Day 31: Eutaw, AL to Meridian, MS

Me, Deirdre, Ken and Phil before leaving Eutaw

We began our day with eggs and grits that Deirdre made for breakfast.  Grits actually reminds me of cream of wheat, but most people put butter and salt in it.  Phil and I enjoyed ours with pure maple syrup.  Real maple syrup is one thing I really wish was more popular down here.

After cleaning off our bikes and packing up, we said goodbye to Deirdre and Ken (George and Nola were still sleeping) and left Eutaw.  The ride was a gradual, steady uphill for most of the route.

The river between Boligee and Epes, Alabama

We rode for 26 miles, non-stop except to snap a few quick photos of the river from a bridge we crossed over.  A woman driving by in a minivan slowed down to let us know there was a historical fort nearby, in case we were interested.  We stopped at the Touch of Home Bakery in Livingston, by the University of West Alabama.  For the next 33 miles, we were on the same road.  The weather was pleasant, but the ride was long – almost 70 miles.

Welcome to Mississippi!

We made it to Meridian before dark and were greeted by the large dog Crystal shares with her neighbor as we approached her trailer.  We were Crystal’s first couchsurfers, and she kindly welcomed us to join her family for Thanksgiving the next day.  We showered in her newly redecorated bathroom and ate some tasty sweet potato casserole that Crystal had made the day before.

Wanting to contribute something for the holiday, we went to Walmart and bought ingredients for pies.  I made a coconut sweet potato pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust from a recipe I found in a newspaper on the counter, and Phil made banana bread.  With all the leftover pumpkin and sweet potato, I made a bread as well.

Don't worry - this is NOT where we stayed in Meridian

Crystal’s friend, Donald, came over for a bit, and I made drinks with the rest of the coconut milk.  Sky juice, a drink I fell in love with while in the Bahamas last summer, is made with coconut water, condensed milk, and gin.  I already had some coconut water, so with the gin that Donald brought over, I made some sky juice with ice in the blender.  After Donald left, we watched Napoleon Dynamite and went to bed.

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About Sarah

Sarah grew up in Cranston - just south of Providence, Rhode Island - and developed a love for travel, music, and outdoor sports at an early age. She had started bicycling long distances at age 12, as a participant of the MS150 bike tours to raise money for the MS Society. She didn't use her bike regularly until she built her own while studying in Montreal and found it an excellent way to get around the city. After graduating from McGill and moving back to Providence, Sarah started working at Brown University's office of Environmental Health & Safety as the Biological Safety Specialist. She was living 4 miles away at the time, and for the first few weeks was driving to work. She made the switch from driving to bicycling when she realized that she could get to work faster, avoid parking tickets, and integrate a few miles of training into her day. Bicycling was better for the environment and better for her own health and mood. She found that she had more energy and felt much happier once she started biking to work. When her car broke down several months later, she never bothered replacing it. After 4 years of working in Biosafety (and on her master's in Environmental Studies), Sarah left her job to pursue her passion. She has been working various jobs in the bicycle industry since June of 2011, including pedicab driver, bicycle tour guide, bike mechanic and traveling bicycle advocate. In between seasonal jobs, she has done a few long-distance bike tours, which is the main reason for this blog. Her dream is to eventually ride around the world and sail across the oceans.

Posted on 24 November 2011, in Bicycle Touring, Providence to New Orleans. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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