Hank – Wow, the storms that came through last night were not shy about making themselves known. The hotel shook from thunder that seemed to originate right outside our window. Kathy and I were both happy we were not in a tent.
After checking the weather this morning we decided to try for Woodbine, GA, which is about 45 miles away. We hoped to arrive by 3:00 when a light rain is due there. We stopped by a Circle K where Kathy picked up an orange juice for later. We rode along US Hwy 17 for 8-9 miles and then turned off on some back roads. The short cut would save us about five miles.
Around the halfway point we stopped to eat lunch in Dock Junction. From there we took highway 303 until it connected with 17, which would take us to Woodbine. We stopped at a Winn-Dixie store to eat an apple and grab a couple other snacks for the road.
Once we got back on 17 we were headed west for nine miles. Thunderstorms passed along our right and we stayed on the fringe until the highway turned south. Then we had ten miles of light rain with the sky behind us and to our right sparking and rumbling. We were motivated to increase the distance between us and the storms. Every five minutes got us a mile further away.
During the last two miles the clear skies ahead of us disappeared and the rain increased. Once into town we stopped at the Camden County Fire Rescue station and asked about open restaurants. This being a Sunday, there wasn’t much they could offer other then the gas station across the street where you could get a pizza. But they did inform us that there’s a tornado watch and bad weather is hitting here soon. So instead of tenting it somewhere we went for the only motel in town, the Stardust Lodge Motel. Fifty bucks got us a room.
We sat out the wind, lightning, thunder, and buckets of rain until it all passed by. After it cleared up I got a pizza and two large cans of Mike’s Hard Lemonade at the gas station. The guy there adds toppings to a frozen cheese pizza. I had him add hamburger, onions, and mushrooms. We were hungry enough that it tasted delicious. The hard lemonade rounded out the night. Tomorrow we have more thunderstorms to deal with. We’ll decide what we’re doing in the morning.
Kathy – Our 46-mile ride was pretty pleasant except for the thunderstorms. It was a hot 78 degree day which equated to us being drenched from all the humidity in the air. Today we had a small shoulder or no shoulder at all to ride on. Happy to report almost every car today moved over for us to give us space. I’m thinking the Georgia drivers might get the “Most Courteous” award for yielding to cyclists.
This afternoon we stopped by a grocery store to pick up a few things. We both were a little hungry and wanted a few minutes off the bikes so we decided to eat our apples outside the store. Just as we sat down on the nice comfy bench a guy in the parking lot starts playing an accordion. Polka music was blaring right in front of us!
It was a family of five with a sign asking for donations. It looked like they do this often. Dad had a large speaker with a well-used sign in front of it asking for money. He was playing the accordion and mom was dancing with the baby on her shoulders. A boy and girl (approximately 5 & 7 years old) were going to cars and asking customers if they could help put groceries in their cars for donations. Between the music and putting groceries in the cars they were getting donations. I have mixed feelings about these situations. I feel for them and want to help, but also know there are tons of services in almost all communities to help families in need. I felt for the children too.
Then Hank told me the dad wasn’t even playing the accordion, it was piped music from his speaker box. He was occasionally opening and closing the instrument and only using one hand on the keys now and then. Why would you bring your family to the grocery store and start playing loud polka music and ask for donations on a Sunday afternoon? I’m still not sure what to think of this family. I’m questioning if they were really in need of help to feed their family or was this a way to get free money? I’m not sure but the whole thing didn’t sit right with me. Regardless, the music was so loud that we chose to move on.
We continued our ride to Woodbine, Georgia. The lightning was in front of us and to our right side. The thunder was a constant roar with occasional booms. It was windy, but not too bad. We pushed hard to get though the miles today. We didn’t even stop for a break our last 20+ miles because of the weather. The rain was light overall with fog surrounding us. It looked like it was 5-6pm not 1pm. Just as we were arriving over the main bridge into the city of Woodbine the rain began to pour and the sky’s took a turn for the worst.
We stopped at the fire station hoping to find a restaurant open on Sunday in this small town of 1,321 people. Once we found out about the tornado ten miles south of us and the worst of the storm system heading our way, we immediately headed over to the Stardust Lodge Motel, the only hotel in town. Lucky for us our pretty minimal room only cost $50. We are dry now and in a concrete building as the storms are projected to continue all night. Thank for our cheap motel and really warm shower tonight. 🤗🤗🤗
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