Friday, May 1, 2015

Day 5 Saturday 5-16-15 - Columbus GA to Eufaula AL

The ride from Columbus GA to Eufaula AL is mostly rolling hills that skirt the western boundary of Fort Benning and then follows the Chattahoochee  River south to Eufaula . +26 ft. is the total gain in elevation for the day, with a grade of 5.3% at mile 14.2 and a grade of 6.3% at mile 26.6. At mile 10.5, we will pass through Fort Mitchell Alabama. This is the exact route Bill and I took in the eighties. Fort Mitchell was originally a garrisoned fort intended to provide defense for the area during the Creek War (Indian Wars) (1813-1814). Today, Fort Mitchell (population 4,047) has more dead people than live people. Fort Mitchell National Cemetery is located here and is one of the 130 United States National Cemeteries. It has interred approximately 5,000 individuals since it officially opened its 280-acre site in 1987. It serves as a national cemetery in Federal Region IV, to serve veterans residing in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
80's Trip - Fort Mitchell AL Post Office

The last 3 miles of the trip follow the The Yoholo Micco Creek Indian Trail. The trail is named for Chief Yoholo Micco, the Creek Indian leader of Eufaula Town who was driven from this area with his people in 1836. The trail winds along and then crosses Lake Eufaula on the old railroad trestle, through residential areas and ending at Old Creek Town, the site of an old Indian village. I will stay at Quality Inn & Suites 631 E Barbour St Eufaula, AL 36027 (334) 687-4414. Back in the eighties, Bill and I stayed at this same motel. Back then it was a Holiday Inn complete with the iconic Holiday Inn sign that so many of us remember. I found this picture of the sign. That's the Walter F George lake in the background. It was named after a US Senator from Georgia. The state line between Alabama and Georgia meanders down the lake. It didn't set too well with the people in Alabama that the Lake was named after a Georgia Senator, so in 1963 (respectfully 6 years after old Walter F George died) the Alabama state legislature passed a resolution naming it Lake Eufaula. So, the lake has two names. If you step three (3) feet onto the bridge you see in the picture, you are in Georgia - that's how close the line is at this point. On the eighties trip, while crossing the railroad tracks coming into Eufaula, Bill popped several spokes.
Bill at Bridge showing off his stitches - 80's trip

As he was cutting the tire off his bike, he stabbed himself in the thigh. He had to go to the Eufaula Medical Clinic for stitches. I thought the trip was over because there wasn't a bike shop in Eufaula and I figured he wouldn't be able to ride with stitches in his leg. We ended up taking a Greyhound the next day to Dothan where we found a bike shop. They fixed Bill's wheel and he soldiered on, stitches and all.

Waiting for the bus to Dothan
Holiday Inn Eufaula AL

Most of the newer development of restaurants and stores has taken place in South Eufaula, including a Walmart.  Supercenter, Zaxby's, and Hardees which we will pass leaving town in route to Dothan.


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