Friday, May 25, 2007

Shiloh, Tennessee

It is Friday morning, May 25. We have stayed the night in Savannah, Tennessee, a few miles off the UGRR route from Shiloh, TN. We have covered about 490 miles of the UGRR route so far, about 550 miles overall logged by our bikes.

We are doing well. We have had an absolutely fantastic time biking with our friends, Jim & Mary Beth, and will be sad to say "goodbye" to them when they head back to Huntsville later today. Just a quick recap of the last couple of days: On Tuesday (May 22) we traveled 36 miles from Fulton to Tishomingo State Park, in the northeast corner of the state of Mississippi. We had excellent roads and excellent traveling that entire day, a few impressive hills near the end of the day. A short portion of our trip was on the Natchez Trace parkway, a beautiful road that goes about 450 miles from Nashville, TN to the town of Natchez in MS. The state park at Tishomingo was beautiful, and we had a great campsite on the shore of a small lake there. Jim and Mary Beth had had their car dropped off in advance for them here, so they had their camping equipment available, and we had access to a car to drive around to restaurants, etc. What a luxury!

We decided to take another rest day, and stay in Tishomingo an extra day. We spent the day Wednesday relaxing in the morning, and then went on a really nice canoe ride in the afternoon. In the middle of which we found a place to swim in the river and use a rope swing that allowed us to swing out from the riverbank and plop in the cool water. Lots of fun. Yesterday (Thu, May 24) we traveled from Tishomingo to Shiloh, Tennessee. Joan and I biked it through, a total of about 63 miles. Jim & Mary Beth, drove their car with their bikes directly to Shiloh, left the car there, and started biking the route southbound until they met up with us. We found each other almost exactly at the Mississippi / Tennessee state line. They then turned around and led us back to Shiloh and their car, from which their ferried us and all our bikes to the hotel here in Savannah for the night.

This morning, they will drive us all back to Shiloh. Shiloh, for those who may not know, was the scene of a huge battle during the U.S. Civil War. Over a 3 day period in 1862, 25,000 men died in battle on these fields. Today, there is a large national memorial park, with monuments and explanatory markers located throughout. In biking through just a small part of it at the end of the day yesterday, it appears to be very extensive, and quite a somber place. Jim has been here before, and will give us all a tour of the place by bicycle this morning.

After the tour, we will bid the Chamberlains "farewell" for now. It has been so much fun spending these last 5 days with them and sharing a good part of this bicycling experience with them. And we will then continue our trip north on our own again.

A quick note about the days ahead..... we can tell that we will be having a few days of camping again, as we head up towards the "Land between the Lakes" area of Tennessee/Kentucky. So we will likely have some more days when we appear to drop off the "radar screen". We will do more updates when we can.

Again, thanks for all your comments and messages of support!

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