The Grand Tour of Georgia 2021

Once again I attempt to embark on the Grand Tour of Georgia. Last year I barely got started in August and I got sick with what I still believe was Covid19. I recovered handsomely but never got back on the road to complete the tour. This year I am at it again, and the theme is sites and locations that have been used in other challenges and tours in the past.

This past Friday I knew the storm known as Claudette would be sweeping through on Saturday so I got up early Friday morning and departed Slablog central to head east across the Florida panhandle, eventually headed for Jackie Robinson’s birthplace just south of Thomasville, Georgia. That would be my first stop.

On the way across Florida on Hwy 90 I watched the sun rise and as soon as I spotted a McDonalds open I stopped for a morning coffee and sausage burrito. Moving on I needed water so I pulled into this small convenience store just west of Bonifay, Florida and backed into a parking space. Once inside I looked back at the bike and realized my luggage rack stabilizer cross bar had come detached and was hanging by only one of four bolts. It was pure luck I did not lose it completely. There were 4 or 5 old timers sitting outside in front of the store and I asked them if anyone knew where I could get some more bolts and nuts. One of them said he may have something in his toolbox on his truck, so we went out to his truck. He rummaged through his toolbox and found one small bolt and nut with washers that would work but were still 2 short. He pulled out a scrap length of very thin, but strong, baling wire and we used that to tie together the other two holes. I thanked him and asked his name. He said if anybody asked, to just tell them an old farmer helped me out. I doubted the robustness of the mechanical solution and suggested I head straight back home. He chastised me and said NO! Don’t worry about that wire. It will take you all day long and further. To go ahead with my trip and don’t worry about it. I did, and I didn’t worry any more. That wire is still holding those attachment points together in lieu of nuts and bolts.

Once I got the necessary photographic documentation of Jackie Robinson’s birthplace, I moved on to Moultrie, GA for my next stop. Outside the courthouse annex is a statue of an old soldier sitting on a bench. The sculpture is titled, “The Greatest Generation”.

I took my picture and quickly geared back up for the next location, which was in Albany, GA. The “Ray Charles Plaza” downtown. See below.

My final stop before heading back to Alabama was up near Dawson, GA way out off the beaten path to a little stone/cement marker in the edge of the woods. It commemorates the battle of Echowanotchaway Swamp between State militia and Creek indians in 1836. I’m not sure who won but there’s a marker right there.

That ended my stops for the day and I directed Lil Chubb back toward the house. I finally got home right at 6pm, just 13 hours after leaving that morning. That luggage rack support bar indeed held up the whole way!