June 25, 2011

Here we are in Dalton, GA at a dumpy motel. Had dinner at the "Pub" next door. Also a colourful spot but the food was surprisingly good.. A local hangout with lots of local colour. The owner found out about our ride and came over to lock at the bikes. Dinner was free!! Some people are easy to impress.  Wouldn't like to walk around in the dark around here.  As Charles said "I think I hear banjos"
     We had a slow start as I had to go pick up the wheel bearing across town and then we had to install it. Finally ready to roll about 9:00 . Sure enough not an hour passed and it started to rain and we went under a thunder and lightening storm. Rain so hard I thought it was hail.  Fortunately it didn't last long and for the rest of the day it was just cloudy.  Due to the late start we rode hard without any stops except twice for gas.  Looks like the wheel bearing repair is holding up OK and the new chain hasn't stretched as much as I anticipated for a non "O" ring chain.  I'll attend to it in the morning.  We had hoped to make Atlanta but as the sun went down the deer started appearing along the side of the freeway.  As we'd seen a lot of deer carcasses on the side of the road today we decided to call it a day about 9:00 local time.  Local time is now the same as the ride time (Eastern D.S.) so it makes record keeping much easier.  Regarding road kill or hitting "'critters" - it is of course our worst fear.  Charles is being especially watchful after his bear encounter.  A friend of mine once said it is quite easy to determine whetherr to take extreme avoidance measures, or to just wait for the bump and ride it out. Ken's motto was "If it's too big to eat at one sitting - avoid it" Good advice if not appetising.
   Not much of interest on the actual ride today except that we pulled off one interchange prior to this one and found everything destroyed.  All of the usual businesses at a major intersection were represented but not much left other than rubble.  Apparently if we'd gone into town there was no more town. 
Here is what is left of the McDonald's Others were just rubble piles.
Other buildings were either heavily damaged or simply piles of rubble.  We didn't hang around and went to the next area where there is motels and ended up in this dump.
   Oops, someone is knocking on the door.  Well well, it is fellow long distance rider friend Jeff White.  Jeff lives in Atlanta and we've been trying to meet up with him each time we went through.  We had hoped to meet him tonight but stopped early. So he drove over to say hello.  He's staying here tonight and will ride along with us tomorrow.  How good is that?
Jeff White comes two hours from Atlanta in the middle of the night to visit.
   Jeff was kind enough not to keep us up as he realizes how little sleep you get and how precious it is on a ride like this.  We'll wake him at 5:00 am to go riding.  The long distance community is like this.  Distance is no longer an object. 
   Guess I'd better sign off for now as it's almost midnight and we lost an hour today with the time change.

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