About a week ago in Memphis my legs started cramping up again and I decided to take an offer for a lift down to New Orleans with Orie and Topher. Topher is also on a open-ended bicycle tour and he is currently heading from Michigan to California. Orie has been doing an epic cross-country and back road trip and he’s heading back to San Francisco. We all started chatting at breakfast the Pilgrim House Hostel in Memphis and ended up going out for dinner together. At dinner we talked about how we were all heading down to New Orleans and Orie (joking or not) said we could hitch a ride if we wanted. It was when we were loading the car that I noticed how big my beard was getting. I realized it has been since my sister’s wedding in New Jersey in September that I’ve had a shave!

Road trippin
It took a little bit of trial and error, but we managed to fit two bicycles and 8 panniers into the car.
The locals at the gas station in Mississippi gave us some strange looks as we came through town. (I’ll be sure to write more about the road trip soon.)


So the beard has arrived at the crucial stage where I need to decide to trim it or shave it completely off. (I know this because more coffee ends up on the floor than inside my mouth.) Look below and see some photos from last year when my beard grew to be completely outrageous!

My beard from about a year ago on my buddy Brian’s business card. Photo credit, Mark & Brian. ( Check out the link below)

Brian, who I just visited in Chicago, shoots for Elephant Gun A Global Photography Collective.

Beard hat
Back in Fort Worth, Texas last year. Photo credit, Brian Carroll.
Beardo sombrero
Photo credit, Brian Carroll.


Full bearded glory!
Full bearded glory! Photo credit, my shaking hand.
After 6 hours of trimming and shaving! Photo credit, me.

Help me decide what to do with all this hair on my face by voting below!!!


Thanks to your votes, the beard was trimmed! I went to the neighborhood shop. I was the only white guy in the shop, but I felt very welcome.

I tested out the new beard at late night coffee and beignets with Louise and Max. Louise is from France and patiently gave me a couple of French lessons before leaving today. Max is from Germany and is going to tour the Garden District with me today.