On the road

CJ-0116-CAMPER-Guy-3C.jpgHOUSTON — When gas went to $4 a gallon, Roger Williams stopped buying it.

Williams pedaled through Chickasaw County last week via the Natchez Trace and stopped in Houston to pick up supplies and spend the night.

“When gasoline went to $4 the first time years ago, I just couldn’t believe it,” said Williams. “I picked up my bike, sold my car and haven’t looked back.”

Williams, a native of New Jersey, said it may have been one of the best decisions of his life.

“I know I am a lot more healthy,” said Williams. “It also let me know I can live without a lot of things I always thought I had to have.”

Williams looks like the outdoor type and he prides himself on living on the bare minimum. A tree trimmer by trade, Williams said he has worked factory jobs and can do just about anything with his hands.

“I made this little trailer that I pull and I am completely self contained,” said Williams. “It’s dry and warm. It holds a sleeping bag, some clothes and a few dishes.”

Williams’ sleeping quarters are built out of quarter-inch plywood, mounted on a rebar frame and turning bicycle wheels. The heaviest piece of metal is the tongue that goes from trailer to bike.

“The heaviest thing in there is a five gallon water container when it’s full,” said Williams. “The whole trailer weighs about 200 pounds.”

Williams has pulled it up mountains and across western deserts.

He said he was headed to Texas and has fallen in love with the Natchez Trace.

“It’s so quiet and beautiful in the winter,” he added. “There is no doubt I have to come back in the Spring or Fall when the leaves are on the trees.”

And while Williams said he does own a watch and wants to be in Texas by the end of January, he said me might spend a little time in this area.

“People have been so nice to me in Mississippi,” said Williams. “I’m serious when I say it started at the state line.

“They wave, they stop and talk and want to know what I’m doing,” he added. “They always ask if there is anything they can do for me. People don’t act like that in New Jersey.”

When Williams was told about the opening of Tanglefoot Trail this Spring, he expressed a definite interest in riding that 44-mile, limited access route on his way back through the Magnolia State.

“You hear a lot about Mississippi that just isn’t true,” he added. “I’m already looking forward to coming back.”

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