bicycle touring

How We Made it From Alabama to Louisiana


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.


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.


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!



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.