Welcome to carbonstories.org. On this site you can learn about Michael Johnson-Chase and follow my blogs. With some exceptions, this site follows "theme based" cycling tours focusing on social and climate related issues. Slowed down observations of the world over days, weeks and months at 10 to 15 miles an hour can reveal a depth and quality of understanding about our environment often missed by faster modes of travel.

Southern Tier, Post 31

Day 33, Post 31:To be brief about it—proposed Henry James. A day of rest in Navasota, TX. I'm once again adding some new people to these Southern Tier posts. If you are reading this for the first time, please know this is one in a series of an ongoing posts about a cycling tour I am taking from San Diego to St Augustine, FL along the famed "Southern Tier" cycling route made popular by the Adventure Cycling Association. If you are you getting this message for the first time, please know you can always write me back and I'll happily take you off the email list if you don't want to receive these updates. You won't hurt my feelings, I promise! And, conversely if there are others you think might enjoy receiving these, please send me their email address and I will add them if they aren't already on the list.

Wikipedia tells me that, in 2005, the Texas Legislature named this city "The Blues Capital of Texas", in honor of the late Mance Lipscomb, a Navasota native and blues musician. He was known as a "Songster", a tradition that preceded and laid the groundwork for the blues. Apparently, Lipscomb knew more than 300 songs by memory.

I guess when I feel that a rest is truly earned I am good at making it an indulgence. It's mid-afternoon and I've only managed to walk 2 blocks in one direction for breakfast, and 3 blocks in the other for lunch. Later, I'll walk 2 blocks for dinner. Otherwise, I've been catching up on news (I like "enemy of the people" news outlets like NBC, CBS and CNN, and I'm certain it's all faked - but I'm a master at grasping alternative facts to create a reasonable reality entirely of my own making that you-know-who wouldn't like), reading and listening to music.

Tomorrow I plan on biking to Shepard, almost 80 miles to the east. The next stop after that is Sillabee, TX, where - if time allows - (I have 8 days to get to New Orleans) I will have the option to take a side trip to Port Arthur, close to the Gulf Coast. Either way, I think I'll have a chance to get a bit of a feel for bayou country. Then, on to New Orleans -- and a few days with my friend Carolyn. Mmmm, coffee with chicory, and so many other pleasures...

I heard from my cycling friend Phil about how he'd recovered from his pannier disappearance... He texted me last night from Shepard with the following message: "I got completely fitted out at the Brenham , Texas Walmart. I made a pannier out of a 24 can beer cooler and some zipties. Got a very basic bike kit... Tubes, wrenches, pump. And you should see me in my new leisure outfit. I got a snap button polyester cowboy short, some mostly polyester Lee's cowboy pants. Yee Ha! Most memorable line from last night's stay at Checkpoint Harley..." well we didn't kill no pigs last night but it wouldn't be no fun if you killed a pig every night, would it?"" ....No wonder I enjoyed traveling with him and his equally mirthful friend John. Godspeed, gentlemen!

More to come,

Michael

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Pic 1, A shuttered business in Navasota, something seen in small town American everywhere.

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Pic2, Sculpture of Mance Lipscomb.

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Pic 3, One of the thriving businesses in town.

Southern Tier, Day 32

Southern Tier, Post 30