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Again, it was so nice for us to wake up, the only ones there with the Columbus BMX track. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and we even slept in a little bit. We eventually got dressed, loaded our bikes and rode out.
We had set out GPS to the nearest McD’s, which was about 17 miles down the road. We rode away from Columbus on Route 11 for quite some time before we encountered a road sign announcing that the road ahead would be closed in 7 miles. It didn’t give any detour info, so we figured there would be a detour set up further along the route. We double checked our GPS and Google maps and it looked like there would be options ahead, so we pedaled on.
About 6 miles later, we came upon a road sign declaring “local traffic only” and we decided to see if the closure was something we could navigate around. In the past, we got lucky on a few closures. Typically, they were bridges that were no longer safe for vehicles or that were being re-worked; we were usually allowed to cross so we hoped this situation would be the same.
We rode on and came to a construction crew. They were working on an overpass and we asked if we could cross. One guy explained that it was a really bad idea since they just started spreading Lime on the bridge; it was dusty and we’d each need a breathing apparatus to cross. He suggested an alternate route which would add about 5 miles to our journey. We agreed and started heading back in the direction of the first turn. When we first approached him, he was talking with 2 women in a red SUV and then returned to them as we rode away.
As we made the first turn, the red SUV passed us, as well as a few other cars. After a while, the red SUV returned; the driver said she had double checked the route he proposed and gave us detailed turn by turn directions that would put us on the other side of the overpass. It was really kind of her to do so and we thanked her. Her directions were spot on and we arrived at the other side of the overpass after a few hilly back roads.
We headed for the McD’s but we spied a Wendy’s just after it and decided it was a good day to “change it up”. Some Wendy’s advertise free Wifi and we hoped that this one was one of those. It was not but we enjoyed a change in menu. After we ate, we rode a block back to the McD’s and quickly posted our blog. We then re-set the GPS for our pre-decided campground and headed towards it. Again, we got beautiful riding weather, albeit a little hot, and headed onto Route 31.
We followed Route 31 and as we got closer to the campground, checked the GPS for a grocery store nearby. All of the stores were past our destination. We eyed a gas station convenience store and stopped to see if they had anything that would “do” for dinner. The Beast spotted Ramen Noodles and since there was not much else, we got them as “a backup”. We pedaled further and saw a Family Dollar store and Frankenbutt suggested we stop to see if they might have something better than or to go with the Ramen Noodles.
We found cans of Hormel Chunky Chili with beans and decided that it would be a good accompaniment to the noodles. We also found “just add water” chocoloate chip (the Beast’s favorite!) and Buttermilk pancakes for $1 a pack. Although we haven’t had much success with pancakes thus far, we decided to give it another shot. We loaded up our groceries and hit the road again.
Our GPS then led us onto some gravel back roads that were as bumpy as one of the logging roads we took during our ride away from Punta Gorda, FL. On the bright side, there were hardly any vehicles and we got to ride side by side and chat. Just as we rounded the corner of a corn field, my rear tire made the familiar hiss of a flat. We pulled into the shade while Frankenbutt assessed the situation. He re-inflated the tire, allowing the “slime” to hold the hole shut. He thought we’d make it the rest of the way to the campground since it was only another 4 miles.
I must admit that we were all pretty tired by the time we pulled into the campground. We talked proudly about having ridden almost 50 miles until the Beast said, “what would our ‘MAY’ selves think of it?”, referencing the month when we routinely did over 50 miles a day. She was right; we had gotten very relaxed in the last few weeks now that our final destination was within reach. Nonetheless, I think the heat wore us out a bit and we were glad to take a rest in the shade of our campsite before we started dinner.
The Chili and Noodles made a good dinner and we found ourselves in our sleeping bags by 9 pm. The Beast checked email on her phone, I read and Frankenbutt played video games on the laptop. I think I was the first one to give up and turn out my head lamp and the other two, I mean three (Coco), soon followed. Thankfully, the cool night air made for an excellent tent sleeping night.