I woke up this morning to rain showers. A bit troubling. I don't mind riding in the rain, it's just the idea of starting out in the rain that gives me the chills. Like I tell people I love swimming, but hate getting wet. It's true!
After a simple breakfast, we drove to marker 382 which is where I stopped riding yesterday. The rain had subsided a bit but was still coming down. It was warm enough that I decided to forego a rain jacket as I knew eventually I would overheat.
I put on my Specialized brand tri-athelete shoes and hoped they would work well. They are very open (no tongue) and for the first few minutes, my feet felt a bit cold as my socks were splashed with rain water. Soon though I realized these were a good choice. Yes, my feet were wet, but my shoes were draining the excess water out nicely. Nothing like riding with your feet slogging in water filled shoes.
Thank you Bruce Hollibaugh at Concept Cyclery for recommending these shoes!
I also saw a hiker and another rider! It actually surprised me how few riders I have seen on this trip
I also rode hard in order to stay warm. I stopped at a few scenic points and once to refill my water bottles. But each time I stopped, I would start to feel cold and this made restarting difficult. So I rode pretty continuously, counting down the miles knowing that at mile 444 the Trace would end.
Lots of wildlife out this morning. I saw turtles, dozens of wild turkeys, a snake, and two beautiful deer. I wonder if it's the rain that brings them out.
Soon though, the rain was coming down so hard, it was hard for me to see much more than a blur through my glasses
Much like my camera, this is how the world looked through my glasses!
Check out the glassy looking road surface
As I passed mile 442 I suddenly discovered the Trace was gone and I was on a major road with lots of traffic. Shocking. . No terminus sign indicating the beautiful Natchez trace was over.
I quickly changed into dry clothes and we drove out to Knoxville. This led to a great visit with my mother, my sister and her family! (and a great home cooked meal!)