When we left the Tombigbee National Forest campground, instead of heading directly back to the Natchez Trace, we decided to ride to the town of Louisville to find some breakfast. This turned out to be a bad idea, as the only choices were convenience store and fast food. We finally stopped at the Clarks gas station, where the only food was biscuits and gravy (I added a small pork chop to mine). It was a long ride, about 20 miles, back to the Trace from there, near the town of Kosciusko. As we approached that town, we found another buffet restaurant (it appears to be the favorite style of eats in these parts), and so stopped for lunch. It was very good and filling, especially the cheesecake and banana pudding desserts. The locals there were again interested to hear about our trip, and one lady in an adjacent table gave us two jars of her homemade jams to take with us.
It was unclear from the road map how to get back on the Trace, so we just stayed on the same road that the restaurant was on. About a mile up the road, we saw that we were passing over the Trace, so we had to bush-whack our way through some weeds and down over the embankment to get on the Trace and get back on our way. During the ride along the Trace, we stopped to look at a swampy area, where we saw an alligator sitting on a log. I called Patricia May, the Manager of the Madison, Mississippi Sherwin-Williams store, to make arrangements to meet her when we got to town. She said that when we got off the Trace, her husband Warren could pick us up in his big red Ford pickup, which they had named “Fred.”
The ride to Madison was a little longer than we expected. It was probably after 7pm when we still had a couple of miles to go to exit the Trace, when a big red pickup pulled alongside me and the guy inside yelled out “Are you the guys riding for Sherwin-Williams?” I yelled back, “Yeah, are you Fred?” He nodded and pulled over up the road, where Ray and I were glad to not have to ride that last couple of miles and load our bikes into the back of the pickup.
Warren drove us to his and Patricia’s beautiful home in Madison, which they share with their dogs Bob and Tater Bug. Patricia prepared delicious vegetable pizzas for us for dinner. Warren showed us his amazing collection of guitars that he made himself by hand. We did a load of laundry, then I caught up on e-mail and posting photos before turning in to bed.
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