Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bicycling from Augusta, Georgia, to Statesboro, Georgia. (Nov. 28)

71.5 miles in 6:09.... (330.04)....I have now ridden from Statesville, North Carolina to Statesboro, Georgia ....It would be tough to get in a much longer ride, at this type of year, because of the cold weather in the mornings, and the early setting sun. At least for me. I waited until ten o'clock to leave, because the temp rose to about forty degrees, from a start of 28. By 4:15, the sun was very low in the sky, creating bad visibility and glare, for not only me, but people driving vehicles to see me. The temps touched about 53, at about 2:30, so it was terribly cold once we broke through the frost in the morning. By quitting time, it was back down to 42. The wind was inconsequential, which was a good thing. I was pretty bundled up, too. I'm ready for another above average day, somewhere along the line. We've had a lot of cold down here!
Note: today is Black Friday, but I was never near a mall or shopping area, so there were no crazed women on the roads. Traffic was very sparse for the entire day, which was good. I followed US 25 for the entire length of the trip. It was four lane, sometimes with median, sometimes not, for the entire length, except for a business route that I took through downtown Waynesboro, which was about 20 miles from our starting point. The only other town I passed through, Millen, split the trip into thirds. I pretty much missed all of Statesboro, because the campground, Parkwood RV and cottages, is on the bypass on the outskirts. 
The trip was pretty boring, more rolling at the beginning than the end, and the shoulders of the road had those 'wake up- your off the road!' bumps, or rumble strips for the entire trip. I spent most of my time making sure that I stayed off the bumps so I didn't rattle my teeth out. The entire trip consisted of forested areas, fields with bales of hay or cotton in them, or fields with cotton, waiting to be harvested. I did see a live armadillo, and lots of dead ones, some spanish moss on the trees that were in the swampy creeks and the Ogeechee river, and also wild palmettos in the wooded areas, so I can tell that I'm not in Kansas any more! I climbed about 1800 feet, but it took me over 70 miles to do it. To put that in perspective, I climb 1800 feet in a 17 mile bike ride between Houston and Claysville, at home. I am now on the coastal plains, and totally out of the foothills abs rolling bumps.

One of the original automobile trails through Georgia before there were numbered roads.

This is what the scenery is like!!!

Live armadillo running away!

Hairy silo!!!  Nope just vines!

Just rolling on....

Georgia "vegetable stand"!!

Not sure what flag this is!?  Professor Tirzah, any ideas??

Antique shop across from our campground had an Elby's Big Boy!!!

A day touring Augusta, Georgia. (November 26 & 27)

We took advantage of an off day and slept till ten o'clock. (What's this "we" stuff??  I was up at 8!) Felt goooood! Then it was off to the River Walk of Augusta. The rain cleared off over night and sun was breaking through the clouds as we left the RV. A couple of people have questioned me through social media about why we wanted to come to Augusta. The answer is twofold. One, is that I wanted to ride inland, on a totally different course than we took to Florida two years ago, and discover things that we know nothing about. One point five, is the unknown, which we found out about today! And finally two, which is 'because we may never pass this way again.'
We started with a stop at the bank and the post office, and then found the Augusta visitors center, which was about twenty minutes from the campground. The visitors center was in the Augusta historical museum. They had statues of golfers, like Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer,  who became famous with wins at the Augusta National Golf Course, and also a gingerbread village, made out of totally edible buildings. The buildings were famous, local buildings, and they were very well done. Just out the door was the River Walk, which was about a half mile long, with two levels. An upper level with a nice brick walkway, and a lower level, with a more meandering path, closer to the water. There were lots of historical placards, and we learned much about the cotton industry, confederate history, religious history in the south, and the course of segregation as it progressed to modern times.
We missed the one hour boat tour on the Savannah River, because they took the day off, and we didn't have time to hit the museum before it closed. We did visit an active bank, which contained a museum, and was the actual site of the cotton exchange of the day. The huge blackboard still had the final transactions of the final day, written in chalk, preserved under glass. We had lunch at Joe's, a dive bar type of a place in the basement of a building in the downtown area. We weren't overly impressed with the restaurant  selection that we found, as many places were closed for the holiday. As a matter of fact, we pretty much had the entire town to ourselves. We strolled past many monuments that were spaced out in the median strip of the main street, including the confederate soldier monument, and the monument to soul singer, James Brown. Quite a range of reasons for fame. 
I made sure to get Pam home in time to start her famous Pennsylvania Dutch potato filling, for Thanksgiving tomorrow. It will be a romantic dinner for two, after a day of football on TV. Then we launch for Savannah. 

Statue of Arnold Palmer

Small statue of James Brown!

Gingerbread replica of Augusta Cotton Exchange - you will see the original building below
Augusta Cotton Exchange - the real thing!

Entering the upper level of the River Walk

Railroad tracks run alongside the River Walk entrance

As we walk down the walk there are various flags flying - each is a flag that has flown over Augusta at some time in its history

Bizarre top of the building

Flags that have flown over Augusta

Looking across the Savannah River at the homes in North Augusta, SC

Walking along the upper tier

History of golf in Augusta


Mike and James Brown

Joe's  - our dive restaurant!


Japanese pocket garden

Waiting on the dock for our tour boat, until we find out that they took Wednesday and Thursday off this week!!!

Standing on the lower walkway looking up at the upper walkway - they had a small concert area

Inside the former cotton exchange - the blackboard listed cotton prices around the world

Bale of cotton


Looking across the street at the Confederate Monument

On the one side of the monument - they still don't think they did anything wrong!!!



Did you know that Woodrow Wilson was born and raised in Augusta???


Monument for Springfield Village which was the original black community in Augusta

November 27
Happy Thanksgiving. I had to go out to get a meat thermometer at BiLo, so I decided to do the rest of my Augusta tourist thing. I knew Pam wouldn't want to go see Augusta National Golf Club, and besides, she was busy cooking up some fantabulous Thanksgiving vittles. I had always heard that the Augusta golf club was an impenetrable fortress, so it was clear what I was going to try to do. I wanted to find a way to get a glimpse of the unglimpsable. As I drove around the property, which was surrounded by shrubbery, including double fences and bamboo forests, I found an open gate. Gate six afforded a view of some other gates, and a security office. I stopped the jeep, parked across the street, and jumped out to take a picture. I walked through the open gate, and immediately a security guy popped out of the little security building. He told me that pictures were not allowed, and that I should get back in my vehicle and leave. I knew that was coming, so I said okay, took one more picture, and left. But hey, I had to see for myself. Everything I had heard was true.
I headed towards town, and using my knowledge from biking, and riding around yesterday, I stumbled across the Augusta Canal, which is a waterway that was built from the Savannah River, to afford a water supply to inland textile mills. At the same spot, I found the Confederate Powder Works, which made a majority of the gun powder for the Rebels during the Civil War. According to a historical plaque, it blew up, killing a bunch of people. There was only a large smokestack left from that factory, but a textile mill was built around it in 1880, and it and many mills like it, helped make Augusta a cotton producing capital in the early 20th century, after the invention of the cotton gin, by Eli Whitney. 
After my little adventure, I took the meat thermometer back to Pam, and found her slaving over the hot convection oven and toaster oven, working her Thanksgiving magic. We had a nice meal, and spent the rest of the day, vegetating, and watching parades and football games, getting motivated to roll tomorrow.

Gate at the Augusta National Golf Course

Illegal picture inside the gate!!!

NOT YOU MIKE!!!!

Textile mill behind the chimney that remains from the powder works

Textile mill built in 1880






Looking up at the chimney


The current Georgia state flag - replacing the flag that had the rebel battle flag on it
Thanksgiving dinner is served buffet style