Home > Bicycle Touring > Southern Tier Day 22 – Back to Perry’s Bike Hostel

“It’s declined,” she said unceremoniously.

“What? You have to be kidding,” only she wasn’t. I had a dollar in my pocket and my bank account was empty. It had been hard enough just to get someones attention to order my food, they had all been standing around just staring at me, was I the only white guy in this part of Baton Rouge? I knew money was running short but this is ridiculous.

Does this whole trip really rely on that small piece of plastic?

I can’t even call anyone to find out whats going on with my bank account, I had forgotten to charge my phone at the hostel in New Orleans and now it was dead. There was nothing else to do but pedal on an empty stomach and hope I made it back to Perry’s Bike Hostel before sundown. At least there I had my food bag stored with my tent and could cook up some Ramen for dinner.

Only 35 miles or so and an hour and a half of daylight left. No problem.

Into the headwind, a slow agonizing pace that has me wondering if the two easy days in New Orleans had somehow dissolved my leg muscles and returned them to fat. That and my brain wouldn’t let go of the money thing.

“You knew it was going to happen sooner or later,” it kept saying, “what’s your plan now?”

Just pedal.

“What are you going to eat?”

Food bag has 2 or 3 days worth of food, I’ll just have to go without soda and stick to water.

“Where are you going to stay?”

I’ll just have to increase my stealth camping rate, from 5% to somewhere around… oh, say 100%.

At Perry’s no one is home. Still she had assured me that it would be ok to stay and I plug in my cell phone to charge while I set up my tent and munch on crackers. Why didn’t I pack peanut butter on this trip?

Perry and her husband Lep show up just before I start to prepare dinner and invite me to eat with them. Like I said before, extremely nice and genuine people. Turns out a deposit that should have been made hadn’t, it’ll be straightened out soon enough. Until then no money.

But the more I thought about it the more I realized that the bike tour shouldn’t revolve around how much money I still have in the bank.

Maybe a declined credit card was just the wake up call I needed.

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