May 8, 2001 - Valdosta, GA 49.1m*

Its two for one on the wine at the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant in Valdosta, GA tonight. Considering Ive only covered 49 miles in two days, I dont deserve it. But then again, they make up for the quantity with the quality. Pardon me while I break open some peanuts, eat the nuts and toss the shells on the floor. (They advertise hot boiled peanuts at every gas station in southern Georgia – Im not quite clear what this means. Maybe Ill try them tomorrow.)

In spite of the limited progress Tuesday and Wednesday, Im not behind schedule, kind of. I left Thomasville yesterday morning, heading east on 94 toward Quitman (on the map).

They still have these stupid ridges almost all the way. Thats pretty much the view all over down here. Outside of Thomasville, not on the map, is downtown Boston.

Of course, downtown Boston isnt immediately ahead (Chuck) as the sign indicates. US84 bypasses it. My guess is there might not be more than a couple open commercial establishments in downtown Boston, GA. However, for the first time since I hit Georgia, the federal highway did not bypass Quitman, where I found a pretty cemetery with some local folklore.

This is the only, only historical marker I saw all day. But its not bad. At this point, its still 10AM, and Im 21 miles from Valdosta. A thought occurred.

Even though my progress has been relatively dismal over the past few days, Im still going to finish a day or two ahead of deadline. I built a down day into the 2nd half schedule, and two days of less than 100 miles. If I just would keep on riding, Id get to the Atlantic by Wednesday PM, or mid-day Thursday at the earliest. (This place has really good steaks.)

Lisa confirmed she was coming to Savannah on Friday, with Betty and Eleanor, to spend the weekend. So, I have an extra day or two. What to do? What to do? Headed toward

Looks like a wasteland amidst farmland. Kill a day here? Not likely. Fly home from Valdosta for a night? $1,600, with connections through Atlanta, 5 hours each way. Rent a car from Hertz in Valdosta and drive home for a night – $49 plus gas. So

I went to the airport and rented that car from the friendly people at Hertz (who also stored my bike in their closet), and started driving. A couple hours into this, I realized that a) my body wasnt distinguishing between a Toyota Camry and a soft bed, and b) 420+ miles in a car each way takes a lot of time. So, plan B. I deviated to Savannah. Flew home for a dinner event and flew back today. This cost me about 28 hours. But I regrouped and Im going to bed very early tonight.

Heres my regrouped bike.

Looks skimpy, doesnt it. The rack bag expands, and is full of all my stuff for two days. The panniers were left in Charlotte. They (the panniers) probably cost me 2 mph into the continuous, ongoing headwinds, that are forecast to continue tomorrow. Tomorrows the last chance for a 150 mile day. Without them, I might make it.

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