Day 42: Eastman to Mt. Vernon

2500 big ‘uns.


Oh fuck. I’ve got it upside down. It’s actually only point 0025 miles . . . my bad.

Short ride today. ?In fact, it was so short it knocked my average daily mileage to under 60. ?(59.95). ?That’s the first time that’s happened since I rode just 33.05 miles from Vega to Amarillo. ?Ah well. ?Last four out of five days have been under 60 miles. ?The average was bound to suffer from it. ?Two out of the next three days will be even shorter. ?Only tomorrow will be a “respectable” distance, if you will.

The wind only tried to murder me once today. ?I mean that literally. ?Let me ‘splain, Loocie. ?(Before y’all that worry about my safety get all upset, the mere fact I’m writing this means the wind didn’t succeed, ok?)

A couple of miles from Mt. Vernon I was riding on the shoulder.


The wind has been variably blowing from the NE and SE. ?It’s gone from a gentle breeze to flag-snapping intensity:


While I’m thinking about it, a quick aside. ?Hey, Weather Underground, Accuweather, and ?A?4 MPH wind doesn’t make flags stand out like above. ?WU’s forecast:


Y’all learn how to measure wind speed, would ya?

All right, I’m done bitching about wind . . . well, except for explaining how it almost killed me today. ?No, there’s no pictures.

I’m riding east (of course.) ?Heading west are two huge semi-trucks, most likely doing the speed limit (65 at the time.) ?As they shoot past my position, the draft from from them buffets me quite harshly. ?Enough to make the bike wobble.

When the draft of the second truck hit, it made the bike wobble a tad bit more. ?That’s when the wind decided to kick into high gear and give me a blast from the SE, threatening to push me into the road.

At that very moment, two?more?semi-trucks were passing me going east. ?They couldn’t get over because there were a line of cars behind the two west-bound semis. ?Those trucks I could have reached out and touched . . . had I not been concentrating everything on just keeping my bike stable at that point and not falling under their tires.

It only lasted about a second and a half. ?I maintained control of the bike. ?I’m obviously not dead. ?But the whole thing?did?give me a, “Whoa, Holy Shit!” moment I’ll never forget.


Had another “old friend” from Ohio join me this morning:


I’ve probably ridden on US 23 more miles than any other road I’ve ever been on. ?I’ve ridden it all the way from Columbus down to the TN state line.

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. . . and all the way to where it ends in Michigan:


US 23 runs right through the middle of Ohio. ?Indeed, right through the middle of?Columbus. ?It’s one of the two main streets in Columbus: ?High Street. ?It’s all of about three miles from where I now live.

I’d spotted 23 on the map a few days ago. ?It was kind of nice to hook up with an “old friend.” ?We rode together until McRae, GA. ?I turned east onto US 280, 23 continued on south. ?Some day I’m going to have to get back on that bad boy and ride it south to its terminus.

Hey Seattle: ?That $15 per hour minimum wage law you put into effect? ?I appreciate it. ?Now fast food places all over the country will replace those illiterate fools at the counter who can’t get my order right in four attempts?with these kiosks. ?If they can put them in a McDonald’s in McRae, Georgia, they can for damned sure put them in Seattle, California, and any other dumbass place you economic illiterates think raising the minimum wage is going to help people.


Rant over.

Here’s an example of a city doing it right. ?Alamo, GA had to figure out (I guess) how to pay for putting their name on?three?water towers.


So they moved their City Hall into a 7/11. They’re selling ice and Coke out front.


Good thinking, Alamo!

When I was in the Navy, one of the old E5/E6 personnel evaluation forms used these weird levels of performance. ?The highest level was STU and STL. ?That meant “Stands out UPPER” and “Stands out LOWER.” ?The next level down was SUU and SUL for “Superior UPPER / LOWER. ?Under that was GOU and GOL for “Good UPPER / LOWER.”

Yet, if you were marked GOOD, it was considered an “adverse evaluation.” ?If you were good, you were bad.

All of that went through my mind when I saw this sign on out front of a Georgia Forestry something or other.


The corruption of language. ?How could “moderate” be the next to lowest while “high” is in the middle? ?If you’re up high, aren’t you . . . on top? ?I would almost give them “Very High,” but if you’re using directions (low / high / very high) then “Moderate” should be, “A little higher” and “Extreme” shouldn’t be in there at all. ?Instead of Extreme it should be, “Way WAY Up There!”

Yep. ?All of that went through my head in about the time it took for the wind to try and kill me. ?(I’ve been told before it’d be scary to spend 24 hours in my head. ?Maybe that’s?why?the wind was trying to kill me . . . )

Nice looking place (yeah, there’s a house way?back in there), but damn, I’d hate to have to mow around those trees.


It looks like Stuckey’s has gone from selling divinity candy to just divinity:


From that Wikipedia article I linked to, I read that the Stuckey’s was started in and is headquartered in Eastman, Georgia. ?I just?left there this morning. ?Note the title on this very post: ?Eastman to Mt. Vernon. ?Wild coincidence.

Anyway, notice the sign to the left of the Stuckey Church Road:


Isn’t that a little sad? ?That the most amazing thing Stuckey could claim about one of their natives was a guy who became the ASSISTANT Postmaster General . . . and that was nearly 30 years ago. ?Talk about a town of “do-nothings”!

What a redundant sign.


I’m going to?see?a big yellow school bus. ?Hey, Georgia, how about warn me when a hot soccer mom van is coming by? ?I don’t want to miss that!


I’m staying in the Mt. Vernon Inn and Suites tonight:


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What a?nice?place. ?Clean. ?Huge room. ?Comfortable. ?Great Wi-Fi. ?Friendly staff. ?And less than $54 — that includes tax! — for a night’s stay. ?If you ever find yourself in Mt. Vernon, GA, this is the place to stay. ?(Of course, as I write this it’s the?only?place to stay, but, what a deal!)

Google Maps is telling me 120 to 140 miles to Hilton Head from Mt. Vernon, GA. ?(It’s all based on where I’m going to bunk for the night those last couple of days.) ?Hell, I have?biked further than that in a single day. ?(I ain’t gonna bike that far in a single day. ?Forget it.)??Wednesday?will be about half of that. ?Then half of what remains on Thursday. ?Then the remainder on Friday. ?Unless the wind murders me between now and then.