It's been a goal of mine since the Trace opened to ride my bicycle the entire length and back at one time. Last Saturday morning, a typically humid, early summer day in south Mississippi, I finally did so.
I was accompanied by one of the Trace's sponsors, Dr. John Pendergrass, for a great morning of riding. We left Jackson Road station at seven a.m. and finished just after eleven. The spring blooms are gone now, but the honeysuckles and dogwoods along the way are leafing. I encountered many species of wildlife as well, and had a close encounter with two young jakes, (young male, wild turkeys), near Clyde Depot. I've hunted turkeys all my life, but never been as close to one as I was then.
Riding the entire way in one day allows one to notice the elevation changes more clearly. I was fortunate to have not had a flat tire or other breakdown, and am pleased to report that everyone I met along the way was polite and friendly. At one point, John had a flat and was helped with the change by three friendly strangers from south Louisiana. I enjoyed seeing the older folks work their gardens and fields as I rode into Jefferson Davis County, and noticed the progress of construction of businesses such as Heath, Linda, and Howard Sumrall's place in the town of Sumrall. I pledged to go and buy a field guide to trees since my last class at USM. on the subject was a long time ago. (Dendrology, Dr. Jean Wooten).
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the idea, the funding, the construction, and the maintenance of this, one of the great treasures in south Mississippi.
(Tony Mozingo is a lawyer in Hattiesburg, and past President of the Pine Belt Pacers, a local running club. Tony has competed in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.)