Columbus, GA

Have had a nice stay in Columbus. ?Can’t say I’ve licked this damned cold yet. ?It’s been hanging on for a week and I’m ready for it to move on down the road.

Speaking of moving on down the road: ?tomorrow’s forecast for my departure is -90F. ?(That minus sign in there is not an accident). ?According to Weather Underground, 6AM is going to be a little chilly . . .


It’ll warm up nicely — by 141 degrees — by 7AM. ?So maybe I’ll just hold off leaving until then.

For months now it’s been on the schedule to head to Butler, GA from Columbus. ?It was scheduled to be a pain-in-the-ass-climb-the-whole-fucking-way 50+ mile ride. ?But tonight when I checked for hotels, there aren’t any. ?Causes me to have to redo the entire route. ?Now I’ve tacked on another 20+ miles to go to Montezuma, GA. ?(It takes those same 20 miles off somewhere else, so it’s a zero sum thing. ?Just didn’t want a 70 mile ride tomorrow.) ?Here’s to hoping there’s no revenge in Montezuma.

Enough about tomorrow. ?Let’s talk about the last couple of days in Columbus / Phenix City. ?I’ve had a great time pampering myself at the Marriott Courtyard. ?There’s no way I could have afforded to stay in this level hotel the entire trip. ?(Nor were hotels like this available in every place I stayed.) ?But it was nice to get a little vacation-y for a couple of days.

On Friday night, after getting settled into the hotel, I walked back across the Riverwalk from Phenix City to Columbus.


On the Alabama side there was a place I spotted that sold “whitewater rafting tours.” ?There?were?a bunch of kayakers in the Chattahoochee River. ?In places, yes, the water was white:






Not exactly the Upper Gauley in West Virginia. ?(The only place in the eastern United States that has Class V rapids.) ?But it’d do to kill an afternoon on the AL / GA border.

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Columbus features a lot of sculptures and fountains:

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Also interesting:

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Pretty good crowd turnout for a warm Friday night:


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Hey! My twin!

I got reminded that I was “behind” on drinking my “Beer Me”s. ?Now remember, I’m not a drinker. ?I’m a “once or twice a month” beer drinker kinda guy. ?But on Friday night, I took three for the team:

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Valerie and (K)/(C)athy thought I was quite interesting when I explained why I needed them to take a picture of me drinking a beer.


I balanced the beer with a little dinner:


served up by the oh-so-swamped-but-got-it-all-done Taylor:


Where I left my glasses. ?Dammit. ?I had a spare pair, just in case. ?Even went back on Saturday to see if they’d been turned in, but no luck.


Very dog-friendly place. ?I must have petted a half dozen critters. ?Only got pictures of these:

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Here’s an oddity I noticed about the Chattahoochee.

This is the river on Friday afternoon when I checked into the hotel. ?Notice the very visible rocks.


When I came back from Columbus Friday night . . . where are the rocks?


I took off on Saturday morning and snapped this picture. ?Again, no rocks.


When I came back to the hotel this afternoon . . .


Do small rivers have?tides?

It’s a little surreal?to see street names and institutions?with the name Columbus on them . . . and know they’re not talking about Ohio.


I remember being on a plane back to Columbus?Ohio?once. ?Lady sat next to me. ?After a couple of announcements from the flight crew in the boarding process she turned to me and said, “We’re going to Columbus,?Georgia, right?”

“I hope not,” I answered. ?”I hoping we’re going to Columbus,?Ohio.”

“Oh God!” she exclaimed as she gathered her things and scooted off the plane.

Saturday morning I took off on the bike for more sightseeing. ?My first stop was here:


Here’s a suggestion for y’all, Restaurants of America: ?I?know?it’s hard when you’re short-wait-staffed to have to tell people to wait. ?Especially when they can see empty tables. ?But it’s a lot more frustrating to the customer to be sitting at a table for 10 to 20 minutes before a waitress shows up. ?Put the wait?before?you seat a customer. ?Not?after. ?The advice is free, but if you want to pay for breakfast tomorrow morning, I’d be ok with that.

This and that. ?Odds and Ends.



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Since it was the?marital?part that gave me the emotional scars, is it okay to have?post-marital sex?


The fair is in town:

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If you only want two wheels aligned, you save $20 . . . fine. ?Just align the front passenger and the rear driver wheels, please. ?The others can bounce like crazy for all I care.


Not sure I’ve ever seen a church spire on its side on the ground before.


Until I got to Columbus, if you’d asked me where Fort Benning was, I would have told you it was closer to Atlanta. ?It’s not. ?It’s right there on the border of Alabama, south of Columbus. ?I took off in search of a picture or two.

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My dad was in the Army during the Korean War. ?He had two older brothers who were in-country in?Korea, so the Army decided the Owens family was on the front lines enough. ? My dad spent his two years of active duty at Fort Benning.

Rufus Ray Owens-Tammy's Dad

My dad’s oldest son at the same point in?his?military career:


If you didn’t know there was a military base nearby, you’d have figured it out just by the local businesses:


Just to interpret for ya. The sign above says basically we’ll sell a car to anyone. ?An “E1” is the lowest enlisted grade. ?(The base in 2015 for an E1 is 1547.00 a month.) ?The sign’s saying, “You don’t have to put any thing down, hell, just bring us a driver’s license and a LES — Leave and Earnings Statement — and a 1985 Bucket O’ Bolts Rattletrap will be yours for only 120 monthly payments of half of your base pay!”

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I just?loved?the wedding bands for $13:20151017_115918 20151017_120418

Come on in, Solider! ?Pay for at least three hours and we’ll throw in a bottle of our namesake wine!


On the way back from Fort Benning I spotted a mail truck coming down this road:



Holy Mother of God. ?How steep is?that?monster?

I thought I’d find out for myself. ?I took off up the thing just long enough to get a look at my inclinometer. ?A?14% to 15% incline.? Dear God. ?It was so steep that on the way back down I was a little worried I’d tip over forward.

Riding all the way out to Fort Benning got me my 20 miles in Georgia, so I claimed the state today. ?I would have gotten it anyway, but now that post is done.

I didn’t feel like heading back out this evening. ?I sauntered over to the hotel Bistro where lovely Desiree was doing her thing:


She told me that of all the customers she’s met in the time she’s been working here ?I was by far the most interesting. ?Then again, she’s only been here for two weeks, so, there’s that . . .

Going to be a long day tomorrow. ?Over 40 miles of climbing ahead. ?It’s the last week on the road and there’s two or three tough days in store for me. ?(Especially tomorrow.) ?If it all goes well, I should be rolling my front tire into the Atlantic Ocean next Friday – 7 weeks to the day that I left Los Angeles.