Day 60: Got up at daybreak, broke camp and pedaled a couple miles down the road to Beverly’s Country Cafe, where we got one of the best breakfasts of the entire trip. Leaving the restaurant, we were approached by two separate men expressing their support for what we were doing. Have a feeling the honks and waves of support from car drivers today was thanks to all the local TV and newspaper coverage of the ride. And the coverage didn’t stop. Rolling through Rusk, TX, we were flagged down on the side of the road by Robert Gonzalez, General Manager for a local radio station, who arranged a roadside interview with the editor of the Cherokeean Herald.
Today was marked by big hills, including Monster Hill (imagine biking up the equivalent of a 25-story building in a 1/2 mile span) on the outskirts of Nacogdoches. Rolling into town with 55 more miles behind us, we were warmly greeted by our local hosts Vicki & Tim Baggett and a dozen or so more pipeline fighters, including several college students on bikes. After a caffeine recharge and interview with The Daily Sentinel, our “bike posse” rolled out of the coffee shop parking lot and occupied a street lane (there are no bike lanes in this town) for a biking tour of downtown. Afterwards, did interviews with Marilyn Eares, Ryan Maher, Daniel Baugh, Kendal Martel and Brenda Morgan (look for their YouTube videos to be posted soon).
Tim shuttled our bikes to their home outside of town, where we were treated to a wonderful home-cooked meal, drinks and conversation with new friends, and later real beds to sleep in, but not before another planning conference call set up by Chris Wilson with Beaumont and Houston activists. Really appreciate the Baggett’s warm hospitality, and want to thank Tim, Vicki and also their next door neighbor, Anne Tindell, for the generous and creative origami travel cash. Learn more about the inspiring work they’re doing to stop Keystone XL at their Nacogdoches S.T.O.P. (Stop Tarsands Oil Period) website: http://nacstop.org/.
For more local coverage of the ride, check out this story that ran on the local CBS News affiliate in Tyler, TX: http://tinyurl.com/7mlk4y5.