Day 75 Dover to Dickson - Two Far 2016 - Florida to Ontario: A Round Trip - CycleBlaze

August 14, 2016

Day 75 Dover to Dickson

Today wasn't the most fun I've ever had on a bike. It was the biggest climbing day so far and relatively long for all the elevation we had. It was also mile 54 before we had our first Diet Coke, so you know we were feeling stressed and deprived! I had located convenience stores all along the route, with the longest interval between stops only 13 miles. It didn't work out that way. The first store was closed on Sundays. We stopped at the second planned store, which was mile 24 and had good breakfast biscuits, juice and tea. We would have Coke at the next stop, another 13 miles. Well, when we climbed all the hills to reach that store, it turns out that it had recently had a fire and was closed. I will be honest and tell you that I had a little meltdown at that point. I didn't want to ride another inch - maybe not ever! But, we had a roadside rest and I vented my frustration and felt better. And, there was another store just 8 miles ahead. You can guess what is coming here - that store was out of business. We had another roadside break and talked with a nice guy running a little flea market type stand. On we went and shortly I got a text from Viktoriya that there was a gas station open at mile 54. (Team A rode ahead of us today.) Joy! We had our Diet Cokes and some snacks and took a nice long break there. We had conversations with several people who were really interested in our trip. We felt almost good by the time we left. It was only 6.5 miles from there to our hotel. Just to make today really special, we had rain the last mile.

Now that we're in our comfortable room, showered and fed, I'm thinking that I might consider riding again tomorrow :)

In this long tale of woe, I didn't mention that we did have an interesting side trip first thing this morning. We went to Fort Donelson, a Civil War site at Dover. It was the place where Ulysses Grant had his first major victory in February, 1862 and earned the nickname "Unconditional Surrender Grant". The best thing at Fort Donelson was meeting volunteer Shirley Knight who had good stories about Civil War history in the area and even better stories about Jack and Lizzie, a pair of eagles who has nested in the area since 2004.

Fort Donelson cannons facing Cumberland River
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Earthworks at Fort Donelson
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Living at Fort Donelson
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Fort Donelson hut
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Another cool thing which happened today was on a narrow, twisting road. A man pulled over and motioned for us to stop. He wanted to warn us to be very careful because two cyclists had recently been run off the road by cars on that stretch. He seemed sincerely concerned for us. We made it safely through about a four mile stretch, then the road straightened out. About this time, a golf cart came across the yard from a home next to the road. It was that same guy. He must have been watching for us to be sure we made it OK. He gave us a big smile and thumbs up as we rode by. It was a good feeling to have him making an effort to watch out for us.

Today's ride: 60 miles (97 km)
Total: 3,493 miles (5,621 km)

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