Dates: 8/26/11 – 9/05/11
Distance: 280 miles
Leaving Charlotte, I knew the weather was going to HOT. I had a 3 day trek to Athens where I would take a few days break to stay and hang out with some long time friends.
The first day was basically a long, hot haul into the middle of no where. Shortly after leaving North Carolina I entered South Carolina, where I continued 71 miles to my “camp site”. I “camped” out behind a church where I found some comfortable(sarcasm) dirt to set my tent up on. After setting up camp, I proceeded to make my evening check in with my parents and after, planned to retire to my sleeping bag. However, the fire ants thought differently and decided that it was time to eat my dinner (a PB&J). So for another 30 minutes I cleaned up their mess and mine…and once again tried to go to sleep. The ants weren’t full yet. They wanted a midnight snack and found some crumbs that I had missed. This time my body was also part of their meal, and after being fed up with the damn ants, I climbed on top of the AC box on the outside of the church. Noisy, but ant free, I got an awesome(sarcasm, again) 3 hours of sleep before heading off the next morning.
Day 2 of the leg was pretty scenic, as about half of it was through Sumter National Forest. For a total of 65 miles, I cycled further into South Carolina towards Georgia, finally finishing up in Greenwood, SC at a Holiday Inn where I used some built up hotel points from previous trips! W0w. After last night, that bed felt so so so amazing. With a good nights rest, I woke up early to beat the heat as I headed into Georgia towards Athens, home of the “University of Georgia”.
85 miles was the mileage for the day, and about 80 of it was absolutely amazing! Slow, shallow rolling hills and a surprisingly cool breeze were with me up until the city limits of Athens. I’m not sure what happened but cool breeze turned to dead heat, and small hills turned to what I’d like to call hilltains(hill thats like a mountain=hilltain). Added onto that, was a “thrilling” experience of riding on an interstate blocked off to cyclists..Maybe locals are aware of this, but to foreigners, the sign reading, “Cycling Prohibited” was about 1 mile too late. I quickly took the next exit which gave way to hilltain numero uno(followed by dos and tres), which accompanied by the heat, nearly took my life(exaggeration).
My visit to Athens, which was originally was planned to be a 3 day venture, turned into a 7 day venture when I found out a best friend of mine was coming into town on the weekend. With the whole trip taking less time than predicted, a short vacay wasn’t going to be a problem. I managed to get quite a bit of work/planning done in the next few days and the time off was definitely worth it. After some good times with friends and meeting alot of new people, I continued 59miles on to Stone Mountain, a town on the outskirts of Atlanta.
Here I stayed with family friend for ANOTHER extended visit due to the arrival of a tropical storm……
After a day extra of rest, I once again headed off on another leg of my journey, towards Memphis, TN.
Next Blog-> Last Leg