TRIP 2009

Update #26 - September 01st
Americus, Georgia
7383 miles (11,813 KM) since March 22nd
7646 miles (12,234 KM) since January 01st

The five hundred mile ride between East Prairie, Missouri and Americus, Georgia went okay. I headed out just after dawn on Friday, August 21st and got to the ferry landing outside of Dorena, Missouri right as the ferry was taking off across the Mississippi River to Hickman, Kentucky. They hadn't gone very far from the shoreline so they just backed up to pick me up. The fifteen minute ride on the ferry just cost me $2. From Hickman, Kentucky, it was just a short ride through the Southwest Corner of Kentucky to Union City, Tennessee. I was going to try and stop in Dresden, Tennessee but I pushed on to Blythe.

Because of more high heat in the afternoon, I rode between 7:30 AM and 1:30 PM. I stopped for the day in Lexington, Tennessee on Saturday, August 22nd. I stayed in town for church on Sunday, August 23st but in the afternoon I cranked out forty miles to Savannah, Tennessee. I got into Savannah around 6 PM and had a half hour wait for the evening service at the First Baptist Church to start. Even though they were between pastors, a room at the local Days Inn south of town was donated.

Monday, August 24th, I pushed in another long day between Savannah, Tennessee and Blythe, Alabama. I had hoped to stop in Tuscambia but I wasn't able to connect with a local minister. After about a two hour wait at the local police station, I headed out in the dark and rode for about an hour using my headlights and found a place to camp out behind the Baptist Church near Blythe, Alabama. This was only the fourth time that I had to use my tent this trip.

By noon on Tuesday, August 25th, I had just ridden around 21 miles. I stopped at a gas station near Moulton, Alabama for a break. I talked with a local lady for about five minutes before I headed out again. About a mile and a half down the road, I got stopped by the same lady. She told me that I had looked exhausted so she called a friend of hers who owned a small motel south of Moulton and arranged for me to have a room for the rest of the day. We loaded my bike and gear in the back of her pick-up truck and headed to the motel. Before she left, she slipped me $5 so that I could get something hot to eat from the gas station across the street from the motel.

I cranked out 42 miles between Moulton and Cullman, Alabama on Wednesday, August 26th. Thursday, August 27th was a long day of 62 miles between Cullman and East Gadsen, Alabama. Friday, August 28th, I got back into Georgia and the Eastern Time Zone. From East Gadsen, Alabama, I went through the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountain range. I stopped for the night in Cedartown and the First Baptist Church was my host.

Saturday, August 29th, I rode sixty-six miles between Cedartown and Newnan, Georgia. I got into downtown Newnan around 6:30 PM and I stopped at the police department to see if somebody knew how I could contact a local minister. I met a really friendly sergeant. He arranged for me to get a room at the local Motel 6 near the interstate east of town. One of the officers escorted me to the motel in his police car. It was interested in being led to the motel with a police car with their lights flashing. The officer even stopped at busy intersections to block traffic for me. On the way, we stopped at a Burger King where the officer bought me a meal. As I was being checked in at the motel, the sergeant came by and he told me that he wanted to help me out financially. This was a big surprise and a blessing.

I wanted to get back to Americus on Monday so instead of staying in Newnan, Georgia for church on August 30th, I got on the road around 7:15 AM. I got into the small town of Luthersville, Georgia around 9:15 AM. The early morning service at the United Methodist Church was getting ready to start. I was asked to speak for a few minutes after the announcements and then the minister used me as a sermon example. I got into Junction City, Georgia a little after dark. There wasn't anybody around the small Baptist Church so I spent the last night on the road camping out under the picnic shelter in the park. The only bad thing was that the picnic shelter was very close to an active railroad line and there were quite a few trains during the night.

Monday, August 31st, I had around a fifty mile ride between Junction City and Americus. I arrived back in Americus around 2:30 PM. I was gone 162 days.

I am not sure whether I will be off the road for the rest of the year. It depends on whether a major hurricane either hits somewhere in Florida or along the Alabama or Mississippi Coasts. After a few days of rest, I'll start the long process of posting the almost 4,000 photos that I took along the way.

The next update should be between September 08 and September 15.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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