Posted by: twistsoffeet | May 11, 2011

Trains, Street Lights, and Good People

I woke up this morning after a nearly sleepless night. Yesterday, after a difficult day, I met Don of South Georgia Cabinetry.  He was great and let me sleep outside his shop under an oak tree. He provided me with water and ice and let me use his shop bathroom. I was also able to see some of his work, and I can say I liked what I saw!  It was somewhat reminiscent of my father’s work, but I admit I am very partial to my fathers work because… to be honest it is the best out there.

But Don at South Georgia Cabinetry does do quality work.

I tried to sleep, but I was 50 feet off of the highway and it was busy all night. Don is also a volunteer firefighter and had two calls last night also. But the worst of it was the streetlight above my tent that I had not noticed during the day… and the trains.

The trains ran at least two times, each direction, every hour– or one every fifteen minutes.  Needless to say, I  slept for no more than an hour last night.

I was on the road by 07:30 this morning and started out making good progress. The first 27  miles to Waycross, Georgia was simple except for all the smoke from the Okefenokee fire.

I reached Waycross about 11:00 and went to McDonald’s, where I had two super size fries.  I was trying to carbo load. Unfortunately, I found out too late that it was now time to start climbing hills. The first three were just railroad overpasses, only about 50 feet high, but steep and towing the trailer with my load it was very difficult.

After that, came a gradual but constant climb for a mile and then flat for a while before hitting another long climb that was a bit steeper. Near the summit of this climb, I got another flat.  By this time, I was in the full sun and mid 90s temperatures with no shade.

I walked my bike to some level ground near a driveway and proceeded to fix the flat.  This was a rim flat and I am surprised because I have new velox rim tape.  Just as I was finishing up, a semi truck pulled into the driveway. I continued to repack my load and then the driver of the semi came over.  It turns out the driver is a minister at the Southern Baptist Church in Blackshear about four miles away. He offered assistance and I told him my bike was finished but I would happily take some water.

He said he could get me some ice water and was there anything else he could do?   By this time it was nearing 4:00 PM, so I asked if he would mind if I pitched my tent by his fence on some level ground.  He agreed to let me pitch my tent, but suggested under the oak trees in his front yard would be more comfortable. Then, he offered me dinner of a salad and some BBQ chicken.  He totally surprised me by offering to let me shower in his home.  I readily accepted.  He introduced me to his wife, Elaine, and then Phil brought out an extension cord to charge my computer and phone and iPod. I know that not everyone who reads this blog is a believer and it has not been my intention to turn it into a pulpit for me to discuss my faith, but I believe it was divine intervention.  As such, I thank God for the good people I have met on this trip so far and pray that He continues to watch over me and everyone I care about and come into contact with on my travels.

I am going to see if I can get rid of some excess weight tonight by disposing of some things I may not or probably will not need. I hope to drop 10-20 pounds of frivolous unnecessary weight.

As for my arthritis, today I feel it in my hands, arms, ankles, and knees. Okay… I feel it just about everywhere right now.  Hopefully some sleep will help.  In very plain English, today kicked my butt.

However, I made it further today than yesterday. Today, I rode right at 41 miles. I am currently in my tent with a fan on me provided by Phil and Elaine.  They have really spoiled me.  I think I am about 10 miles south of the town of Alma, Georgia on Highway 1 and 23. Also, I have decided to start keeping a photographic record of all the good people who help me with advice or more as I continue this trip.


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