Let someone else plan and lead the ride!
One of our clubs had a "covered bridge" tour on the calendar, so we decided to tag along. We were going to have to kick ourselves into high gear to make the meet time, though.
No fear. Some people can be counted on to always be a little fashionably late. We arrived 3 minutes before the kickstand up time of 10 AM. But we (the group) hung around until 10:40 for some stragglers. It was worthwhile for some of the conversations that came out of our time standing around. I can't repeat some of them as they were raunchy! But funny if you have that type of humor.
Everyone arrives and with some good natured ribbing we head for the road. Turns out that this bridge tour is exactly that: a bridge. As in one. The leader had planned for two, until he discovered the other bridge was about 100 miles northeast of where we were headed. Mr. Oilburner and I didn't mind as this was going to be another bridge in our belts that we hadn't visited before.
Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge is touted as being the longest covered bridge in Georgia. But so is Watson Mill. How can there be two?
We think Red Oak Creek bridge is considered the longest span at 391 feet, but the entire span isn't "covered". Where as Watson Mill bridge is the longest/covered/full span at 229 feet.
|Watson Mill Covered Bridge|
Yes, we did ride through and across the bridge. Only two others followed us. Everyone else was chicken. I can tell you that what I thought were abutting boards actually did have gaps between them. I didn't see that until later since riding across them didn't give the appearance of any space. I was a little glad I didn't know that beforehand.
This bridge is farther off the beaten track than others and sees its fair share of graffiti artists. And I use the "artist" lightly. A couple were cute or funny, but it was all the basic "Bubba and Jolene 4-ever" type of thing.
Then someone noticed a plaque high up the bridge wall noting the "high water mark" from flooding on July 7, 1994. Wow!! This was probably 18-20 feet above current water levels and mean that a large portion of this wide ravine was full of water.
|You can make out the high water plaque in the upper left amid the black spray paint.|
Once the sightseeing and speculation was done we headed over to Warm Springs for lunch. Most people were interested in the BBQ place for lunch. Since Mr. Oilburner and I had eaten there a couple of weeks ago, we opted to split and have lunch at the little cafe that serves diner fare. Service was slow, but the food was good. BLT was piled high with crispy bacon. mmmmm......
After lunch saw people sightseeing and lounging around the ice cream shop. But most of us just sat on the steps outside, soaking up the sun and camaraderie. Now came decision time, continue south and west a little to hit some twisties at Pine Mtn? Or begin heading northeast towards Atlanta and see some large satellite dishes?
|1948 Moto Guzzi|
|1924 Military Harley Davidson|
As much as I didn't want the day to end, it was nearing 3 PM and heading away from Atlanta was going to give us a long ride time home. Besides, I have seen (but not ridden) Pine Mtn. I wanted to see these dishes in the middle of nowhere.
Today's roads were great. Once out of the urban areas we stuck to the less traveled lanes that DOT (Department of Transportation) was letting slide. The lanes were narrow and bumpy as the asphalt was beginning to break apart a little. You know those lanes where you can feel the "sport" suspension on your bike. :) I loved the tour on these back roads where even farms and houses were few. I would rather have enjoyed them at the posted speed limits. But some people see these small roads as perfect opportunites to get a little wild. I don't know if my inner-daredevil is a little bit chicken (could be), I am a girl (most definitely) or I don't want to have my motorbike impounded for reckless riding. But I usually like to look around as I tour. And I just can't be a tourist when I am worried about calculations and reaction times traveling down the lane. Outside of that, the roads were fun and exciting. It has been awhile since we have been on completely new road.
The dishes did not disappoint. These are actual SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) dishes that were originally an AT&T satellite relay station. One dish has been refurbished for SETI use. Currently parts for one dish are being cannibalized for the other dish since AT&T managed to damage both of them when they abandoned this site. Georgia Tech University has reclaimed them.
We spent a few minutes chatting and speculating, wishing for tin foil to make hats to prevent our brain wavelengths from being read. But it was now time to head home. It was a great day with all the exciting and entertaining food, companions and destinations. The temperatures started at a 42F (5.5C), necessitating heated gear. But the end of the ride was a basking 64F (18C). it is so nice when you can remove a layer of clothing during the ride!! Out little jaunt came to 227 miles (365 km) of some great pavement. More images available on Flickr.