Saturday, June 4, 2011

NTP Day 0 - We're in Natchez

After a nine hour drive from North Georgia, Karen and I arrived in Natchez just before noon. Jeff and Aila met up with Howard and Shirley in Baton Rouge and the four of them arrived at the hotel shortly thereafter. Steve was already here, arriving yesterday after cycling down from Vicksburg. We spent the afternoon touring some antebellum houses and the downtown Natchez area along the Mississippi River.

Later, Jeff and I picked Ellen and Rod up at the bus station, taking them to the bike shop where their boxes were shipped ahead to Nashville. Jeff did a nice job assembling Ellen's bike. Rod has a spiffy new Pinarello machine.  Baltimore Mark, Helen, Alex, and Leo arrived around 5 PM, driving down from Nashville. After a meeting at 6 PM to discuss the logistics of the ride, it was off to dinner at the Kings Tavern, the oldest building in Natchez, dating to before 1789 and on the Old Trace. This is where people came ashore for the long homeward journey by land towards Nashville.

We have eleven cyclists and thirteen people total with three vehicles. Karen and Aila will SAG two vehicles and we'll share the duties on the third. Breakfast tomorrow is at 6A M and we plan on an early start, as temperatures will be in the mid 90's with high humidity.

It was great to see everyone again. Everyone looks good. We had some great laughs at dinner and I had tears in my eyes several times. All you other ABB'ers, we were talking about you, the staff, the good times, and the funny times. I haven't laughed this hard since last September. We do miss you though.

Tomorrow is a 68 mile ride from the hotel to the NTP junction with MS 27 at MP 66. I hope the luggage and thirteen people fit in three cars. We'll know tomorrow afternoon.

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