Hank – We got up at 5:00 am so we could cover some miles while it was still cool. We were on the road before 7:00. Our route today was following US Hwy 70A east until it joined US Hwy 70 with our destination being New Johnsonville, TN.
We stopped at Joe’s BBQ and Diner in Humboldt for a good meal to fuel us for the remainder of our ride. While we were deciding which table to sit at a gentleman sitting at a long table with a few other men told Kathy, “This is the Liar’s Table. You have to tell some good whoppers to be able to sit here.” We sat at a small table next to them. And so we met Leon Thorne and Woody Brooks and a few other guys.
Once they learned about our adventure it was if we were now celebrities. They all peppered us with questions and talked over each other trying to get us to answer. Leon shared photos of some coyotes and bobcats he had trapped. He doesn’t do it for the money but to give prey animals a better chance at surviving. Woody is in his 70s and he plays 27 holes of golf every day.
Next thing we know Ron Parks of the Carroll County News Leader shows up to interview us and take our pictures. They like to do articles on people like us. Ron said it’ll be a couple of weeks before it’s in the paper because he is slammed with graduation stuff right now.
And word must spread fast because a couple walked in, pointed at us, and asked, “Are these the bike people?”
Tony, the owner, came out. They have photos of people on the walls all over the diner. Earlier I asked Leon how you get your photo up there. He joked that you have to be famous. Then he pointed out a black and white picture of Woody and his wife from many years ago. I included a copy above.
Tony showed us two newspaper articles on the wall. One was of a veteran who was running from California to New York City. The other was about a Christian missionary riding a bicycle and wearing a huge backpack. He was going from New York to California. They crossed paths east of Humboldt and the runner told the cyclist to stop here at the diner. He ended up staying here three days and Tony put him up in a office that he had converted to living quarters a few years ago when he bought the diner. He asked if he could take our picture to put on the wall. We were happy oblige. I’m sure the newspaper clipping will join it when it comes out. We wished we could stay longer and enjoy the company of the liar’s table but we had to get moving so we said our farewells.
We had halfway decent shoulder on US Hwy 70 leaving Humboldt. A couple of miles out of town Woody passed by in his truck honking and waving.
The shoulder was even better a few miles later after passing through Bruceton. But we still had sections where we were in traffic. Fortunately all the drivers played nice.
We arrived in New Johnsonville and got a cheap motel room. Last night was another hot and sticky night interrupted by the occasional train horn. I told Kathy I’d like some A/C tonight. Tomorrow night we’ll likely camp out again.
After cleaning up we strapped a bag of dirty laundry to my front rack and rode a mile to the laundromat and grocery store. We got some food and cleaned our clothes so we’re set for tomorrow.
I was wondering why this town is called New Johnsonville. It turns out Johnsonville is underwater thanks to the Tennessee Valley Authority building the Kentucky Dam. Everyone was moved here, hence the “new” name. So there ya go.
Kathy – We rode 47 miles today with a variety of hills and flatlands. We had about 1,500 feet of climbing in sunny 88 degree temps. With the humidity at 90% again today, you can say we rode in the mid to high 90s. It was a hot one and we were sweating like crazy, so we stopped every 10 or so miles for hydration and to take a break from the sun. Because of the heat we really just took it town-to-town today and eventually got to our destination. Must say, I love the honeysuckle vines that are everywhere in this area. We have been enjoying their sweet smell for the past four days. It is SO much better than roadkill smells!
Well, we met more great people today. We just love the small towns. That’s were the kindest and friendliest people tend to live. After leaving the wonderful people in Atwood, Tennessee this morning we meet more fantastic people in Humboldt, Tennessee today. Tony and his wife own “Joe’s BBQ and Diner.” I figured his name would be Joe, but he said they are the fifth owners of this restaurant since the mid 1970s… and it is Tony. 😊
As Hank stated above, we were like celebrities at the restaurant. Everyone wanted to talk to us. We couldn’t answer everyone’s questions fast enough. Apparently word quickly got around town and before you know it Ron from the local newspaper showed up with his camera around his neck and his reporter’s pad and pen in hand ready to interview us.
These guys and gals at the “Liar’s Table” and everyone else at the restaurant were super friendly, funny, and simply a joy to chat with. The “Liar’s Table” is a section of table all pushed together that seats about 15 people. During our 1.5 hours at the restaurant it was interesting to see so many people come in, sit down at the Liar’s Table and bond with each other. They talked about everything – family, friends and community events. It was pretty sweet to witness this. After our quick interview with Ron at the local paper, we finished up our breakfast and decided to get back on the road. Hank and I could have easily spent a few more hours talking to all the locals and learning more of their stories. They really were good people. Hank picked a great breakfast stop! Meeting these amazing people is what makes our trip so enjoyable.
Onward to now… Tonight we have one of those really tacky and dirty hotels. It’s the only hotel around so we can’t be picky. There is just so much wrong, I’m going to try describing just some of it… A half of a dead cockroach stuck to the wall, mold and mildewy shower, toilet tilting over when you sit on it, outside lights in the inside of the room, holes punched in the walls, yellow stains on the ceiling due to previous water leaks, cigarette burns in the comforters, large holes in the shower tiles that are just open for the water to flow into, stained white (really dingy yellowish) towels, wide gap between the hotel door leading outside and the rooms walls, filthy walls, ceiling, counters, tables, etc. How could you have so much dirt on doors, door frames, tables and counters and not see it when cleaning the room each day? We are always good tippers, but we are not leaving a housekeeping tip when we leave in the morning it’s just too bad here. Also, Hank took off the plastic, protective cover that was on the TV. It was pretty dirty, mangled up and even had the corner advertisement still attached. Not sure how long or why this flimsy cover that distorted the TV’s views was still on the TV but it looked like it’s been a long time. 🧐😏🙄
This hotel is rating up there in our top five most disgusting places so far. I told Hank tonight, after this trip he will not get me to stay in one of these dumps again. 🥴 And just so know, all my pannier bags will be rolled up and clamped shut to avoid any critters (roaches) joining us tomorrow when we leave. It’s pretty disgusting here. Now on the positive note, we are clean, out of the bright harsh sun and humidity, and we have air conditioning! I am trying to count my blessing for the hotel room, while being very careful of what I touch. 🙈🙈🙈
Now then… it was a good days ride, and we met lots of great people. It’s gonna be in the low 90’s tomorrow not counting the humidity, looking forward to checking out of this dumpy hotel and getting an early riding start. 🚴♀️ 🚴♂️
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