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Black Hills Badlands Medley—Day Ten

428 miles

I was catching back up with the front I had been chasing the day before. I decided to cut more easterly to avoid the worst of it ahead. I got well into Louisiana before it started to sprinkle as the sky was getting dark. There was an extended twilight because of the clouds, but it was physically sunset by the time I stopped in Winnfield, Louisiana. With the impending weather I again considered the merits of a motel to avoid setting up camp in the rain and to get a chance to check out the reports of the weather ahead, and so I could decide how to proceed the next day with the hurricane coming from the south toward Florida. I figured if I did not find a campsite before complete darkness, I’d just get a room. The rain starting in earnest, and the complete absence of campgrounds along my route settled it for that second option.

The motel was alright, but nothing special, typical room, bath and TV, but it cost seventy-five dollars. I hate spending that kind of money, especially for a place with no breakfast included, but sometimes it’s worth stopping and taking a break, regardless. Additionally, I had worn the same clothes for three days and had not had a shower since Terry’s Bison Ranch three days before. A room let me check the weather forecast and get a much-needed shower and allowed me to change into clean(er) clothes.

The hurricane was expected to make landfall on the east coast of Florida, just eighty or so miles from home and most likely on the last day, when I’d be in Florida and almost home. But the storm was not strong, only a Category One, and should have most of the wind and rain along the east coast, so it looked like if I could stay along the west coast on my way through the state, I should be alright. The front I’d been seeing the previous couple days looked to just be the edge of a dip in the Jet Stream and nothing too bad, although I might have some rain the following day as I passed under it.

The next day I’d cross the Mississippi River into Mississippi and be riding east, north of its border with the Florida panhandle, until I would cut south inside Alabama and into Florida.

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