People have asked, “Do you ever wake up and not want to get on your bike during your bike tour?” My usual answer would be, “NO!” But today was not one of those days. The pool outside the Comfort Inn looked so inviting. And the fact that I (over) slept until 8:10 when Tim called my cell phone from the lobby made me think of not riding today.
We did depart at our latest time yet: 9:45! But that was OK. Later in the day, the wet roads told us that we had missed rain. We had a few sprinkles during our ride, but nothing like yesterday. It was cool watching the dark clouds developing in the sky in the direction we were riding.
Entering Georgia gave us a sense of accomplishment. One state down, a dozen more to go! The friendliness of folks continues, but the terrain is a little different from Florida. Gone are the palm trees and ocean view. Now we are seeing more pine trees, logging trucks, and bushes and brush along the road. The road is open–we can see forever in all directions. The exhilarating feeling when cycling in this expansiveness reminded us why we named our publishing company: Open Road Press.
When we stopped for lunch at Dairy Queen, a friendly man gave us a brief history of the weather in Southeastern Georgia. He talked about the 20 inches of rain from Hurricane Debby. He mentioned lightning strikes igniting the fires that destroyed massive amounts of vegetation and swamp in the area. As we were speaking with him, we heard rumbling in the distance, to the north where we would be heading. He provided great advice on area roads and wished us well.
We had two primary options when leaving town. We chose to ride toward the dark sky, despite Tim seeing two distinct and grand bolts of electricity in the distance. Our area expert had told us of the storm and its track, and we also detected a favorable wind direction. We knew it would take several hours to reach our destination, and at least an hour to ride underneath the blackness. So we rode out of town, prepared to stop, or even turn around and head back to Folkston. But if we had chosen to wait, we might still be there. Sometimes you need to wait; sometimes you need to move. We felt it was time to move and it worked out well. Even though the clouds developing up ahead looked ominous, we enjoyed a long stretch of good roads, little traffic, and minimal rain drops. God answered our prayers for safety and favorable traveling conditions.