Dolly's Bike Blog

Musings about fun between my legs

2013 Southern Route USA

Since at least 1997, I had yearned to attempt a cross country bike ride. That summer, my friend Warren rode from LA to Boston. He called me from Winslow, AZ; I rode with him when he passed through Indiana, and I celebrated his accomplishment when he returned. But I, too, wanted to “explore” the USA. I had always loved Charles Kuralt and his tales of small towns off the interstate. What better way to see our great country?

With children, a job, and a widowed mother in failing health, the dream was put on the back burner of life for 15 years. Early in 2012, when I asked my husband if he was interested in such an adventure, he declined without hesitation. And I “discovered” WomanTours – a wonderful “girly group” that seemed to have great support (before and during the ride) and reasonable daily miles (reasonable if I train well).

So in March 2013, the dream – and adventures – began!

I turned 65 while on the ride – it seemed like a fitting way to celebrate – in El Paso, Texas, where my 100 year old mother passed away in December 2011. I think she would have been nervously excited for me.


  • April 10, 2013
    April 10: Navasota, TX I made up a To Do list for today’s rest day – and accomplished everything. Laundry Thank you notes to LLS donors Visit to local knit shop (no purchases) Quick shop at Wal-Mart Complete blog of tour group members Also enjoyed a nice dinner with 18 from the group, plus Keith Cadwallader from England (he is riding ...
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  • April 11, 2013
    A Tailwind - at last
    April 11: Navasota to Cleveland, TX The morning started out badly: 40 degrees, cold wind, and drizzle. After such a beautiful day on Tuesday, I was sure we were in for a miserable day. The drizzle didn’t last, and it began to clear as we entered Anderson. You do know you are in Texas when even ...
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  • April 12, 2013
    Big Thicket National Preserve
    April 12: Cleveland to Silsbee, TX Another beautiful day: mild temperatures, blue skies, moderate wind, reasonable road surfaces. But as Donna and I biked today, we agreed that the surroundings were not as beautiful as yesterday or Tuesday. We did like these flowers along the road, and enjoyed the butterfly eating from the thistle. We did love ...
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  • April 13, 2013
    April 13: Silsbee, Texas to Lake Charles, LA There was morning haze as we left the Pinewood Inn and passed by this skid plant. At mile 35, we crossed into Louisiana. We also took pictures welcoming us to Texas as there were no such welcome signs when we entered Texas at El Paso back on March 24 ...
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  • April 14, 2013
    Lafayette, LA
    April 14: Lake Charles to Lafayette, LA It certainly seemed as though we had taken a wrong turn when we reached Iowa just 12 miles into the day’s ride. Jeff Davis Parish has cows and crayfish. And the birds like the rice fields. Check out this huge thistle plant. At mile 42, we crossed the Mermentau River, over a high ...
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  • April 15, 2013
    Across the Mississippi
    April 15: Lafayette to St. Francisville, LA The ride out of town this Monday morning was a bit harried – lots of traffic and no shoulder. We all survived. Because of the traffic, we were more bunched together than usual. Then when we got outside of town, the faster pace line took off. I was fascinated that ...
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  • April 16, 2013
    Blame it on Don
    April 17: Rest Day in St. Francisville Spent the day with Don: * No alarm wake up, leisurely light breakfast * Headed to Baton Rouge to visit State Capitol Building (more active than most we have visited as legislature is in session, though no morning meetings * Drove through L.S.U. Campus and found a Community Coffee house for mid-morning ...
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  • April 17, 2013
    April 17: St. Francisville to Hammond, LA There are two kinds of headwinds: the cooling one and the nuisance one. And there is a very fine line between the two. Here in the South, we are definitely experiencing the humidity – and the gentle cooling breeze makes it tolerable. When the wind speed picks up, it ...
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  • April 18, 2013
    Cajun Boudin
    April 18: Hammond to Bogalusa, LA After our long day yesterday, our route was only 55 miles today. With tired legs, it seemed plenty long. We were blessed with overcast skies, rather than blazing sun to add to the humidity. Snack table wasn’t until 8 am, so it seemed like a leisurely morning. Our first sag was ...
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  • April 19, 2013
    On to Mississippi
    April 19: Bogalusa, LA to Wiggins, MS Rainstorms passed through Bogalusa overnight, as expected, and the temperature dropped some 30 degrees. By the time we started off after 8 am this morning, it was just overcast and cool/cold. I had sent my fill-finger gloves home (since replaced with gardening gloves), but luckily I kept a long-sleeved ...
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