A few Saturdays ago, I was driving to the grocery and saw a pair of cyclists on loaded-down bikes. Cool! These guys have been riding cross country. I lost sight of them in the traffic and my mind went back to my grocery list. Walking into the Kroger, I saw them again near the entrance and had to ask about their trip. The couple introduced themselves, Hap and Diane Eaton, from Ohio, making their way back home from Florida. We had a nice conversation and parted ways, both into the store to shop for groceries. They had told me they would be tent camping for the night at Timberlake Campground nearby, and taking the Natchez Trace north the next morning. I knew it would be colder and windy that night, so I found them again in the store and invited them to ride an easy three more miles to our house. Diane made me call and get permission from Ruthie, which was easy, and they agreed to join us for dinner and stay for the night.
At the time I thought I was a real rescue hero, but after listening to their stories, I realized they would have been fine in their tent. These guys have ridden thousands of miles on cross country trips and camped in all sorts of places. They were really nice and interesting company, and were grateful for the comfort and convenience of a bed, shower and laundry machines. We had a nice meal, a few beers, and a nice evening.
Sunday morning they headed out toward the Natchez Trace. I had assumed they would be up early and eager to get on the road, which they did, but after reading their blog, I know more about their routine and regret not cooking them a big breakfast.
You can read about their travels at www.outbikin.blogspot.com.