Canton, Georgia to Meridian, Mississippi

Another day of mostly Highway riding.  I’ve ridden a lot of the US already, and that is not the main event on this trip, so I am just making up lost time getting to the border fairly quickly.  In the US, that means taking the high-speed interstates.  

I only had about 300 miles to do today.  In the past I used to do big-mileage days of 600-800 miles, but nowadays I have slowed down a little.  Those kind of days were never fun, just a necessary evil at times.  300 or under is much more manageable.   Rain was in the forecast for the late afternoon in Meridian, due to a low pressure area over Texas, so I wanted to get going and beat the rain to the hotel.  

After packing up and a coffee, I said my goodbyes to my Dad and Stepmom and headed out from their house in a Southwesterly direction on Georgia’s Highway 411.  I was sad to leave and I know they wanted me to stay longer, but I was already several weeks behind where I wanted to be on this trip.  The morning was cloudy and cool, about 50 degrees, and I was happy I had my water and windproof outer layer on to cut the chill a bit.  Highway 411 was a welcome break from the interstates as I wound my way towards Alabama.  

It wasn’t long before I was in cotton country.  We don’t have cotton fields where I live, so its always interesting to me to see acres of what looks like dead weeds with cotton balls all stuck to them.   The shoulders of the road were covered with cotton that had broken free from its anchor on the plants and blown about until it was brown from the dust and dirt it accumulated.  

In Alabama I caught up with the Interstate again as I headed further Southwest.  I passed through a narrow band of showers, the green on the radar screen of my dash-mounted tablet turning to yellow briefly as I entered a moderate rainshower.  Thankfully the rain didn’t last long enough to get under my rain gear.   Often, when riding in prolonged rain, even the best rain gear eventually succumbs to the relentless droplets and you feel the wetness creeping up your sleeves and down your neck.  

I was through the band of rain in about 10 minutes and back into sunny skies and warmer temperatures.   A quick gas stop and then another 100 miles to Meridian.   Once there, I pulled into the hotel lot, just off a highway exit, and parked under the sheltered area at the front door of the hotel, tucking Bella (the name I have given my Italian bike) away in a corner where she would stay dry from the coming overnight soaker.   It was only a 4.5 hour ride, but I was happy to be there before the rain really started.  I offloaded my luggage and headed to my room to relax and have an early dinner, happy to be truly on my way. 

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