TRIP 2016

Update #03 - February 16th
Columbus, Georgia
752.88 miles (1,204.61 km) - Year Total
894.38 miles (1,431.01 km) - Mission Trip 47 Total

February 01, 2016 : Fayetteville, GA to Oaklawn, GA : 27.63 miles (44.21 km)
Trip Total: 813.61 miles (1,301.78 km)
Year Total: 672.11 miles (1,075.38 km)

Considering how expensive the room was, I didn't have as good of a night as I had hoped and expected. The main problem was that the room was on the highway side instead of the pool side. The room was less than thirty feet from the highway. There was a lot of ambiant noise to deal with. There was also some loud bass music coming through the ceiling. It was a little after midnight when I fell asleep.

I woke up around 6 a.m . There was a decent free hot breakfast. The sky was clear when I went out for breakfast but when I headed out a little after 8 a.m . it was lightly drizzling. I stopped to put on my rain gear. I stopped at a pharmacy to get a few things and wait out the weather. I took my time riding to Peachtree City. In Peachtree City, I stopped at grocery store to get a loaf of bread.

Around 11 a.m . I stopped at a McDs between Peachtree City and Newnan for an early lunch. As I was eating my lunch and tapping out a few emails on my Ipod, this older lady came up to me, said " God Bless You", and she slipped me a GH. She also said that she had read the sign on back of Alice.

I stopped at a Dollar General in Newnan to get a few groceries. When I got outside, I saw that the clouds had pand the sun was out. I took off my heavy jacket and put on my lightweight jacket. The temperature had to be in the sixties.

From the Dollar General, it was a couple more mile ride into downtown Newnan. I happened to come upon a free library. I exchanged two of the paperback books that I carry for new ones that I haven't

Because of the wet ground, I decided to try and connect with a minister to try and find place to stop for the night. Normally, I don't have good luck in large cities. The first church that I came upon was the First Baptist church. The secretary was pretty friendly and she invited me in. She got the minister to come up to see me. The pastor was pretty friendly. He told me that the church had a mission house, which was a duplex, but both sides were filled up by a missionary family on furlough from Jaan who had four boys. Because of this, the pastor offered to get me a room at a motel South of Newnan near the interchange of I 85 . Before I left, the pastor went outside with me to check out Alice. The pastor told me that he has been at the church for thirty years.

In the town square, I stopped to take pictures of painted truck statues and horses. There were over a dozen painted trucks. Some of the trucks were really nice. I took over three dozen pictures.

About a mile from the downtown area, I stopped at a salvage grocery store. I bought quite a few things for a little bit of money. This is the first time this year that my food pannier is stuffed. A couple more miles down the highway I came to the motel.

Tomorrow, it is supposed to be quite warm. The afternoon high is supposed to be in the seventies. Tomorrow night there is supposed to be bad thunderstorms. I'm going to make it a short day to LaGrange.

February 02, 2016 : Oaklawn, GA to LaGrange, GA : 30.47 miles (48.75 km)
Trip Total: 844.08 miles (1,350.53 km)
Year Total: 702.58 miles (1,124.13 km)

The room was okay except that it was worn down. I almost pulled an all nighter because it was really late when I fell asleep. I woke up around 6 a.m . There was no breakfast. The sky was really foggy.

I headed out a little after 8 a.m. I took my time down the highway. Traffic was pretty light. The ride to LaGrange went okay. There was little shoulder. After about an hour the sky cleared up. I spent most of the time riding along an active railroad. I rode through several small towns. There was some climbing to do but there was a lot of downhill coasts. The afternoon temperature got up into the seventies.

On the Northern outskirts of LaGrange, I stopped at a church that had a picnic shelter for a light lunch. The ride into downtown LaGrange went okay.

I thought that I was going to find a good reception at the local churches but I didn't. My first stop was at the First Presbyterian Church. It took almost fifteen minutes before somebody came to the door to talk with me. A man came out another door close to me but he didn't say anything to me. He ight have been the pastor. I talked with the secretary and the office manager. The office manager wasn't that friendly towards me. She told me that there was nothing that the church could do for me. She gave me a sheet of social service agencies. There were a couple of men's shelters but most of the men were parolees in transition programs.

The First Baptist Church was a block away. I didn't get to talk with a person. I was only able to talk with somebody over an intercom. The lady just told me about the men's shelters.

The First United Methodist Church was a couple blocks away. I was able to talk with the assistant pastor. He wasn't that helpful. He told me that he called over to one shelter and it was full.

I really needed to find inside shelter because there is supposed to be bad thunderstorms over the evening. On the Eastern edge of the downtown area I came across a low cost motel. Hopefully, it will not be a roach motel.

February 03, 2016 : LaGrange, GA to Pine Mountain, GA : 18.99 miles (30.38 km)
Trip Total: 721.57 miles (1,154.51 km)
Year Total: 863.07 miles (1,380.91 km)

The room was okay except that it was worn down. I didn't have any night time visitors in bed. There were no roaches in the room. I was able to get some rest. When I looked outside around 7 a.m., it was raining pretty hard.

Because of the rain, I waited till a little after 9 a.m. to head out. I walked through the rest of the downtown area. I had to stop a couple of places to wait out the rain. I stopped at a Dollar General to get a few groceries. I stopped at a gas station for a short break. when I got out of the restroom, the lady cashier at the counter called me over and told me that another customer left me a donation. The rest of the ride to Pine Mountain went okay even though there were a lot of hills and no shoulder.

I got into Pine Mountain around 1:30 p.m. I was pretty soaked. I decided to try and stop for the day. I'm about 30 miles from Columbus and there is just one small town of Hamilton along the way.

I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. The reception that I received here was two hundred percent better than what I got at the Methodist Church in LaGrange yesterday afternoon. The secretary welcomed me into the office with a smile. The secretary got the lady minister to come and meet me. The pastor was really friendly. When I told her about my situation, there was an immediate offer to get me a room at one of the local motels. Before I left the church office, the pastor slipped me a GH. I got about half of what I spent on the motel room last night.

February 04, 2016 : Pine Mountain, GA to Columbus, GA : 28.99 miles (46.38 km)
Trip Total: 750.56 miles (1,200.90 km)
Year Total: 892.06 miles (1,427.30 km)

The room was okay but I didn't get much sleep. There was another guest at the motel and they were next door. Throughout the night, I heard loud tv noise coming through the room wall between the cycling of the air conditioner / heater unit. For some reason, the bottom of my feet hurt through most of the night.

I woke up around 8:30 a.m . There wasn't any breakfast.

I got on the road a little after 8 a.m. The temperature was in the forties but I didn't get out my heavy stuff. The ride South to Columbus went okay. There were quite a few hills to climb over through the area near Calloway Gardens and on to the town of Hamilton. Passed Cataula, the terraign really leveled out. I got into the Chattahoochee River Valley. By noon, I got in 23 miles.

During my break in Hamilton, I was able to connect with my presbyterian minister friend in Columbus. He told me that he wanted to come and pick me up tomorrow morning around 6:30 a.m. so I could speak to a group of high school students. Also, my pastor friend offered to pay for tomorrow night's stay at the motel in Columbus where I will be staying at.

I got into Columbus around 1 p.m. I stopped at a McDs for a late lunch. After lunch, it was about a four mile ride to the motel near the airport where I had a reservation.

February 06, 2016 : Columbus, GA to Columbus, GA : 2.32 miles (3.71 km)
Trip Total: 892.06 miles (1,427.30 km)
Year Total: 752.88 miles (1,204.61 km)

There weren't that many guests at the motel so it was a lot quieter than last night. I went to bed around 9:30 pm. I woke up a couple of times to go to the restroom but I was able to fall back

I checked out of the motel around 8:30 am. The temperature was only 32. It was lucky for me that I had less than a three mile ride to the Grace House Men's Transitional Center, which will be my home for at least the rest of the month. The center is a bit primitive. From what I've learned, it's only been in operation for a little over a year. The majority of the residents are recovering alcohol and drug addicts who have been homeless. Most of the men have jobs or are looking for jobs.

The center is an old three building apartment complex that was abandoned. There are 12 apartments. One of the unit is being taken up by the manager and his wife. The middle building is still being remodeled and should be ready by the end of March. There are no kitchens in the apartments. The room that was the kitchen is now a bedroom so there are three bedrooms in an apartment. For now, the cooking is done in the manager's apartment until the common space in the middle building is complete. There is a refrigerator in a living room of one of the units that is being used as a common space but there is no microwave.

Normally, two people share a bedroom but I was given a bedroom to use by myself. The room has two single sized mattress captain's beds with drawers underneath. The mattresses are very soft. There are two folding chairs in the room. No coat racks though. The windows don't have curtains or venetian blinds over them so somebody else had hung up two blankets over them. My pastor friend is supposed to come by with some bedding but there is a pillow.

There isn't a lock on the bedroom door or keys given out for the front door of the units. There are large fences on both ends of the complex and there is an entrance gate that can be locked at night with a door bell to let the manager know that somebody needs to be let in.

February 15, 2016 : Columbus, GA to Columbus, GA : 2.32 miles (3.71 km)
Trip Total: 894.38 miles (1,431.01 km)
Year Total: 755.20 miles (1,208.32 km)

Before going to bed, I packed up pretty well everything that I had taken out of my panniers.I wasn't sure whether I was going to be able to fall asleep last night but I was able to. It must have been around 3 AM when I fell asleep. Around 7 AM, I heard knocking on my door. When I answered, one of the guys told me that they wanted me in the common room for devotions. I rushed to get dressed. When I got there, I found just a couple guys there and I was told that devotions had been cancelled. I went back to my room. Around 7:30 AM, one of the managers came into the room asking if I had any clothes that needed to be washed. I told him that I was getting ready to leave.

A little after 8 AM, I took everything outside and packed Alice up. The upper gate was open so I just left. There wasn't anybody else outside. From the center to my new friend's house, the ride was just a couple of miles. My new friend's house was huge. I thought that the guest/ pool house was going to be small but it was at least one thousand square feet. It was really fancy. I feel that I'm in a five star resort. Lorreta had stocked the fridge with food for me to eat and she also went to a grocery store and got me some more food.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between February 23rd and March 01st.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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