Written By: Diane Bies
Today was another beautiful day on the Trace. No, we didn’t really have sunshine; in fact it drizzled a little off and on today. But the real rain held off until all the riders were in and settled at the church for the most part. The temperature was a warm 70 degrees or so which is about perfect on the rolling terrain we are riding. No rain gear was necessary although I did carry mine in my back pocket all day thus protecting all the other riders and myself.
The day started with a wonderful breakfast provided by the generous people of Shady Grove United Methodist Church. They came in early to make us biscuits and sausage and scrambled eggs. It is so heartwarming to be with these fine people who “enter the mission field” each time they leave their church building. They inspire each of us to truly live God’s way.
As we pedaled down the Trace today we were greeted by the sound of birds in the trees, squirrels running across the road and playing on the side, some wild turkeys strutting along the roadway, and cows that “mooed” as we rode past. As to wildlife, the highlight of the day, if you will, was seeing an armadillo lying in the road. Not that a roadkill armadillo is good to see, but seeing an armadillo in Tennessee is an interesting phenomenon. I am used to opossums but not armadillos.
Another interesting siting today was a Scottish couple on a tandem. They had been seen yesterday as well by several of our riders who took some time to chat with them. Today they caught up with us at our last rest stop of the day and we invited them to dinner with us at the church. They actually came over and enjoyed the tremendous spread that the people of Collinwood Methodist Church prepared for us. It is always a pleasure to share our story of the Fuller Center for Housing with others as we were able to do after dinner tonight.
The Natchez Trace is absolutely beautiful in April! There are redbuds and dogwoods in bloom everywhere you look. The wildflowers are sprinkled along the road. The waterfalls are flowing and the streams are so tempting. It is hard to just ride your bike without taking a little time out to longingly gaze at the trails beside the streams and wish there was enough time to go for a hike. It is also a pleasure to talk with the other riders as we roll along. I am amazed at all the green when we are used to the browns of March instead.
Tomorrow is our “almost a century” day. Many of us will ride the extra few miles to make it a full century while others might leapfrog ahead. The forecast is for no rain after 7 am and moderate temperatures of 60 to 70. What more could we ask for? Perhaps a tailwind would be nice if we could truly have it all. No matter what, I know it will be another great day with the FCBA.