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Mindblown

Hank – Our campsite on Gallaway city property worked out great as long as we didn’t mind the trains coming through blaring their horns every hour and a half. So we slept really well–little bits at a time between when we didn’t.

Yesterday, while we were in Arlington, I noticed my bike had an unusual sound to it when I walked it over a bump. I thought maybe the rear rack was loose but it was okay. When we set up camp I thought to check the rear hub. Sure enough, there was some play in it. To me it seemed like an alarming amount of play. So this morning, since I was mostly of fresh mind, I removed the wheel and used an adjustable wrench and a multi-tool to tighten the cone nuts.

One bit of advice I found on the web was, the correct amount of play is just slightly more than no play. That reminds of another saying. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from poor judgment.

So I’ll see how well my repair works out. Regardless, I thought we should head to Jackson, Tennessee to have a bike shop check the hub. I don’t know how long it’s been loose and I don’t need to be sidelined with a catastrophic failure.

During our ride I called the bike shop in Jackson and told the mechanic what I had done and how the hub seems to be. The wheel spins smoothly and there’s no unusual house coming from the hub. He said that it sounds like I’m good to go. So we’re not going to Jackson after all. And I’ll keep an eye on the wheel.

We stopped in Stanton and had a snack. A woman at the convenience store told us we should not stay in Brownsville, which was a possible destination for today. She said “they rob everybody there” and really painted a bad picture of the town. And she lives there. Hmmmmm.

After leaving Stanton we got caught in a thunderstorm. I put my rain jacket on. But I still ended up with soggy shorts. We kept riding and arrived in Brownsville. I saw a restaurant on the map with and interesting name: Mindfield Grill. The name and the good ratings certainly gave me a more favorable picture of Brownsville. As we got closer we saw a water tower and several metal towers and structures. It turned out to be the Mindfield Cemetery, a project of Billy Tripp for the last 30 years. We ate at the grill and they had a scrapbook about the Mindfield Cemetery and Billy Tripp. It’s been written up by the Folk Art Society of America and other publications. One man’s story of his life and he works on it nearly every day. But not today, probably because of the weather. It’s huge and unusual and mind blowing.

We decided to press on to Bells and spend the night there. Since another wave of storms was due around 4:00 pm we skipped visiting the Mindfield Museum and Barbershop and got back on the road in hopes of not getting caught in he rain again. But we did get some from the tail end of a storm just before arriving in Bells.

We stopped at the Food Giant for a snack. While there a fellow who works at the Post Office stopped and asked me where we were from. We chatted a bit and then Kathy came out with a couple of the local free newspapers for me. One is called the Crockett Rocket. It turns out they like to publish pictures of people holding a copy of the paper so what better picture to take than of two out-of-town bicycle travelers. We got a copy too.

We quickly covered the last three miles to the motel. We also needed to do laundry and this had been the most expensive laundry yet. Ten bucks to use the washer and dryer here. But we had no other option.

Tonight we sleep without the trains.

Kathy – We like trains…when they are not moving at nighttime. Our sleep was limited due to the trains frequent loud horns and the ground rumbling as each one passed by. We rode 48 miles today. It was sunny and hot (high of 85 degrees) the first half of our ride, and cool, rainy, windy (head/side winds) and overcast skies the second half of our ride. We rolled up and down hills most of the day. This will pretty much be our pattern until we get to Nashville, Tennessee.

I enjoyed seeing and learning about the Mindfield Cemetery in Brownsville, Tennessee. I love stumbling across cool stuff like this. It was a pretty good day of riding. I’m thankful for a hotel tonight to get a shower, to have air conditioning, to do laundry, and to be indoors as more thunderstorms pass by us tonight. Tomorrow we hit the repeat button. ☀️🚵‍♀️☀️🚵‍♂️☀️

A couple of notes…

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