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May 11, 2007: All of our worldly possessions for life on the road for the next month or so are laid out on the bed in our hotel room in Mobile, AL, the night before the start of our ride.
Here are our bikes, loaded and ready to go.
Here's a look at the maps we use. Purchased from Adventure Cycling, specific to the UGRR route, each map has 14 map blocks, each representing about 30 miles, and show the roads to take, turns to make, major landmarks, locations of service stations, hotels, campgrounds, grocery stores, etc. They are fortunately printed on a heavy laminated stock and weather well, because we find that we are handling them often! The entire UGRR route takes 5 map segments like the one shown below.
The official starting point of the Unground Railroad Route: The corner of Royal and St. Louis Streets in Mobile, where prior to 1860 an active slave market was located.
Upon leaving downtown Mobile, we crossed Mobile Bay, and saw the USS Battleship Alabama, permanently docked as a museum in Battleship Park.
And we took the opportunity to do a ceremonial dipping of the rear wheel of our bikes in the waters of the Bay. The trip will be completed when we dip the front wheel of our bikes in Lake Huron at Owen Sound, the end of the route.