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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011

Day 22 - Day off in Savannah
Day 23 - Savannah to Brunswick, GA
84 Miles

First a little bit about our beautiful day off in Savannah. I had an article due for a trade magazine I write for - so the first three hours were spent knocking that out! Then it was time to play. We had stopped here briefly here years ago, but didn't take in the sights. What a great city. Savannah was settled in 1733 by William Oglethorpe from England. He and 113 others left England for religious reasons ( plus they were cut lose from debtors prison if they agreed to go to America). Oglethorpe layed out the city in 24 squares (parks) with houses on all sides. Twenty two of the original 24 squares survive today. Each is named for an important person from the 18th Century. They all have monuments, fountains, and are surrounded by huge old Spanish moss covered oak trees. The houses are original...all restored and in magnificent shape. In addition to the squares there are several other large parks and the city is on the banks of the Savannah River. Savannah is the second largest port in America...only exceeded by Los Angeles.

One of the original homes that got my attention was the Owen Thomas House completed in 1813. It was the first home in America that had running water and indoor plumbing. Many of the most elaborate homes, including The Thomas House was designed by Wm. Jay a 21 year old architect.

Six of us took a two hour trolley tour . It had 16 stops and you could get on and off at will. We toured the Savannah Historical Museum which had lots of good info on the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, "King Cotton" and slavery. Eli Whitney, of the cotton gin fame, was from Savannah. It is also home to the Savannah College of Art and Design. This is a private college with a student population of over 10,000. They have purchased and restored over 60 building around town - and that comprises their campus! All in all, it was a great day off - and I'd encourage everyone who's not been here to come and spend a few days.

Here's a little on today's bike ride. This was our last "longish" ride - 84 miles. We left the hotel in a very thick fog. ..and it didn't lift until about 10:30. Yes, of course we got drizzled on a bit...just so I can say it's rained 16 of our 20 riding days. Tracy, the lady that runs this tour said it's the worst weather she's seen in doing this for over 15 years. The temp hit 80 degrees and it was fairly humid, but all in all not terribly bad.

We spent about 60 miles on my favorite highway: 17 South but with a whole lot less traffic - so it wasn't so bad. IO rode with two ladies again today (pulling them all the way). We've been labeled "Bubba and the Broads". (Said affectionately of course)!

We stopped at the "smallest church in America" - see picture. There were chairs for 12 people, and a little pulpit up front. I don't know if it ever gets used, but it was very cute.

We passed an elderly black couple and their granddaughter fishing off a bridge. I turned around and went back to check out how the fishing was and was advised "not very good because of a full moon and high tide". See the picture of grandpa and Naomi. When I rode away I thought that they weren't very rich monetarily, but I'll bet they were more happy and content than many people in our great country. I gave Naomi a bag of M & M's and got a huge smile and thank you!

There were numerous historical signs...mostly Civil War related. We passed a big, restored plantation, and had hoped to take the tour, but it was closed.

We're in Brunswick, GA (of which I know nothing). Tomorrow we cross into Florida and pedal to Fernandina Beach...a puney little 61 mile ride (I am sounding a little cocky, aren't I)? With only three riding days left - and all pretty short - I am feeling pretty darn good about the whole experience. Only a few more days to get those donations in...please...thank you!

More tomorrow.

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