We’d been hearing for almost a week about a big storm coming Thursday, our day to bike to Hohenwald. Normally, weather forecasts are wrong, but this one was right.

We woke up to light rain, which was predicted to intensify during the day. First, we biked over to The Dragonfly, this cute little coffee and gift shop. It was Halloween, so I had a pumpkin pie latte. Remember — this is a town of about 1,000. Amazing to have such a great coffee and gift shop. We picked up some small gifts for our family and sack lunches from Miss Hazelbea’s (reputed to be an awesome cook/baker), and took off in the rain.

Pedaling in the Rain To Hohenwald

No, it wasn’t fun biking in the rain. It was cold and we were quickly soaked. But I was so thankful this wasn’t our 90-mile (145 km) day. All we had to do was bike 36 miles (58 km). We put our heads down and pounded out the miles.

The first time I spied a bathroom, we pulled over. I went inside and – oh, heaven! – it was heated. Ed joined me in the women’s bathroom, and we stood there eating our snack.

Because of the weather, we didn’t stop at most sites, needless to say. But we made sure to stop at the gravesite of Meriwether Lewis, who died on the Trace “under mysterious circumstances” when he was just 35. What those mysterious circumstances were, the signage didn’t say. Hmmm …

It’s too bad it was raining so much. Even in the rain and gloom, we could tell the colors here were spectacular. The most spectacular of our entire ride, in fact. The last few miles before Hohenwald, we had some screaming downhills. Unfortunately, that caused cold winds to blow over me.

Hypothermia Threatens

By the time we walked into our lodging, Fall Hollow, I had a touch of hypothermia. I was shaking so hard, I couldn’t talk or even think. Thankfully, Kathy, one of the owners, asked if I wanted coffee, to go to my room or hot food. She hurried into our room and cranked up the heat, then gave me coffee. I felt better shortly, and then really good once I took a hot shower and put on warm clothes.

We’d arrived around 1 p.m., and spent a lazy afternoon hanging out in the room. And eating Miss Hazelbea’s food, which was every bit as good as we’d been told. Tonight, we had some of the famous fried catfish with hush puppies that Bill serves here. Delicious! Really loving our adventure.

Update: Miss Hazelbea’s is now closed.

My recommended products for cold-weather biking: Hot Hands hand warmers (better than any other brand I’ve tried) and a quality cycling raincoat, like this one by Enduro. They’re pricey, but worth it.

Disclosure: This entry contains affiliate links (among regular links) to products I own and like, or which I think you might like. There may be lodging links as well to places I stayed at and enjoyed. This means that, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.


©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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