Today, our riding distance was only 96 miles, one of the few days under 100 miles. Judy, (ABB member) lead our group on a circuitous route from the hotel to the Chattahoochee River Walk. Within a few minutes, as the city buildings were left behind, both sides of the river had only vegetation on the banks, and it was a lovely morning to be close to the water. A great river for a rowing club.
Soon, the bike path took us to Fort Benning. The base is huge, both in geographic size and number of individuals employed or trained at the base. I recommend that you read about the base, the history, important members of staff and the current departments on site. I wanted to take more pictures, especially of the multiple monuments to soldiers who died in training or in battle from military conflicts for over a century. However, directions in and around the base were limited due to recent road work – so I stayed with the group until we were off base.
The rural roads took us to Buena Vista and to Ellaville, our first sag stop. Then, more rural farm roads led us to the town of Montezuma, where we had lunch. I checked the tires before leaving the sag stop and found that the rear tire was wearing out. So, I put on a new tire over the same inner tube.
On these roads, we frequently are passed by logging trucks carrying freshly cut pine tree trucks to the mill. One can smell that lovely pine scent for hundreds of feet after the truck has passed. Roses, magnolias, and many indigenous wild flowers are seen in the yards and along the roadside.
Around Montezuma, many farms are owned be members of the Beachy Amish Mennonite Church. The community moved from Virginia in 1953, and now more than 1,000 members of the church live in the area. These farms were the best kept among hundreds of farms I’ve seen on this trip. The corn in the fields was chest high! Also noted, nearby orchards of pecan trees in well organized rows with trees reaching 80 – 120 feet tall.
The riding was easier today with the shorter distance and 3550 feet of climbing. Even with the delay to change my tire, I finished by 3 p.m. At our 5 p.m. rap, we reviewed more details of our last day; dipping the bike tires in the Atlantic, photographs, coordinating with family members who will be present to witness the event and our final meal, Friday night. Everyone at dinner expressed eagerness to successfully complete our trip – riders are sore, tired, and feeling worn out. But, they all agreed they would recommend the trip to someone interested in it and willing to prepare for it. Many expressed interest in shorter bike trips, such as riding along the East or west coast with the same company.
Tomorrow, we will bike to Vidalia, home of Vidalia onions. We are on the lookout for rain these last two days, especially with the active weather systems throughout much of the states around us.
The GPS and the flashing rear bike light have been recharged, the laundry is done and the clothes are ready for tomorrow. It is time for bed.
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