Saturday January 14, 2017, 71 miles (114 km) – Total so far: 655 miles (1,054 km)
Above lyrics from Transit by Richard Shindell.
Riedsville to somewhere near Patterson, Ga.
As I was doing my morning routine, I heard the joyous sound of giggling and laughter. My neighbors, a mother and her daughter were out for the weekend to enjoy the country by camping out together. There was no auguring, no harsh words, just the joy of being together and being a family. The laughter and love they shared made my day.
As I rode today, the wildlife was abundant. From the black water swamps came the unmistakable cry of wood ducks taking wing. The sight of a great blue heron rising from a pond in the mist and morning sun. All of the varieties of woodpeckers as I traveled on a road designated as The Woodpecker Trail. All of these things distracted me from the long day ahead.
I passed by fields of Vadalia onions, a famous variety of sweet onions grown only in these parts. One field was organically raised and the workers were weeding by hand.
What land wasn’t being used for onions, pine trees or cattle was used to grow pecan trees. There were orchards everywhere. Most of the trees in yards were pecans. I do love me some pecan pie and pecan waffles.
As I was rolling along, caught up in all the sites and sounds, I heard a noise that almost wrecked me. There’s nothing like being bayed at by a donkey. What an awful sound from such a cute critter. They keep them in the pastures to get rid of the coyotes. Donkeys hate coyotes!
I had a 60 mile day planed ending with a stealth camp somewhere near Patterson but as the song suggests, the closer I got, the farther away I became and everything came to a crawl. No one wants to see a detour sign, especially while your on a bike.
I was only 5 miles away. Where will it go? How far and how long will it take? It’s getting close to dark. It ended up being an extra 8 miles which if your averaging 11 mph is around 40 minutes. I was pedaling for all I was worth but it was after all, the end of a long day.
Finally I could see the crossroads up ahead indicating town. What’s that? Another detour sign? You’ve got to be kidding me. As a matter of fact, all roads into and out of Patterson were rerouted. I’m guessing bridge repair and road work due to damage done by the recent Hurricane Matthew.
Fortunately, I was able to get directions from a man at the convince store for the next day and a suggestion for a stealth camp. I filled up my water for the night, headed out of town and found home just in the nick of time.