Barry made a big plan for his 12th century (100+ mile) bike ride of the year. I'd drop him off at the start of the Chief Ladiga Trail in Anniston, Alabama, and he'd ride all the way to the Georgia border. From there he'd ride the connecting Silver Comet Trail to Atlanta, where we were staying for the next two nights. Even better, his childhood friend Lowell was traveling in the same area, and the old friends would meet and ride part of the way together.
Everything went off without a hitch. We had spent the night in nearby Oxford, about 10 miles away from the trailhead, so in the morning I dropped Barry off at the trailhead.
And he's off! From here, I made the drive over to Atlanta, and Paisley and I waited for him to arrive hours later.
He and Lowell met up as planned and took photos at the state line. Here's the other end of the Chief Ladiga Trail at the Alabama/Georgia state line.
And here's Lowell!
Here's an attractive former railroad depot in Georgia, now a Silver Comet trail stop.
Late in the afternoon, Barry made it to the end of the Silver Comet Trail. He still had a few miles to ride over to our hotel on the Silver Comet Connector.
He made it with a total of 102.... miles!
The next morning, I got to ride part of the Silver Comet Trail myself. I'd planned on about 40 miles but ended up with over 50 as the trail was so nice!
Finally back in the Eastern Time Zone again, we'd next head to western North Carolina to visit my mother and step-dad and pack for our next adventure. Stay tuned to see where we end up!
The day after our long ride on the Tanglefoot Trail, we wanted to do a short recovery ride. Turns out that there was an access point to the Natchez Trace Parkway around four miles from where we were staying in tiny Houston, Mississippi. So, on our second full day, we pedaled over to the Trace on another beautiful (shorts weather!) morning.
The Trace had light traffic even for a weekend (would likely be much lighter on a weekday) and a lower speed limit than most highways. It's flat to lightly rolling in the part of MS we rode in, perfect for a ride.
I thought the name of this rest area along the Trace was interesting so had to turn in to see what it was all about.
Next up: We move east into Alabama and Barry meets up with an old friendl
After leaving the big city of Little Rock, we landed in the small, rural town of Houston, Mississippi for a couple of days of recharging -- and cycling of course!
We stayed at a small "mom and pop" motel that was highly ranked on Tripadvisor. Not fancy but clean, and a good place to relax. We liked that they'd kept their vintage sign even after adding a more modern one. I think the "free wi-fi in rooms" was a later addition to the sign, don't you?
On our first full day in Houston, we rode the entire Tanglefoot Trail. This paved trail is Mississippi's longest rail-trail, so that's what brought us to this area.
The start of the trail was just a short 1.5 mile ride from the motel. We finally had shorts weather again -- gotta love the south in October!
The trail took us through or near several small towns, including Pontotoc.
When we started seeing kudzu growing all over everywhere, we really knew we were back in the southeast!
The trail runs from Houston at its southern terminus to the small city of New Albany at its northern end for a total of 43.5 miles one way. New Albany's downtown is absolutely charming.
We'd read about this amazing bakery in New Albany called Sugaree's, and it wildly exceeded our high expectations. We've been to a lot of bakeries over the past year, and this one certainly ranks up in the top couple we've had the pleasure of visiting.
In addition to standard cases, they also have a frozen case with cake, gelato, and the most amazing ice cream sandwiches. Oh my!
It was incredibly hard to choose, but here are the other goodies we ended up with.
Sugaree's had the most beautiful outside decor. There was a sign up proclaiming them the winner of the downtown beautification project. We could certainly see why!
Also on the main street, I discovered this charming Italian eatery. I love anything with a Boston Terrier logo!
Here's Barry at the final trail mile marker as we turned around to head back to Houston. Half-way done!
Loved this fall decor with a bike theme in someone's yard. Very creative!
At 90 miles total, this was my longest ride of the year. It was a long but fun day. Barry did some extra (of course) to get in his 11th century (100+ miles) this year. Whatta guy!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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