Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October, 12, 2011. Caryville, TN. 46 miles.

We decided that since we did not ride yesterday we would do 2 rides today. We started out on a misty morning--the mountains were shrouded until after noon!

Our first ride started at a shopping center, and went out on country roads to Speedwell, where we stopped for a break at the historic Speedwell Academy. Pat's father used to ride his mule to this school when he was a boy.The outhouses were used back then, but are padlocked now, as is the school building.

We all took a break against the wall of the neighboring church, and ate our snack before continuing on our ride.

Our next stop was at a small bait shop and restaurant, where we had a cup of coffee on the "Liar's Bench".

There is no flat ground here--it's all hills and mountains. We tried to stay together, which is hard even on flat rides! After the bait shop we were on the highway the rest of the way, so the hills were not as steep.

We packed up the bikes and headed back to Tom's house for lunch. Then Tom, Fred, Otis and I got back on the bikes for our second ride. This time it was mostly uphill the first 10 miles, and then downhill on the way back! We passed under the railroad tracks at this trestle, and later in the ride looked down on it from far above, then passed it on a grade crossing... like I said, there is no flat ground here!

Kudzu grows rampant here--sometimes it is hard to identify the things it has grown over.

After our second ride Fred, Tom, Bill and I drove out to see the elk, which were reintroduced here about 2001. They had to put the truck in 4-wheel drive to get up to the trailhead and it was an uphill hike from there to get to their stomping grounds.

We counted 36 elk in the field, and watched them until it was nearly dark. They watched us too, although we are supposed to be invisible...

The mountains were laid out before us, and again we could see the trees beginning to change to their fall colors.

Pat and Doris cooked supper for us tonight, then we watched the Tigers lose another game to the Texas Rangers. It hurt to stay up so late just to see them lose. I never watch television at home, but it's easy to get involved in these games, especially in a houseful of sports fans!

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