I like starting the day in national forests, they’re usually pretty and I feel like I belong there. In McCormick I eat a good breakfast at the Huddle House and buy groceries for the day. I’m out of film, so I buy a bunch more.
It doesn’t seem like long before I cross the state line into Georgia. I give myself a big cheer and laugh – state number 24!
I have to guess my way through Augusta. The sign calls it the Garden City, and indeed there are lots of good, flowery smells in the air. When the road I’m on turns into expressway I have to turn around and get off. I choose to ride down Morningstar Way. There are lots of wealthy homes, even some palm trees. Just about the end of the tour my back tire blows out, a big hole in the outer tire! Lucky I’m in a city, I think. I slap a patch right on the outside of the tire, and it holds some air. Off I go in search of a bike shop. Out of curiosity, I ask any unseen guiding forces around me for help finding one quickly. It doesn’t work. I ride all over Augusta, past projects, parks, Army training stations, and finally back again. Downtown a skateboarder and his girlfriend tell me how to get to a shop on 13th street. I find it and buy a high pressure metro tire and tube. When I have it on and ready to go, the sun is already getting low.
Again I guess my way, riding through decrepit neighborhoods and then rusty factories sitting silently in the evening sun. I cross some tracks and see a Days Inn. Something, a thought or an instinct more than a desire, tells me to stay there. I do it, rolling my bike into the pleasant room just as the sun is ducking under the horizon. I relax, wash my feet, find a movie on the tube. I watch a couple of movies, staying up late.