Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Selected photos - Start of the trip

Here are some of the photos we took at the beginning of the trip.

(Click on any photo to enlarge, then click "Back" on your browser to return to this blog.)

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.


Russell said...

This is a simply superb site. Your blog was passed to us by our friend Harry Noble with whom you ran the Antartica marathon.

We empathise with everyone of your emotions so graphically expressed. Your description of the bench outside the closed gas station and the relief it gave was brilliantly accurate, As was that of the little town where you expected to be able stay / pitch a tent and had to cycle another 17 miles . What we didn't have the energy for was to record all this . Many congratulations . Would welcome hearing ultimately how you get back to your departure point . We had to rent a UHaul 17 ft truck - 5 miles to the gallon 850 miles back to Alton. Dreadful. Burn fat , not oil we say .

We enjoyed the small towns which tell you as you enter that the poulation is 19 . Seriously overstated in our view. Met the mayor in one such `town ` and even got a PC from him on our return !

We'll read the rest of your blog with interest. We now live ( and cycle ) in Aspen , CO, having lived last 34 years in Edinburgh . Would love to see you if ever you are this way .

In meantime our very best wishes . And keep kvitching - it helps - we know.

George and Mary

Mike said...

George, Mary,
Thanks for your kind comments. You obviously have a bank of some pretty great biking adventures too! It does help us to know that others have experienced similar enjoyments and pains!

As far as getting ourselves and our bikes back home, that is still to be determined. Since we'll be a couple of hundred miles into Canada at the end, it is not a simple matter of renting a car or van, as you can't do that & drive across the border. We are thinking about a train to the border, then renting a car to get home. We could always turn around and bike back to the border too, but the hills in that section don't sound like ones I'd want to do twice. I guess we'll all have to stay tuned to find out for sure!

Thanks again, and keep on pedaling!