Our morning started trying to figure out where are and where do we pick up the route? Yesterday, we took a short cut to cut off 30 miles of the route and now that we are in a larger city of Columbus we have to figure out where to get the trail. So you ask someone, right? We went to the front desk and as can happen, a simple question creates a community gathering! We asked the first person behind the desk and she gave us an answer to our question, showed her our map to ask exactly where we might be on it and well, we got an answer but not clear enough to feel confident it was going to take us where we needed to be. While she is explaining it again in another way the gentleman behind us adds his information. But he was just telling us stuff that did not have anything to do with the route we were looking for but where he thought we would enjoy riding and finally I don't even know where she came from, there she was behind the desk speaking with a voice of authority and confidence! Yay! By now our head was spinning with turns, left, right, street names and landmark. This clear thinking direction angel continued speaking and gave us clear instructions that made sense and were easy to follow! The directions were even written down for us! It happens over and over when someone helps us with directions! It is quite comical really! People just love to get involved and help out, the conversation is overheard and others join the conversation! But sometimes it can leave our head spinning! That is why we wrote it all down today, because sometimes by time we got on our bikes it can be "what did they say? Left or right?"
Off we set, beat the heavy morning traffic and had quite a good ride. The cool of the morning is wonderful, but doesn't necessarily last very long! We didn't' have the early start we should have because it was going to be a short day again. We are forced into it because of the distances in between any place to stay for the night. do we do 35 miles or 85?? Kind of an easy answer taking into consideration the heat index is in the 100's. We studied our maps and made some decision and game plans to once again take some shortcuts. But to make it all work, we had to get this short day in here.
We are now in Alabama! At least if we are where we think we are, we are in Alabama! You can't tell by the state sign, because it wasn't there! How funny, someone had gotten away with the sign welcoming you to the state of Alabama! But we know who the governor is!
When crossing into a new state or sometimes even a different county, that can mean a change in road surface, but thank you Alabama, the road surface so far is beautiful! The people have been so helpful and happy and all 30 miles in Alabama have been going pretty good!
Normally I get a little restless when we stop so early, but today I know it is part of the game plan. And its hot! Getting a slightly later start, not moving too fast and hanging around at the gas stations when we stop for water we found it was already getting hot when we got to Aliceville. As it turns out, stopping was well timed because we had one of those pop up rain storms that I think is pretty normal here in the south. We were lucky! It is so hot, getting wet would not have made much difference, in fact it may have felt quite good! but it isn't just your average rain shower, it is a down pour with lightning and thunder . . .and then its over!
As soon as we got to Aliceville, there was a Subway waiting for us! Cold water and a fresh salad! We knew we were going to be staying here so we got food to go to eat later once we got settled in. Up over the bridge and we found the Voyager Inn, our intended rest place for the evening and were surprised to find it very acceptable and welcoming! There is not much else here in Aliceville! A grocery store, Subway of course, a cafe someplace that we never really saw and two gas stations across the street from the motel!
Getting settled in, the first thing you do is connect to the internet! Went into my front bag to retrieve my phone and OH NO!!! My phone and my wallet I quickly realized were sitting on the table at Subway!!!!! You can imagine how quickly i found my shoes, socks, helmet and was back on my bike racing over the bridge back to subway! Now there was a line of about 4 people and nothing on the table! I tried to be patient and not force my way to the front, and I was rewarded with spotting both items on the counter behind the sandwich line! Whew! sometimes I am just so lucky I can hardly believe it! While we were waiting for our food we of course had a nice chat with the ladies behind the counter, so I had high hopes they would be quite aware who the phone and wallet belonged to. I just have to be more aware keeping things in my hands!! I have a self imposed policy not to set them down, but i had to set them down and I thought we were going to sit down for lunch. It was a last minute thing to decide to take it back with us, I broke my own rules!
So all is well that ends well. Ready for an early night because tomorrow we have a big day, 70 miles despite the heat. A short cut day but it will get us further than if we followed the route. See you tomorrow!!