Trans America Trail: All Things Must Pass

Sep 26, 2013 View Comments by

Trans America Trail: All Things Must PassNone of life’s strings can last
So, I must be on my way
And face another day ~ George Harrison

I am excited this morning. Today I will cross into another state on my journey. I am headed to Mississippi. It’s funny how just knowing that you are crossing an imaginary line can create such a sense of anticipation. I like to stop at most landmarks and snap a quick shot and state lines definitely qualify, so I always get a bit excited when I come to a new one.

My morning starts with an overwhelming choice of breakfast sandwiches at a local bait shop/gas station. I hastily pick a sausage biscuit to get the taste of last night’s steak out of my mouth. Lesson learned—I am not in beef country. As I mix my morning rations of electrolytes and water into my camelback I chat with the local mailman. He shares with me some of his best off road choices for the area—as he proudly points to his mail truck (A personal Jeep with a large magnet stuck to the side that reads, “US MAIL.”) He mentions how he sees quite a few “dirt bikes” passing through town with out of state plates, and asks if I have any idea why, so I explain the Trans America Trail to him. I am continuously amazed at how many people who live close by have no idea that it exists.

I would like to say that after breakfast I soon cross into Mississippi and all was great, but the reality is that I have somehow ended up going too far south, too soon, and I find myself temptingly close to Alabama. I determine there must be a reason so I dip my front tire into Lexington, AL, grab some fuel, snap a quick photo, and reroute myself back to Mississippi.

Soon I am back on the trail and pass into Mississippi. Riding under old train trestles and over several “bridges” (loose boards held together with magic) crossing slowly running streams—today I truly feel like I am riding on the TAT and it feels good. Tonight, however, I will learn how uncool it is to bump the camera on my helmet—and the repercussions of footage of only tree cover and sky! A mistake I hope not to repeat.

The day continues to be a mix of lush green on hard packed dirt. The kind of beautiful riding that provides just enough challenges to stay focused, but plenty of time to simply ride and enjoy. I arrive in Batesville, MS and settle on a Ramada to stop for the night. I love park out front motel rooms, what they lack in “modern convenience” they sure make up for in proximity to your bike.

My first disappointment, after unpacking, is discovering only chain restaurants in the area. Kentucky Fried Chicken in Mississippi is about as southern as I will be getting tonight. After a quick shower I pull on my nightly clean shirt and discover my new hat is missing. It was a gift from my wife and girls for this trip. As I tear through my bags my attitude spirals even further south than the Alabama detour. The positivity I have held throughout the minor disappointments so far has vanished.

After soaking my sorrows in the Colonel’s Original Recipe, it finally occurs to me why this “hat loss” has hit me so hard. I realize it is the first time since I started my ride back in Connecticut that I have felt the feeling of loss. This trip was driven by my father’s passing, but until now I have stayed positive and enjoyed the adventure. Losing something as silly as a hat is a harsh reminder of his absence on this trip. Rather than wallow in it I think it is best to sleep on it. I lie down with my headphones and listen to George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass as a reminder to myself of the temporary nature of all that is good and all that is sad. As the final verse ends, “Daylight is good at arriving at the right time. It’s not always going to be this gray” and the chorus repeats to fade with the words, “All things must pass, All things must pass,” I close my eyes.

To be continued . . .

 

To read the previous Trans America Trail episode, click here.

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About the author

I am an introvert posing as an extrovert. I love travel in all forms, but prefer 2-wheels. I created AdventureHermit as a way to share my adventures and inspire others to find joy through discovery; writing for RoadRUNNER is a dream come true!