resignedly sat staring out of the bedroom windows for hours at a clip, not watching birds or leaves fall or anything, just zoning-out. rigel longingYou could tell she was having a hard time. I kept on getting the impression that she thought we were punishing her for something, and whatever it was she did, she just want us to forgive her, take her back to her old life, and every time she would hop up onto my lap, look me in the eye, and send out the most pleading meow she could summon, it almost worked. However, as the days passed it became clear that both of the cats would be able to endure the changes and take care of themselves fairly well, although decidedly not as happily as they had a few days earlier.

Rigel is asleep right now in our bed here, just behind me. In our apartment back in Rochester she would rarely sleep in our bed (especially if Sirius was there first,) or even come into the bedroom because, we figured, something about the whiteness of it spooked her. She would really only come in to wake us in the morning. In the evening as we would turn in she would come in and mill around the bed, sniffing and creeping about; she would put her two front paws up like she was going to jump right in with us, the whole while Brie and I imploring her to join us, promising her everything you can promise a cat, I guess. She would never stay, and we always felt entirely teased. After years of this, last winter I solved the riddle, and actually, I am slightly embarrassed that it took me so long to hit upon it. One night as she stood on her back paws surveying the bed, I lifted the blanket and invited her beneath the covers. Like a bolt of lightning, she was in and snuggled up for the night. For me it was a revelation, like in Xmas Vacation when Ellen Griswold flips the switch that lights the house! Ever since then she has continued to sleep with us, albeit under the covers, but very recently she has begun sleeping openly on the bed. One of the interesting things about this whole idiosyncrasy was her absolute unwillingness to be in the bed at the same time as Sirius, a total alpha-beta struggle. However, a short time ago Sirius had an allergic reaction to something that curbed her dominance a bit, and allowed Rigel to set a new precedent, that of being in the bed whenever she pleased. This shift opened the door for our most sought-after and now coveted time together: the quadruple-cuddle.

Brie and I plan to set off again about Jan. 3rd. Not surprisingly, the hardest thing about leaving will again be the cats. I am sure that they miss us as much as we miss them while we are apart. When we first saw them again, after 4 months, Sirius was totally blasé, and basically snubbed us for the first few hours, while Rigel found the highest perch in the apartment, on top of the cabinets in the kitchen, and decidedly glared at me for hours before coming down. Now I was pleading with her! The tables had turned, and now I was indeed begging Rigel to forgive me. And I am not proud: I begged. She eventually forgave me, and we have rebuilt our relationship; perhaps it is even stronger now than it has ever been. I know that she is not content, though. She wants to get back to the way it used to be, when it was just Brie and I, and her and Sirius. I also think she senses that we are leaving again, as she sits and watches us pack up boxes and get things organized. It must seem familiar to her. This time we’ll be leaving her for at least 5 months as we ride from Gainesville, Georgia to San Diego, and then up the coast to Portland, OR. During the first part of the trip, I was scared the whole time that they would forget us, but surprisingly, I believe the time apart has indeed brought us closer together. My girlfriend thinks I’m crazy to go on so long about a cat, but I say it’s our relationships that matter most in life, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without Rigel.

Rigel Destroys the Gloworm

Categories
bicycle touring Uncategorized

Bicycle Touring: The Importance of Mayonnaise Packets

mayonaisepacket

With Christmas quickly approaching, I thought: what better topic to discuss than mayonnaise? Many people love it, some people loath it, and as a bicycle-tourist, I can’t live without it–more specifically, I can’t live without the Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise packet. I know I am not alone, so I’ll come right out and say it: I am a mayonnaise snob. It’s true, and I won’t deny it. Home-made mayonnaise is off the table, because you often can’t beat that, but let’s be reasonable here, who’s making mayonnaise from scratch every time they need some? I’d wager, not many. This is about everyday mayonnaise. Kraft sucks, Duke’s sucks, I’ve heard Trader Joe’s is good but I’ve not tried it, I feel sickened even mentioning Miracle Whip, someone should file a lawsuit against the industrial food services, and to name names, I’m looking at you Sysco, I’m looking at you Aramark (perhaps two of the shittiest companies on the planet.)

When you’re riding a bicycle across the country you tend to eat a lot of sandwiches. At least Brie and I do. Before we even left home we knew that would be the case. There’s a number of reason’s for this, but to me the most important one is not having to pull out the camp stove, and everything that entails. So, since we knew this, early in our planning I began to collect condiment packets, and the Hellmann’s Mayonnaise packet was the most coveted of all packets. I discovered that the supermarket giant Wegmans provided them for people in their cafés, and so it went without saying that each time we went to this particular Wegman’s, the one in Pittsford, NY, I would line my pockets with these packets. Well, by the time we actually left, we had to leave some of them behind. When the trip began, I would estimate we started with about 75 mayonnaise packets, 30 mustards (Goulden’s & generic), a couple Frank’s Red Hot, a good amount of honey, and a couple of lemon juices. We ran out of mayonnaise in the first month, and only had one real chance to re-up (at the Onion River Co-op in Burlington, VT.) Once we ran out, it was over for us mayonnaise-wise. Once you’re in the middle-of-nowhere, you’re lucky to come across the aforementioned Sysco ‘1756’ Brand Mayonnaise, and the reality is that shit will fuck-up a sandwich. The significance of 1756 is beyond me. All I could dig up of any real importance was that it’s the year that ALF was born. In any case, running out meant the end of egg salad, and tuna; it meant dryer, less satisfying cold-cut sandwiches. (I was going to try to come up with some bizarre, off-the-wall use for mayonnaise, but I can’t top this: “Some physicians are now recommending the use of mayonnaise to combat head lice infections. Certain strains of head lice have become very resistant to the traditional chemical treatments, but leaving mayonnaise in the hair overnight with a shower cap will cause the lice to suffocate and die. Comb out any remaining nits with a fine tooth comb and repeat the process seven days later.” [from: Mayo-what!].) Right. So like I was saying, it was hard going without the stuff. This simple item really expands the possibilities of eating something decent and even delicious in a situation where you often had to settle for whatever was left at the bottom of your pannier. It dawned on me in Virginia that I should have made up a care-package of mayonnaises before we left, but alas, we rode our last two months mayonnaise-less.

So it went until we made it to Georgia, where we are currently wrapping up an extended break. As the day of our departure grows closer and closer, I had lately been thinking about our current mayonnaise situation again, and what we were going to do about it. We hadn’t come across any Hellmann’s since, I don’t know, Philadelphia, and the prospects seemed pretty bleak that we would discover a new supply, but I found some more. That’s right! They have Hellmann’s mayonnaise packets at Panera Bread! I started stockpiling them last week.