Charley’s ride across America 15. Rain, wind, hair


Day 26 feb 22.   43 miles 4:30. Strong wind, rain, first half no traffic, second sharing 2 lane with semis, 11 dogs, horn worked end in Kirbyville

Day 27 feb 23.  42 miles 4:00 82 degrees but wide shoulder, no wind or rain end in Kountze TX

Total miles finished 1124

Dear friends and family,

I finally, my last night in Louisiana, had crawfish Etouffee, a classic stew with rice. And it was fabulous!

Welcome to Texas! I’m taking about the longest way across possible. Texas is 1000 miles, one third of my trip.

Yesterday, I woke to a high wind warning from the south. I was going- south that day. Then the rain started, sprinkling at first, then solid rain. I debated whether I should put on my rain gear, but at 75 degrees  I figured I wouldn’t get hypothermic. As I was getting wet I would wince a bit, but once you get soaked you can’t get wetter, so no need for wincing anymore and can relax.

I met Mike, a bike rider heading from Houston to St Augustine. He was completely wrapped in his rain gear, head to toe. Maybe 75 seems cool if you live in Houston.

Road conditions were lovely, with a wide CLEAN shoulder until the last ten miles with two lane road, NO shoulder and 55 mph speed limit. When I saw a truck coming from ahead and could hear one behind, I drove into the grass as they blasted by. Not sure what would happen if I didn’t.

The dog horn worked great yesterday, stopping them in their tracks. Sure I’m going deaf, but unbit. I used up most of the gas in the canister already.

Today was hot, but no wind or rain and a wide CLEAN shoulder to ride on. Seemed too easy.

One thing I was careful about yesterday was trying to keep my bike saddle dry. It’s leather and well worn in by now, but these seats have a reputation for stretching too much if they get really soaked. In the rain I never left the seat the entire time as I don’t want either the leather or my shorts to get wet. A big factor taking people out of adventure races is diaper rash. I am very careful with hygiene of myself and clothing and using butt butter daily. I don’t want to see ( feel) what a problem on these parts could be like.

I saved weight by not bringing a comb with me. I’m in Texas with wild hair AGAIN.

I took a spring break trip to Texas once. Yup, Terry and I. We drove straight through from college in Dayton, and went onto Padre Island in the dark. We soon noticed headlights coming at us on both sides, so stopped the car for safety. When we opened the doors we realized that the road had ended and we were driving down the beach. How cool was that!

We had driven down in the convertible with the top down so the sun could take effect on the SUPER SUN IN product we had been spraying in our hair. Got to make the kids at home jealous of us who went, was our thinking. I had long hair, but with its curliness and a thousand miles of wind, it had become a tangled mess white Afro of sorts. Mine turned white, Terry, who had dark hair got a nice orange color.

We drove a little ways, then turned inland to lay out our sleeping bags on the sand between a couple of sand dunes. We were ill equipped for camping, so in the morning we took our sandy and sleepy selves back the direction we came looking for grub. The first place we came across was a donut shop and we could smell the donuts as we neared. Shoot. Donuts for a couple of overhungry twenty year olds is a good match.

We parked in front and eagerly I led the way in. Rows of glazed donuts, eclairs filled with custard, could heaven be here?

I noticed the large man in red suspenders on the end stool. His big ham hock hands wrapped his coffee cup. Several other big guys filled, and I mean filled, the next few stools.

The end guy turned around as I entered and addressed me.

“ Where’s yer coomb boy?” He asked.

I wasn’t sure what I heard, so I said politely “ Excuse me, I didn’t hear what you said.”

“ Get yer coomb boy if you want to eat here”.

My saliva dried up pretty quickly as I told Terry that maybe we don’t want to eat here after all and we could find another place.

Welcome to Texas 1974.

Thanks for the comments and feedback, I sure appreciate it.

Sending love,


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