After a late night of tarot card reading and more conversation back at Crystal’s trailer, we woke up relatively late for a 60-mile day. Phil and I made breakfast, packed, and eventually made it out of Meridian around 12:30. Once again, it’s tough to leave when we have such nice people hosting us!
The miles went by slowly for me – the wind was in my face, and the roads were hillier than anticipated. We didn’t take any long breaks though, and we managed to roll into Laurel just around 5pm.
Interesting trees in a stream
Our host, Dallas, grew up in Laurel and lives in an apartment downtown with his brother. We were the first couchsurfers to contact him. I guess not a lot of travelers end up passing through these small towns in Mississippi. Dallas was also the only couchsurfer in Laurel, so if anyone were to pass through, he’d be their only option and would probably know about it.
After Phil and I showered, Dallas grilled some steaks on the barbecue. We rested for a bit, and then I walked with Dallas to a pub nearby while Phil stayed and watched a documentary. I needed to stretch my legs out, and had been craving a beer to help with the muscle soreness. We talked for a while in the pub before walking back. I realized that people in Mississippi are not that much different from Rhode Islanders.
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.