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My destination for today is Houston. I reserved a motel room there a couple of days ago. But since I rode further yesterday than planned I tried to cancel it figuring I could make it a bit farther today. No luck. I had booked the room through an internet service and I missed the cancelation deadline. Oh well. That meant that today's ride would be a shorter one. I slept in and took my time getting ready. It was 10 am by the time I got on the road and it was already warm. The winds were 15 mph from the south and pushed me on up the road. About an hour later I caught up to the Dutch couple that had pulled over. It was nice to see them again. I continued on and found a picnic table at one of the old Trace historical pull ins to have lunch. Lots of people came by to check out the exhibit. Everyone that stopped also stopped by my table to ask about Myrtle and my trip. It was fun. The day was fabulous. I saw wild turkeys, turtles sunning on a log in a pond and I think I also saw an aligator. I was climbing a hill and saw it slither across the road. It was much too big to be a snake. Very cool. I stopped where I saw it cross but didn't see the gator. I guess it found it's way into the swamp and probably best I get going. This was such a great day to be cycling. There were lots of wild flowers out and the landscape was interesting and varied. I made my way to Houston which is 4 miles off the Trace. The Holiday Terrace motel was $44 online and $60 at the desk. I have often found it is cheaper to book online. Even though I could have ridden farther, at least the motel was affordable. My plan for the next 2 nights is to camp at bicycle fee-free campgrounds. Tomorrow night at one north of Tupelo and friday night I'll stay at another in Alabama. The weather is supposed to continue being glorious with a strong tailwind. Can you tell I'm really enjoying this ride on the Natchez Trace?

Mathiston to Houston, MS

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MP 223

Wild turkeys

Landscape

Turtles in a pond.

Old trace.

Today's Trace road.

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