The ride started off so beautifully; it was sprinkling on and off and humid as hell, but I grew up on the gulf coast (Ocean Springs, Mississippi to be exact) so I'm no stranger to the liquid sheen that appeared over my whole person after a few minutes. I got a fairly early start and hopped onto Scenic Highway 98. They don't call it scenic for nothing folks; beautiful million dollar homes situated perfectly on the bay, with intervals of water peeking through. As I got further along I could see more of the water, which was wonderfully choppy, and on the left side of the road it started to get nice and swampy. The highway ended at Weeks Bay, and I had a great view of the water, piers, and open air all around me. I rode around and took a few pictures (which I won't be able to upload until I get home) and then did a bit of back tracking to get to the turn off the bay. All the cars were very friendly, people were waving and giving me plenty of room when passing; it was heavenly really.
From there i was riding in a woodsy type area with nothing much going on - a few cows, an old guy on a bike that looked a tad too small for him, and crickets chirping their hearts out. I missed my turn somewhere but ended up where I needed to be, which was unfortunately a much busier highway. Thankfully there was enough of a shoulder so I wasn't in the road, but at one point I had to swerve around some large gravel from a driveway and got my first honk. I feel like this was understandable since I was right in front of the car when I swerved into the road, so I successfully fought back the urge to yell or give the driver the finger.
After passing over fish river I turned off of the highway onto a small street, and was greeted by two bulldogs! I squeaked and yelled an expletive while riding as hard as I could away from those beasts that were giving chase hard core. Thankfully I got away without harm! This road was shaded with wonderfully mossy live oaks, and I felt at home and at peace with the world.
Then it was time to get on county road 32 (you think a county road would be tame) and my ride went downhill real quick. 55 mph speed limit, no shoulder, big trucks hauling heavy equipment, and teeny bridges! I was hunkered down and trying my best not to have a breakdown. Then this sweet little fluff of a dog ran chasing after me, crossed the road a few feet from a car, started coming back (while I yelled "no little doggie stay where you are!") and got completely smashed by a huge truck flying by. I cried out, but was being closely followed by a cop and a few other cars so I rode on miserably holding back the tears. I was really depressed, people. Then a monsoon started; my shoes were immediately filled with water and I was almost blown off my bike, all while cars were passing by close and fast. I got off my bike and called my husband; "come get me!". I felt defeated, but thankfully wasn't too far from the end of the route. The road I was riding on was closed a few hundred feet up from where I stopped, so I would have freaked out at that point anyway - I am not at all familiar with the area and am sure to have gotten lost immediately.
It started off sooo beautifully...