It was a dark and stormy morning!
Only two women decided to ride through the Vicksburg National Park today. The rest of the group opted to tour the park from the comfort of the support van.
I was one of the two women who chose to ride! And I am so glad I did.
I almost chickened out. The wet weather and huge climbs in the park were daunting. I was worried that I would be holding back the guide and the other woman from having a good time. After all, both of these ladies have a lot more experience and have biked all over the world.
Well the excellent training and advice I received from my friend, Susi Czarnek, paid off!
I climbed the hills like a champ, often passing up the more experienced cyclist!! Every time I thought about wimping out and walking up the big hills, I said to myself, "Dig deeper! You're a Hill Country girl! You're not going to let these Mississippi hills beat you! " So I climbed. ... and climbed ...and earned the respect from my guide and fellow cyclist!
On one particular hill with a 28% grade, I was wearing down and looked up to see a patch of Texas bluebonnets (the state flower) - something I haven't seen anywhere else in Mississippi - and I took that as encouragement to finish the climb.
Afterwards Lisa, the woman I cycled with and I toured some historical museums and wandered downtown Vicksburg.
It has been an amazing day! I feel like the last two days have both been personal bests and I am enjoying all the history I'm learning along the way.
I am so glad I took the risk and went on this tour!!
Photos posted: A picture I took of my fellow cyclist after a tough climb, The Illinois memorial on the Vicksburg battle ground, and my awesome tour guides, Sid and Michelle.