Saturday, April 27th - A ride from Cracker Barrel to the Hampton Inn in Tifton. It was a day of good weather and a day without incident, if you're not a turtle. Why should a turtle fear a Spyder? It was also a day wherein dead skunks, rotting carcasses and roadside dairies added something special to the day. The route took us up the Suncoast Parkway to US98 and US19, eventually to US129. The tail of the Tail of ther Dragon isn't noteworthy, but is has gas and comfort stops when you need them. We were looking for lunch around Live Oak, but had to settle for a chain outside of town. The afternoon was just as pleasant as the ayem and we got to our Inn well before their happy hour. Dinner at another Cracker Barrel (about 500 feet from the Inn) completed the day, except for cookies and NASCAR in the lobby before retiring to our rooms.
Sunday, April 28th - Air Force Museum day. A very short day - about 100 miles between the Inn and the museum. Close enough that we didn't get to stop for lunch. Eventually, the angry mob said we were going for lunch, so a local Mexican joint was chosen. The choice was easy - all the other choices were closed. Back to the museum after the avocado sacrifices to tour more buildings. Inclement weasther was headed our way, so we bailed out a bit after four pee emm and went to the Inn of the night. Lloyd got his wish for a pool and hot tub. Dinner choices will be driven by the precipitation which still hasn't hit town. BTW, no turtles suffered today. Update: Dinner was a short walk in light sprinkles to the Outback. The walk back was drier. Tomorrow's outlook not quite so good .
Monday, April 29th - Warner Robbins to Mt. Cheaha State Park in Alabama. This 172 mile trip began with rain and 61degrees. The rain lasted 67 miles and the wet roads cleared around 95 miles.. We got full sun around 110 miles and the temp rose to about 70 degrees. No turtles were injured, but the chase car had a close call with an idiot. Somewhere after the sun appeared, we happened upon a small buffet restaurant for lunch. Mmmm good! The final leg got us int the park just before two pee emm. Once we got past the front desk, we found our way to our rooms, then to the scenic viewing area just outside the park restaurant. Dinner at six, retiring to the rooms shortly thereafter.
Tuesday, April 30th - A tour of the Taladega Speedway Museum and a shopping trip at the Mt Cheaha Harley-Davidson dealer. A clear sunny day and twisty roads awaited, so after a very slow, cold breakfast, we were off like a herd of turtles. Down in the valley, I spooked six grazing deer. Big deer, compared to what we normally see at home. One was not sure of his escape path, so we slowed considerably while he decided. It didn't take long to get to the speedway, so we caught the 10:30 tour bus.33 degrees of banking is impressive when you're sitting next to it. We wandered the memorabilia displays and the many race cars, then headed into town for lunch. Another mexican restaurant appeared just in time, on the right side of the road. Good chow, cheap. A short two miles later, we were at the Mt. Cheaha Harley-Davidson dealership. The t-shirt racks were as close to empty as I have seen in a functioning business. Lots of Limiteds on the floor.Heading back to the mountain, and relying on my Zumo 'Anne', we managed to take a road that was paved for a mile or two, then gravel. The conditions deteriorated quickly, so around we went. Or over, in one case. Everyone is OK, though. For a couple hours it's chill time until dinner with a little website updating thrown in. At dinner, I changed the departure to 8:15 with breakfast in town. Clarification: the Zumo is named 'Anne Oying' because of her many bad habits.
Wednesday, May 1st - Mt. Cheaha to Huntsville, with a stop in town at the railroad museum. The mountaintop was foggy and windy. As soon as we left the park, neither were a concern. We stopped in Oxford at the Cracker Barrel for some shopping and breakfast. The journey north was uneventful because the turtle terrpr and spouse abandoned us and returned south. The railroad museum wasn't much. Three trains on display, but not open for touring or riding. The buildings were not open, either. Anne was up to her old tricks - we rode past our hotel so we could make a U-turn about a quarter mile down the road before pulling in. he place is fairly new, but the pool is outdoors and probably icy. No restaurants in walking distance, so delivery has been discussed. Pizza ordered, pizza delivered, pizza consumed, day over.
Thursday. May 2nd - a tour of the NASA Space Center in Huntsville. Today, not only the Space Camp kids, but 900 school kids joined us for the tour. We spent the morning in the steady drone of exuberant youth while looking at displays. A movie about tornados was interesting, lunch was good, but quick because we had the 1:00 bus tour of Marshall Space Flight Center. A whole school bus, with driver and guide for nine adults. How peaceful. We saw teh water recycling system in the area where it is maintained in support of the Space Station's unit. We also saw the Redstone test firing stand, along with lots of Army and NASA buildings. AFter the tour, a walk through the rocket garden where I got to see some of the stuff I actually worked on. A quick ride nack to the hotel before the rain was successful. Dinner anyone?
Friday, May 3rd - Huntsville to Kennesaw, with a stop at the railroad and civil war museum. It was a very grey day, all day. From Huntsville to Fort Payne, we never cast a shadow. A bit east of Fort Payne, I saw blue sky ahead and, ultimately, sun. I thought sure we had outrun the weather. Wrong! The sun lasted a very short time. Anne lied to me a few times, but what's a ride without U-turns? Lunch at a famous chicken wing establishment took longer than normal, so were were a bit behind plan. When we got close to the museum, my windshield and faceshield were getting wet, so we blew off the visit and headed to the hotel. A busload of church wimmins arrived just ahead of us and filled the lobby. Fortunately, someone made some kind of decision that took them all away and check-in wasn't so bad. Tonight is a Hilton Garden Inn, so the bar and restaurant are right here. Cooked to order breakfast in the morning sounds so much better than chafing dish surprise. Tomorrow looks like rain gear all day.
Saturday, May 4th - Kennesaw to Valdosta, Ga. 48 degrees and raining at eigth ayem. It rained until lunch time in Americus, with some small breaks. The temp climbed a full ten degrees during the morning. Changing the route to avoid the storms in the west part of the state didn't appear to help. After lunch, we were mostly dry, but on wet roads. Another ten degrees warmer when we hit the high for the day. A final bit of rain before arrival in Valdosta started the temp dropping again, but still comfortable. Lots of LEOs on the road today. A big Gander Mountain is next to the hotel, so there is something to do after dinner.
Sunday, May 5th - Valdosta to home. 54 and clear when we left So why did i have to take the abuse at the first stop because I had my jacket on? It's my jacket and i'll wear it when I want to. Nothing notable happened today - no wildlife sightings, no attacks by demented drivers, nothing. WE stayed inland all the way to Old Town today, then got on US 19. We found a pack of bikers from Pennsylvania and Alabama headed for Key West. They reported all day rain yesterday. What a surprise. Lunch was at Neon Leon's in Homosassa. Good as before. Got home about three pee emm, as predicted. Anyone know of a good bike wash joint?