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June 13-21

June 29, 2019

Trailer Destruction Day was June 13th and I documented it here. Our progress was interrupted for a couple days while we waited for Trailer 2.0, but we were back on the road and rolling into east Texas soon enough.

Somewhere between College Station and the Louisiana border, the National Weather Service started issuing Heat Advisories. “It’s going to be very hot. Be careful. Increased risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.” It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced heat and humidity like that. I worked in landscaping for a couple summers in Oklahoma, but now I’m old. Every day I sweated like crazy even before we started riding. Jax panted nonstop and was only interested in running before sunrise. The air was too wet for panting or sweating to do much good, so we just drank a lot of water, stopped to rest in the shade once in awhile and kept on rolling. I may be old, but I’m not dead yet. Suck it, heat.

The best part of our east Texas leg was reconnecting with my buddy Johnny Howard, whom I’ve known for about 50 years. 50. Years! We had a lot of catching up to do and it made me proud to see all that he’s accomplished with his life.

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With a brand new steel trailer for Jax, we rolled out of Waco to Hearne, then College Station, New Waverly, Shepherd, Kountze, and our final stop in Texas was Kirbyville. We dodged and sometimes failed to dodge thunderstorms along the way, but the big challenge was the heat and humidity, which increased as we moved east. At one point, the Garmin read 107°F with all the heat coming off the road, and I’m pretty sure a fish would have been able to breathe the air. Staying hydrated was a priority, as was keeping Jax cool with lots of water to drink and water rubbed into his neck, ears and flanks. I didn’t want to ride down into the Houston area, so Johnny, a friend I’ve known since we were seven or eight, met us in New Waverly, drove us to his home in Spring, TX and dropped us back in New Waverly the next morning to resume our journey, rested and well fed. Talking to him and his wonderful wife, Mary, about the lives they’ve lived, the amazing sons they raised and their grandchildren, was food for my soul. The next day, Jax and I rode on to Shepherd. John and Mary hadn’t seen enough of Jax though, and they drove out to Shepherd, took me to a barbecue place and we talked some more before Jax and I rolled off to Kountze on our way to Louisiana. ——As always, I eventually include these posts in a blog post, which gets reposted to the @rollingwithjax page on Facebook, along with other info about the ride and/or @k9sforwarriors. To see more about our adventures or learn more about K9s For Warriors, follow the link to the website in my bio. #rollingwithjax #k9sforwarriors #veterans #cyclingwithdogs #bicycletouring #servicedog

A post shared by John Tate (@one.john.tate) on

Click here to help save a dog and a warrior!
Hard experience taught me that a real rain cover is a must for a mesh-sided dog trailer on a cross country bicycle tour. My improvised cover didn’t cut it, so Tammy mailed me one that fits perfectly, even though nobody actually makes one for the trailer model I bought.
Last stop in Texas: the Kirbyville Veterans Memorial.
“THEIR LOVE FOR US IS HERE REFLECTED. BEAR WITNESS AND GIVE THANKS.”

From → Texas

2 Comments
  1. Dawn Wright permalink

    Keep rollin’ our way, where the heat and humidity might be as high as you just experienced! Take good care and see you here in Ponte Vedra soon!
    Best, Dawn Wright
    (Originally from the Great PNW!)

    Liked by 1 person

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