Another gray morning to start the day! But that is totally ok! It keeps it nice and cool for as long as possible. The route this morning was really interesting! It seems like every turn we made the road got smaller and smaller. We don't carry a larger map and it can be a little daunting to turn down the small lanes seemingly buried in the wooded sides and have no idea where you are or where you might end up! But you have to trust the unmarked roads are the ones you are suppose to turn on, and hope you haven't missed a step in the directions! These roads were very very quiet and without traffic. Very nice surface and good riding, but at every turn it made you question if we are on the right track!
The very first road we turned on especially made me feel a bit hesitant! It didn't look like it was big enough to be included on a map! How can this be the way? Within the first half mile I had 5 positive signs! A lady walking down the road with a huge smile and a wave, a cardinal flying right in front of us, a passing car waving out, American flags hanging form a house and a beautiful road surface! It was gong to be a great ride!
Despite any hesitation, it did turn out to be a nice ride. The Tennessee hills are much better that we expected. A few to test us, but it was fine! Every now and then the dense woods that line the road would drop away and the farm land would stretch out in lush green beauty. We really saw no one on the road, the odd car passed us but only very few for the whole morning. We passed thru a few settlements, but no one around really. There were some amazing peaceful properties along the way to make it interesting, its the tall trees and perfectly cut grass that make them all look so special and well cared for.
We arrived in Waverly Tennessee rather early in the day. This is when the indecision sets in. We stopped at McDonald's to get some lunch. We thought we might stay in Waverly because the next place that offered any option for staying the evening was another 25 miles. To me, it was too early in the day to stop and we really had only gone about 40 miles. Should we stay or should we push on. It led to a lot of converasation, indecision and "disagreement" and in the end the problem was solved for us because there turned out to be no vacancy in Waverly because of a motocross competition. There were only 2 motels, and they were full. No camping option, we had to go! My Google map said Cuba Landing was only 22 miles further but when we called to make sure there was a place for us Uncle Phil corrected us and said it was 27 miles! 22 sounded better so we convinced ourselves Google must be right! We were headed to Cuba Landing on the Tennessee River south of Waverly.
We started to leave and then remembered we had to stop and stock up on food because there was nothing available between Waverly and Cuba Landing where our cabin waited for us! And there was nothing available at Cuba Landing! So we did a quick food stock up at Casey's on the way out of town. Not the delicious cuisine we would like to have in our panniers to look forward to, but we had to think about the heat of the afternoon while we carried everything on our bikes. The temperature inside those bags is enough to turn the cheese on a sandwich into a melted cheese sandwich! We try to keep noodles of some sort as an emergency meal, tuna or canned chicken to add protein and we have a cheese sauce to hopefully make it taste yummy! A few sweet treats for dessert and bananas and muffins for breakfast, we set off to complete the day's miles.
It was a hard decision to make but it was a good one! Funny how these things turn out so good! We were very lucky, the tall trees lining the roads gave us a wonderful canopy of shade for probably 95% of the ride! We had a rolling hills of course, but we just took it slow and before you know it, we were there!! . . .almost!
We were very close to the end and the cabin but we sort of made a wrong turn into the public marina instead of just turning the corner (like I knew we should!). But it is probably good that we did! We had the opportunity to talk to a few of the fishermen as they were coming off the river. An ATV pulled up, with a guy and 4 of his nieces and nephews! He was the man that could answer all our questions, confirm where we needed to go and he did! Told us about Uncle Phil and the cabins and then said, hey do you need any dinner or supplies? I can drive you 6 miles down the interstate to pick up anything you need! We had only been chatting with him for 10 minutes! Now I call that Southern Hospitaltiy!
We said, well that is very nice, but we really would like to go and find Uncle Phil, (he left the door open on our cabin for us!) get settled in and of course have a shower!!! To which Waylon replied, well how about I come by and check on you later???? Seriously?? We told him we had brought supplies but if he was agreeable to do that, we would love to go and have a fresh salad from one of the places! Its a date!
Off we went, and Uncle Phil was right!! It was 27 miles to the door of the cabin! Once we met Uncle Phil I knew he was the kind of person you didn't doubt, if he said it was 27 miles then that is what it is! The cabin was a place to sleep, a place that wasn't on the ground or in the humidity! A pretty basic cabin but it did have AC!
So we showered, settled in and Uncle Phil finally showed up! When I spoke to him on the phone before we arrived, he said he had some errands to run and he would leave the light on and the door open. That all worked just fine. When he knocked on the door and I opened it up, my first thought was Oh, he must have been checking the contents of his still!!!! I presume they still hide stills in the woods of Tennessee, and if it wasn't a still and its product, whatever he was doing before he arrived was pretty seriously alcoholic!!!
Another one of those moments that was just a tiny bit uncomfortable as his subject of conversation was also uncomfortable as he immediately launched into his views of very sensitive racial topics! Luckily, our friend Waylon was also there! Uncle Phil really was Waylon's uncle! And Uncle Phil in the end gave us a great deal on the cabin so everything is quite alright! Waylon had his niece Darla Ray along with him and off we went to get supplies!
Darla Rae was 11 and there isn't anything she couldn't talk about! I just had to keep her talking because she was so animated and interesting, we had a great visit! She had a roll of newly developed photos (real photos on paper and in an envelope!) and she easily shared them with me complete with names, who they were and how they were all related!! All of her siblings had the middle name of Rae! She was adorable but she made my head spin with all that information!
We had a successful shopping trip, got fresh green salads to take back to the cabin with us. We wanted to buy them something special while we were out, but she said no thank you we are having hot dogs when we get home! Ok!
So I think that was the whole day! I have to think back because of course there was no phone service let alone internet in the woods of Tennessee!