Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bicycling from Leesville, South Carolina to Augusta, Georgia (November25)

58.61 miles in 5:22.....(258.54).....Freshly armed with the knowledge that I am in the 'Sandhills' area of South Carolina, and the GPS girl is not at all adverse to guiding me to a four mile sand dune to save a mile or two, I researched today's course, before I left, with Google Earth. This app actually shows me what the road surfaces look like, and I'm glad I did. GPS would have taken me on another sand road. Armed with that knowledge, it was very easy to take a little detour to find rideable surfaces. What did we ever do without all this technology! I also researched the reason for this deep sand so far inland. We are way  over 100 miles from the ocean, but the Sandhills region of north and South Carolina is an ancient strip of beach dunes, which generally divide the Piedmont region from the coastal plains. It is evidence of a former coastline, 20 million years ago, when the ocean was either higher, or the land lower around here. I never learned that in seventh grade geography! That's why I love this course I am taking at the university of retirement!
The day dawned warm (55 degrees) and threatening. I don't think it ever completely stopped raining last night, and it really didn't stop raining, sprinkling, misting, and being intensely humid today. The temperature didn't change all day, and I couldn't resist the temptation to wear biking shorts. That made for some cool conditions, but the legs held up much better today, as they should. The first twenty miles, until I got to Aiken, South Carolina, were basically back roads that paralleled Interstate 20, in a drunken sort of way. I saw lots of 'broiler farms', which are chicken farms. I also saw another 'pet' deer, in a fenced in area, like a dog. Depending on the direction of the wind, I knew when I was within a mile of one of these farms. There were miles of replanted tree farms, in various stages of growth, and a pond or swampy area at the bottom of each rolling hill I descended. Things are flattening out a little bit, as I only climbed about 1600 feet today. Lots of gradual, half mile, ascents and descents.
When I rolled into Aiken, I picked up US1, which was a four lane, and I was on pretty major roads for the last 40 miles of the ride. That's highly unusual for GPS girl, unless there just is no other way to go. Aiken is a pretty big town so it took me a while to get into downtown, and when I did, I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty, even at this time of year. Wide, one way streets with green space medians, and a Main Street where people were sitting at outdoor cafes, even in the coolish,  wetish, conditions. This is where GPS girl told me to do a u turn, right in the middle of town. I did, and she had me do another, so I was going in a circle when I decided that she was playing with me again, since I shut her down on the sand road thing. I followed my instincts, went the direction I thought I should go, and she recalculated and everything was fine. Once again, no apology. To be fair, I did do a severe direction change, to get around something, before leaving the downtown area on a beautiful road, lines with forty foot magnolia trees, stately mansions, and beautiful brick ranch houses on two acre lots. From there, it was small town after small town along SC 421....Warrenville, Gloverville, Langley, Burnettown, Bath, Clearwater...Then it was a state route into North Augusta, which is actually still in South Carolina, and a pretty busy ride through a pretty big town. I crossed the Savannah River, and I was in Georgia. I followed 12th Street, through a very poor part of town, that had so many condemned, abandoned and caving in houses, that I wondered where anybody lived. More traffic, drivers that were on the edge of crazy, and lots of intersections, got me onto US 25 south, headed towards the campground. US 25 was a downright busy, five lane highway, that took me away from town, to Finns Inn Campground.

Chicken farm and brown grass

Reforested areas are always planted in straight lines

Tractor trailer sized bail of cotton


Welcome to Georgia!

Savannah River


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