Often, important to our journies are the things we bring home and, sometimes, those we leave behind. Here is a list of the physical things that came and went during my trip through the Deep South, as well as those things that needed a little extra attention. The ‘Things Gained’ list is restricted to things, other than food and inner tubes, that I acquired and carried for a while.
• Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, first edition published in 1901: given to me by Charlie Thompson of Tuskegee, AL after a conversation lasting well into the night • A new sleeping pad, sleeping-bag liner and stuff sack: Montgomery, AL • Bottle of generic Advil for my aching knee: Selma, AL • A florescent yellow construction safety vest: given to me by Susie and Brent Taylor in Mt. Vernon, AL • A florescent orange safety vest: purchased at Wal-Mart in Gulfport, MS • Uniform patch from the police department in Gramercy, LA • New set of Armadillo ‘puncture-proof’ tires: Baton Rogue, LA • Rain covers for front panniers, ordered online after getting soaked on the way to Selma and mailed “General Delivery” to small post office in Batchelor, LA where they were waiting for me when I arrived
• I sent a number of things home via mail to reduce my payload weight, including a jacket, a pair of jeans and couple of books
• Cheap sleeping pad: not lost, per se, but enthusiastically stuffed into the trashcan outside of the sporting goods store in Montgomery, AL
• Aforementioned florescent yellow construction safety vest: blew off of my parked bike (I think) in Biloxi, MS
• Pair of biking gloves: outside a McDonald’s in Gramercy, LA
• U-lock: beside police station in Gramercy, LA. Probably still sitting in the grass there.