Day 61: After a hearty breakfast at the Baggett’s, Vicki dropped us off in downtown Nacogdoches to meet a local landowner with more personal horror stories to share about his dealings with TransCanada. “Unfair,” obstinate,” and “heavy-handed” were adjectives he used to describe the energy giant. Being a southern gentleman, I suspect he was being kind. I think it’s safe to say TransCanada’s management has never read the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
By now it was after noon, so we pushed hard to Lufkin on a very rough shoulder of the road, with heavy traffic racing past. In town, we were tracked down by a reporter with the local ABC News affiliate for a story on the ride. Then it was on to Corrigan, which we hoped to make by nightfall. After another hard push, we made town just as the light was beginning to fade, but no motel was to be found. But we did meet a local reporter with the Corrigan Times and the Polk County Enterprise on the side of the road. With darkness falling, we decided to push on 11 more miles to the 7 Oaks Motel, with our bikes lit up with flashing lights. Not something I recommend doing, but Lady Luck was on our side, and we arrived without incident. The only other business in “town” was a liquor store right across the street. You can guess where we went first.
Today’s 55-mile ride moves to the top of the list as the worst stretch of road I’ve ever pedaled. While a large shoulder made riding relatively safe, the noise of the roaring semis blasting by every 20 seconds or so made the ride less than pleasant. As the saying goes, we aren’t in Kansas anymore. We’re in Big Truck Country now, and I suspect will be until the ride concludes.
I can honestly say I’ve never led a project that has generated more media than I can keep track of – until now. We’ll be lucky if we collect half of it. Here’s a piece that ran in today’s The Daily Sentinel: http://tinyurl.com/83jdbwq.