Friday, April 10, 2009


Another gorgeous day came peeping through between uncharacteristically cool days and another big storm front. With nothing else to was time to hop on the bike. I was torn between going out or doing nothing much at home simply because I wanted a riding partner. I just have to concede that isn't going to come my way anytime soon.

So after running some morning errands and coming home and eating breakfast it was time to face the bike. I combed the house for all my gear. And even had to clean the truck out of our hiking gear to find it all. The day was fine for sitting in the sun but was a little chilly to encounter at speed on a bike. Layering was necessary and I needed to find the layers! After suiting up and getting the equipment found, attached and programmed it was time to be off.

I am just now learning of the love of not really requiring a destination. It has taken me a long time to learn, and I desperately need to practice it. Learning to ride, I have always focused better when I have a specific goal (i.e. destination) to show as my definitive end point. It meant that I had "made it". But with my comfort level increasing so much I am learning to just enjoy taking any old road. The older the better. I decided on a direction that I haven't been to...and headed for Washington, GA.

I'm not quite sure what is up with my GPS, but I let it lead me despite me not having a clue which route it was ultimately going to take. Once it insisted on south, tho, I knew it was leading me to I-20. The long way to Washington. Why? I don't know.

I let it take me where it would, meaning that I was going to have to go through heavily traveled Conyers and Covington...and ride on the interstate. But I'm getting much more comfortable and confident with it.

Once on the highway, it was a straight shot for 50 miles. I had fun dodging the semi's. :-) I was also able to sit back and enjoy the scenery a little and not have to worry about anyone either leading or following. I was able to take this in on my own and start to really understand being at one with myself on the bike. It was liberating and relaxing.

When I reached my exit I stopped at the nearest gas station and filled up, the bike with fuel and myself with water. Took the time to call C and let him know where I was. But he didn't answer! ;-)

I continued on my way and wanted to make a little detour to find an elusive Revolutionary War memorial that I had read about the night before. I found the first turn without incident, but the second turn eluded me. No problems. Just meant more riding for me on the empty back roads.

I loved the communities I was riding through. The people were friendly and waved from their vehicles. They even waited extraordinary times for me to pass, instead of turning in front of me. Turning onto this tiny road that one wouldn't expect to see much traffic on...and up comes a police officer...waving. I passed a well tended farm house and barn with a nicely restored Model T poking its nose out. Something I wished I had stopped and taken a picture of: fire hydrants...with a sign posted next to each reading Fire Hydrant. I'll get one my next time through.

I actually made it to Washington and stopped into the Visitors Center. C and I had visited the Robert Toombs State Historic Site about 8 years ago and haven't been back. I was able to pick up some interesting information and a walking tour map. First order of business was to eat! The nice lady at the visitor center recommended Talk of the Town across the square. YUMMM!! I tried the special turkey breast sammich and fruit.

This is where the trip was fated. The restaurant even called them sammiches!!!

And my turkey sammich was wonderful!!

After stuffing my tank I walked back across the square to visit the restored Fitzpatrick Hotel. This hotel has an interesting history, originally built in 1899 with the hotel starting service in 1902. The hotel was closed in 1952 and remained vacant until 2002. 50 years of deterioration! There are "before" pictures showing roofs caved in, rooms open to the elements and trees actually growing on the second and third floors! The hotel was purchased in 2002, restored and reopened for business in 2004. It sports 16 lovely rooms with tall ceilings, tall doors, stained glass windows and period furniture. Nice, nice, nice.

I took a quick walk around the square and snapped a few pictures. But didn't do anything of the walking tour.

Time to head home. Decided to take the "shorter" route and made it in 2 hours. Just in time for C to roll the garage doors up and let me drive right into the garage. Now I just need to clean the bug remains off of the windshield. My little 215 mile route was great! Can start planning that cross-country trip now... ;-)

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