Robert and I started our ride with a trip to the Monticello square. Yesterday was the first Monticello farmers market I've been able to go to this year because I've been out of town (riding) every Saturday this season before now. The chamber of commerce has done an excellent job of reinvigorated the market this year. I loved everything about it yesterday. I got some okra, a deer antler chew for my hounds, a fried peach pie, and some lovely broccoli that my friend Laverne grew.
Robert and I stopped by The Vanilla Bean. He had coffee and a scone, and I had a cup of tea and a piece of chocolate meringue pie. I can't eat chocolate pie without thinking of the song "Swingin'" by John Anderson. ("Her brother was on the sofa, eatin' chocolate pie...")
It was late morning by the time we began our ride in earnest, but it had been worth it to spend time in downtown Monticello. We headed out on Highway 212 E. As we approached the county line, Robert and I had different preferences on which way to go. Although 212 E is generally a pretty decent state highway for riding bicycles, Robert wanted to get off it sooner rather than later by taking a left onto Old Hillsboro Road. I wanted to ride several more miles on 212 and turn left on Rabbit Skip Road so that we could ride on Stanfordville Road, one of my favorites. We were riding single file, right on the white line. Just before we had to make a decision on which route to take, some a$$hat in a huge pickup truck passed us, definitely not giving us the three feet required by law. He deliberately gunned his motor and blew black diesel smoke in our faces. I don't like speaking badly of others or using profanity, but a$$hat cracks me up, and that truck driver certainly was one. Robert was probably justified in wanting to take the Old Hillsboro Road option, but he deferred to me since I had planned the outing. I was determined not to let the a$$hat ruin the day. A few miles later on Highway 212, a couple of motorcycles passed us. The second one gave us a vigorous "hang ten" wave. That totally made up for the a$$hat.
Maybe it's a good thing we went to Rabbit Skip Road. We saw a turtle just starting to cross the road, and so we moved it safely to the other side. I always try to help turtles across the road, whether I'm in my car or on my bike. Robert and I were surprised that this was the first turtle rescue of the year for both of us; usually by now we have made several turtle assists.
We arrived in Eatonton and went to Tienda Tarimoro, a wonderful Mexican market. I had been wanting to do a another bicycle trip there since my first visit last September. It has all kinds of specialty items: tropical fruits, masa harina, Mexican pastries, and interesting candies. I'll bet you can get a good deal on the John Paul II candles since he's no longer the Pope. Robert and I got some Mexican soft drinks. Mine was mango flavored. I hoped it would make me extra speedy on the ride home.
From there we rode just a few blocks to the Georgia Authors Museum on the Eatonton square. Previously, I had seen a sign on an old hotel near the square proclaiming the future home of the Georgia Authors Museum, but I didn't know that a smaller version already exists until I visited my local Jasper County library last week (which, incidentally, is part of the Uncle Remus Regional Library System). At the checkout desk I noticed a stack of brochures for the museum. I was delighted to learn that the Georgia Authors Museum highlights three famous authors who lived in or near Putnam County: Joel Chandler Harris, Alice Walker, and Flannery O'Connor. These are the same authors from the terrific Middle Georgia Authors ride that I did a couple of summers ago (see my blog entry from 8/10/14).
The museum is small but has some wonderful resources about the three authors, such as descriptions of their lives and work, autographed first editions, copies of book patents from the Library of Congress, and other memorabilia. In addition to titles that I have already read, I saw other books by the authors, books about the authors... It gave me a bad case of book lust. There are so many books I want to read! Sometimes I wish I could touch a book cover and absorb the contents instantaneously, like a Vulcan mind meld.
Although the museum focuses on Harris, Walker, and O'Connor, in the future it will feature other writers from the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame on a rotating basis. Interestingly, of the 46 authors in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, nine are from within 30 miles of Putnam County.
Robert and I started the journey home, taking a different yet also lovely route. I had checked the mileage of the entire route when I mapped it, and it was exactly 50 miles. As we were leaving downtown Eatonton, Robert led us on some side streets that I hadn't planned on. We got to a dead end and had to turn around. It added about a mile to my intended route. Normally, I wouldn't mind a little extra mileage, but I had already thought of the title for my ride report, and I'm kind of anal retentive about such things. Oh, well - it was actually 51 miles o' fun.
|Robert wore his Italian socks in honor of the Giro d'Italia, but, appropriately, these are also the main colors in the Mexican flag.|