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Day 38: Tuscumbia, AL to Moulton, AL

29 Miles - Threat of Late Afternoon Rain, Short Ride and Unusual Day In Moulton, Alabama - March 29, 2011

Moulton, AL
East of Tuscumbia, I took Highway 157 toward Moulton and Cullman.
Look at that dark and gray morning sky!
White Oak Market, Alabama

Egg & Sausage Biscuit Sandwich

Crimson Tide Hats
Look at those Crimson Tide hats. It was a sad sign that I was no longer in Arkansas. :(

Leighton, Alabama

At ten miles, I stopped at the White Oak Market outside of Leighton.

As was sometimes the case, if I rested for prolonged periods in front of a store, I usually went inside and bought something so I didn't feel off like a loiterer. I even joked with the owner that I'd buy something, but he didn't seem to mind. His store was quiet and I think my presence was a break from his monotony.

Nonetheless, I bought a hot coffee and an egg and sausage sandwich. The coffee was fine, but my food choice could have been better. It took some energy out of me.

Highway 157 Alabama Onward I went toward Moulton.

BBQ Meal
My BBQ sandwich and french fries at John's BBQ in Moulton.

Moulton, Alabama

By the time I got to Moulton, I was struggling. It was another chilly and humid morning in the middle of a week-long cold snap in the South. And I was tired of it.

Mentally, something was off. I was fed up with the weather conditions. I kept stopping at convenience stores to get inside. Biking in this wasn't fun.

Now rain was in the forecast for the late afternoon and evening, and so I had a legitimate reason to stay in Moulton. At the same time, I suffered from the "brain damage" of only riding 28 miles today. It was a rerun of Waurika, OK and Durant, OK. Some things never change!

Deep down, I knew I probably could have made it to Cullman, 35 miles away, but my deflated cycling morale told me the afternoon rain would be bad. I was mentally "out of it" and didn't want to continue. Nothing felt right. I had eaten too much food at convenience stores, and after lunch at John's BBQ, I knew I was done.

Sure, this was probably one of those days where if I had formal support - a SAG or an RV behind me - I could have taken a nap and had more energy later to reach Cullman. But such a set-up wasn't meant to be. I never had non-motel types of places where I could recline for a few hours and see how I felt in the afternoon.

Relax Inn Two motels existed in Moulton: An overpriced Days Inn and the lower-end Relax Inn. I stayed at the latter and paid the lowest amount for a day's lodging on my entire tour: $35 with tax included.
Moulton, AL Walmart Behind the motel was a Walmart. Still thinking I had lost my one pair of North Face pants in Mississippi, I bought a new pair of shorts and a belt ...
Smoking a cigar in a parking lot of the town's Taco Bell.

... and there I am wearing it! ;)

Funny Story - Smoking a Cigar

Anticipating a short and difficult day, I bought a package of cheap cigars earlier in the ride. Honestly, I rarely smoke. Maybe twice a year I'll buy a cigar somewhere for a special occasion. Well, today it felt like one of those days where I needed to "let loose" a little. I decided I'd smoke a cigar somewhere and get a picture of the event.

When I checked in at the Relax Inn, the clerk asked if I wanted a non-smoking room, and I said yes as I always do. Then she challenged me as if she'd been burned before, "You're really a non-smoker? I've had people say that and then they light up." Now there are many things a person can accuse me of, and I'd probably slump down and nod my head in painful admission, but being a smoker is not one of them. I stood my ground and gave her a look of absurdity. "No! I don't smoke!" (In fact, I've never smoked a cigarette in my life.)

So she gave me a room key and upon entering the room, I remembered my cigars. Would I smoke in the room? Of course not. But what if that motel owner saw me smoking a cigar in public? She'd think I lied to her! Ahhhhh. :)

Coffee and Cigars

Fast Food Restaurants

It was an odd and unusual day in Moulton.

After showering, I walked along the highway full of fast food restaurants. I bought a coffee at the McDonald's before smoking my cigar.

Subway Restaurant Pretzel Then I went back to the Walmart which had a Subway inside. I had a drink and ate a pretzel.

Then I noticed a hair salon named Smart Style inside the Walmart ...

Shae and Steve


... and I knew I had to do this for myself. One of my weaknesses is I rarely do things for myself. Am I generous with others? I'd like to think so. But buy a gift or do something nice for myself? No way.

Now I am currenlty working toward growing my long, naturally curly hair as long as possible. In fact, I have a hairdresser named Amber who regularly works with my hair, and she suggested that I get a deep conditioning and "comb out" during this journey.

Adjacent is a photo of Shae, a lifetime Moulton resident, as she combed my hair. I'm very picky and don't let anyone touch my hair, but she did a great job! :)

I told Shae about my bike across America ride, and gave her this website address in case she didn't believe me. But like the waitress in Memphis, Shae believed me. She said I had a lot of color in my face, an indicator that I had been outside a lot. :)

Throughout the afternoon, the weather was fine. In retrospect, I could have made it to Cullman, but I forgave myself. Days like this happen when you bike across America by yourself.

In the evening, it did rain, and tomorrow's weather conditions were in question.

I Kept Taking Pictures Of Myself In The Motel Room Mirror
I'm telling you, it was a weird day! :o)
New Shorts
Holding my new shorts.
For 38 days, I carried a miniature sombrero that my friend Mark Shaw had given me. Finally, I wore it! :)
Steve Garufi
I bought a bottle of Lemon Tree conditioner at the salon.

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