Tuscaloosa to Mobile, 224 Miles
"The fool, whose volume of words is as that of ten men, shoots a hundred arrows and each one misses of the target. If thou art wise, shoot one, and that one straight."
The sky looked heavy with moisture, however the forecast predicted 30% chance of rain, maybe snow flurries. Yet the temperature had climbed to forty, so we decided to ride.
We stayed on the highways, a nice ride perhaps if the trees were green and the sky were blue. Houses appeared, a broad mixture from large beautiful places, to plain brick buildings designed with a t- square, to shotgun shacks, unpainted clapboard with tin roofs.
We rode to Demopolis ('The city of the people') for the Gaineswood Mansion tour and stopped downtown to search for the promised Visitor's Center, the sign steering us to nothing. The town appeared downtrodden and unkempt with empty stores and dilapidated buildings. QG noted that the kiss of death for a downtown is a thrift store on Main Street.
The heated gear works great on the bike, but as soon as we disconnected from the bike, the icy cold attacked quickly and we walked only a block, then hustled back to the bike. We rode around town, searching for the famous antebellum manse, to no gain. Finally we decided to just ride on and as we left downtown, it appeared on the left. Cool.
A sign informed us of their winter hours, and they were limited to the first Saturday of every month. Awesome. We headed to the house, searching for heat.
This house provided an excellent tour, as most of the furniture and accessories were original, something that just doesn't happen much. However, being an old house, it was heated poorly. Oh well.
We always joke about people from Alabama marrying their cousins, but the jokes come from fact. The generations of owners married their cousins, and the tour guide said you had to watch it, as the intermarrying got going and pretty soon you'd be your own grandparent.
An interesting master bedroom featured six doors. Apparently the master of the house wanted to go anywhere, right now.
We shivered away and hopped on the bike, plugged in and went. The temperature stubbornly hovered at forty-three degrees, but we kept it at bay. Yet stopping for fuel and a snack made for a chance for the cold to sink in again, and we'd warm up again while riding. We had hung around Florida for six weeks to let winter pass, and winter stubbornly hung on, with temperatures seventeen degrees below normal.
And now, a bit sick of winter chills, Quilter Girl!
I voted to ride today because if we stayed put because of the cold we'll never get home! I think this was the longest coldest ride since Denver and I had a hard time getting warm. I wasn't really cold on the ride as the gear works well, but my feet were cold.
The house tour was awesome as the tour guide knew her stuff and loved her job. She had a real passion for the house and the history of the family. This area missed the destruction of the civil war because Sherman went to the East, wreaking havoc.
After a very cold ride, we found a great motel and checked in. There was an Arby's within walking distance so off we went. It was a great meal quickly with the added bonus of meeting Opa, a biker from Mobil who was on a fundraising ride. He recommended a church for tomorrow. Now we are warm and dry in our cozy motel room. I am not moving for a while!
Stay tuned for Church Surch tomorrow, and the Weekly Wrap-Up.