We’d been hearing for almost a week about a big storm coming Thursday. 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 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.

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 day. All we had to do was bike 36 miles. 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.
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. 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 when Kathy, one of the owners, asked if I wanted coffee or 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. That night we had some of Bill’s famous fried catfish with hush puppies. Delicious! Really loving our adventure.

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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