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50 States, Day 304

  Marietta to Americus,  161 Miles

“You don’t let the guy with the broom control how many elephants are in the parade.”
~Merlin Mann

After 304 days, looking out at 45 degrees of raining and gray drizzle, you don't leap up and down and say, "Hooray! Today we're going riding." No. Nonetheless, we geared up- and thank the Lord for good gear. We hooked up the Gerbings, tossed on a bit of rain gear and launched, down the freeway- the frosting on the cake of undesirable riding. 

Yet we stayed warm and dry, rode South and onto the rural highway (19 slash 3) with rainfall abating to just wet. After three hours, like someone threw a switch, the clouds parted. We stopped to lighten up our protective gear, and the temperature rose to a wonderful seventy degrees. Oh, yes. And after hearing of snow in Missouri and the Texas panhandle (eleven inches!) we aren't whining. In fact, I still say we have dodged some dodgy weather. 

The photos may make you think I'm overstating the bad weather, but be assured Quilter Girl isn't taking off her gloves in forty degree weather with a sixty mph wind chill to snap a few pics. When the sun comes out, so does the camera. 

We arrived in Americus, a rather nice little town just a few miles East of Plains, the home of Jimmy Carter. Found a Day's Inn with a king sized bed, a heater, a bit of space, and the cold of the morning faded to a distant memory.

We're pointed West, generally, and talk about stepping it up. Yet this was day eight of Georgia, one over our plan. Alabama looks to have some cool things: A factory tour, seeing some friends, Montgomery, Mobile, the Gulf... so that doesn't sound like we're cutting time off either. 

And after the eleven inches of snow in Texas, maybe we're not in such a hurry. 

And now, a temporary Southern Belle, Quilter Girl!

I rolled out of the motel this morning with long johns, pants, a turtleneck, a hoodie, Gerbing pants and jacket, ski jacket, rain gear jacket and gloves.  Riding is the only way to move with all those clothes on!  We plugged in and headed west on 285 then south on 19.  I have to tell you that nothing looks photogenic with heavy dark grey clouds hanging around.

After landing in Americus, we ran across the street for some great Mexican food at 'La Hacienda.'  It was a very nice restaurant with a booth in the sun which I craved after this morning.  We both had very tasty enchiladas that didn't come with rice and beans, just lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.  A nice change for me.   

We lost two friends within three days, both my age, both sudden and unexpected. I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about them and their influence in my life and the lives of others. Then I thought about this trip and am grateful we've done it now. I would encourage you to do what you've been putting off for so long. It doesn't have to be a mega trip (although it could be), but it could be telling someone you love them, taking a photo safari, learning to scuba dive, whatever. It doesn't mean you drop everything and book a cruise, but rather than say, 'some day,' get after it! Okay. Good. Sorry. Got a bit carried away there. And I do appreciate you all. I mean, y'all. 

Jimmy Carter Historic Monument and Alabama tomorrow. See you then. 


Mel said...

I, too, knew both of your friends who died last week, so thanks for getting on your soap box and telling us to quit waiting for 'some day', but to 'get after it!' You've inspired me to do a few things, one being a approx. 10-day motorcycle ride in Alaska in June 2014. I sure hope it happens! Actually, what I really mean is... Thanks to KP's & QG's inspiration, IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Perhaps you should move it up to 2013. I'm just sayin.'

Mel said...

I wanted to go in 2013, but the guy who said he'd go with me is too busy... Claims to be riding around the USA on a motorcyle... or something. I thought about riding in Alaska by myself, but that would be just plain stupid... wouldn't it?

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

If you go by yourself, take Libby. Just today she started whining about my going to Alaska with another bike. Then when I said it was a BMW, she got mad. Something about Europeans. Sounded kinda racist to me.