Today Ed and I set another record: we biked 90 miles, farther than either of us has ever biked before. It wasn’t as difficult as we’d thought. Maybe we’re becoming conditioned. But back to the start.
We had taxis pick up the two of us and our bikes and drive us to the Trace, since the only routes there were all along really busy roads. It was a wise idea. No stress, safe, saved a few miles’ biking.

The day began a bit cloudy, but the sun came out and the temp soared to the low 80s. As we’d been warned, the “real” hills began north of Tupelo. It seemed like we biked uphill about 90% of the time, although we once enjoyed a two-mile downhill.
As we’d also been told, the colors were great. More than great. It was just a joy to bike through gorgeous foliage all day.

As far as historic sites, there was an interesting section of the Old Trace where there were grave stones for Confederate soldiers. I don’t have the info at my fingertips, but the soldiers had either died on/near the Trace, or asked to be buried there or something like that. This isn’t historic, but I also really enjoyed a hike at Rock Spring, a pretty trail that included a walk across a creek via stepping stones, a beaver dam and a pond.

Meant to say yesterday that there were 3-4 dead possums in the road. Today we saw a dead skunk, coyote (we think) and a few armadillos. We also saw a dog at one stop (from a little distance) that we thought was dead. But after we stood there a few minutes, he opened his eyes and raised his head. But he didn’t move any other body part. He didn’t bark or whine. He wasn’t bloodied, but appeared sick or injured. I texted a Trace contact, and she was going to alert the proper person to check on the dog. I hope he was O.K.

Tonight’s stop is Collinwood, a cute small town with a great, newer welcome center. There are lots of signs in the small downtown welcoming cyclists, which was so nice to see. We’re staying at the beautiful Miss Monetta’s Cottage, where we have access to a washer and dryer, among many other amenities, and the kind care of owners Dianne and Larry Butler. I highly recommend this place. Can’t forget to note that the restaurant across from the old depot/library makes phenomenal homemade onion rings.

Oh, and how can I forget to note that during today’s 90-miler, we passed through three states?! How fun is that?

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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