Trip Summary

Day 52: 2929 miles completed, 8 states, 7 flat tires, 4 flat mattresses, 40 new friends and Bruce #1, 8 rest days

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Day 33: Shepherd, Texas

The route to Shepherd, Texas was scheduled for 61 miles with the highlight being riding through the Sam Houston National Forest. Sam Houston is a really interesting and integral part of Texas history.  He was particularly known for being fair with the Native Americans, namely the Cherokee tribe.

At the rider meeting the night before, we were informed of a short detour which would add a couple miles. Then at our first stop, the staff decided to use an alternate route, more additional miles, around a section of rough road caused by construction. In addition to planned added miles, we missed a turn and had to backtrack a few miles.  Our short 61 miles, we ended up doing seventy miles actual because of the two detours and one wrong turn..  We also had to ride through a bit of construction, which was loud and dusty, but we know the staff only put us on as little of this as was necessary.  We all made it safe and sound.

Jeff took a few side trips, accrued a couple additional miles, and got his picture taken with Smokey Bear!

Rider Update:  Very good news, we welcomed back our fellow rider Dean who had had a cardiac incident a couple days ago, was flown to Houston, had a procedure done and was able to join us back.  We all gave him a standing ovation when he arrived and lined up to give him a big hug from each of us.  We are sincerely happy to have him back, even just to ride along and act as a SAG staff member until he is feeling stronger.  Thank you to his wife and family for allowing him to return and the wonderful doctors who help make this possible.  It is remarkable what modern medicine is capable of.

The one really special part about tent camping nights are that we all congregate and talk together, eat together and get up for breakfast together (and coffee clutch for those early morning caffeine drinkers--Lisa takes hers cold, but has occasionally made it to these morning get togethers).  Sometimes, when groups only stay in hotels, people get in, retreat to their rooms and hibernate until the next day's ride is to begin.  I think the way Bubba does it lends itself to making us closer to one another and we share a lot of laughter and stories and it bonds us together.  We have a really great group again this year and the staff Bubba surrounds himself with are always the most respectful and considerate people you ever will hope to find.  I think that says a great deal about our Bubba!

(1) Dirty Clothes
(3) Ready for Pick-Up

(2) Clean Clothes

Laundry Day
Today was one of the infamous laundry days.  It begins with six empty bins each labeled with the desired contents: jersey, shorts, heavy/jeans, whites, darks, ....  We riders are responsible to put our dirty clothes into the proper bin (1).  While we are completing our daily mileage, three members of the volunteer team are "volunteered" to warsh our dirty clothes.  It usually requires more than a dozen loads of laundry.  After the washing and drying, the clothing is sorted and folded before placed back in the plastic bins which are transported to our daily destination (2).  Clean items are placed on tables before the riders are given the green light to retrieve their items (3).  It never fails, but there are always unclaimed items and items which are taken by mistake (returned later).

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