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a little ride through georgia: decatur to eatonton

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as some of you may already know, i rode my bike to eatonton this past saturday.  i brought the camera along to document the ride for you.  to give you a little background info, here's the gps data, in case you're into that kind of thing.  if you'd rather have a simpler map, today's your lucky day.  the ride starts in decatur, a suburb of atlanta, maybe ten miles from downtown.  10 miles might seem like far, but in atlanta, it's nothing.  the suburbs go out some 30 miles in all directions.  eatonton is a town some 75 miles east.  nothing much happens in eatonton, unless you follow the NFL.  it's in between two lakes in what is known as the dairy capital of georgia.  i'm familiar with the place only because that's where my brother lives.  he's a large animal vet.  the dairy cows are his patients.  it's good work if you like the back side of cows.  back to the cycling after the jump...

unfortunately, i had some camera issues at the start.  batteries were low.  something i was aware of.  i took some pics and figured i would get batteries at a gas station on the way out of town.  which i did.  stuck them in the camera, and got some error message about disc formatting.  i didn't have a choice so i formatted.  bye bye pics from the start of the ride.  quick recap:  uneventful, nothing much to look at.  i make my way out of the city.  under the perimeter, over 20, take a left on 212, ride some miles, find a gas station and get the batteries.  now the camera's working, albeit it a little amnesic.  here's where we start:

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route 212.  maybe 20 miles into the ride.  i'm feeling good.

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the road is nice.  it's looks more or less like this the whole way.

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every 5 or 10 miles for the first part of the ride you get to an intersection with a gas station or two.

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but for the most part, it's like this

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you just go.  no reason to stop.  no lights, no stop signs, no traffic.  you can see far ahead, which means cars coming up on you see you long before they're up on you.  they can easily drift into the other lane to give you plenty of space as they pass, and most of them do.  as you get closer to monticello, you notice that a lot of the people seem to be towing things

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sure sign that you're getting close to a body of water

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like all georgia lakes, this one's artificial.  it's nothing special, but in the summer, the water's a welcome relief from the unbearable heat and humidity.  

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after the lake, it's back to this

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notice how nice the pavement is.  that's one of the best things about georgia.  infrequent freeze/thaw cycles mean the roads don't crack all over the place.  i'm about 40 miles in here.  time to take a little break.  if find a nice little side road

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and eat one of these

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tasty.  the neighbors are jealous.

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does bruseghin have a house in georgia?  nevermind.  let's keep things moving.  we're approaching monticello.  the flowers are blooming.

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looks pretty.  if only they were the only things blooming.  but no.  there's 10,000 different plants that bloom in the spring in georgia and the pollen counts hit ridiculous levels.  you have no idea.  you can see the pollen everywhere.  you can taste it.  you can feel it in your eyes.  but i digress.  much like my thoughts wonder when i go on these long solo rides.  it's actually one of my favorite things about solo ride, being alone with the thoughts, unencumbered by the usual distractions.  back to reality, i'm entering monticello

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it's been some miles since i've had to deal with traffic, its lights and its rules.  gotta pay attention.  this picture's not much to look at

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but it shows two things that might be of interest.  for one, you can see the exposed georgia clay.  nice and red.  you can also see the world famous yellow amercian school bus. speaking of americana, here's your gratuitous biker shot:

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followed by a little walk down memory lane:

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there's some nice houses in monticello.

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and some aging reminders of a more industrious past

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the town square is large and well kept.  

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it seems to be a pretty lively place.  there's a few shops and some restaurants there.  people walking around.  that's about all i know about the place.  we stopped at the chinese restaurant here on the way down to savannah once.  nothing else to report, so let's get on our merry way.  this is the road out of town.

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and the houses along it.

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and now on to my favorite section of the ride.  hwy 16.  no, this is not sparta.  sparta is a little east of here.

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(any city in antiquity you can think of, georgia has a town named after it.  we've got athens, rome... we've also got funny names like intercourse, or hopeulikeit.  but i'm ramblin' again.)  anyway, this road is sweet.  it was repaved a little over a year ago.  it goes through a national forest.  traffic is minimal.  

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the asphalt is smooth as hell.  the road is never flat, but never anywhere close to steep, something i love after 50 miles.

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the locals are friendly

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seriously, look at this road

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this part is in the middle of a national forest.  not much of one.  we have much nicer ones in the northern part of the state.  this one is more of a work in progress.  a kind of post logging forest revival thing.

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half way between monticello and eatonton, you cross the county line.

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this isn't nam, this is putnam.

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before you know it, you've ridden 20 miles and you're now in eatonton.

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home to the uncle remus museum

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this is the center of town.

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where i take a left down a road with some nice southern homes.

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this one i like a lot.

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check out the detail.

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the window asymmetry in this one is interesting.

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and some more houses.

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and a church.

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this is where the gps stops.  a couple miles later, i'm at my destination.

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where i spend the weekend with my buddy otis.

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thanks for riding along.

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