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Day 40: Attalla, AL to Cedartown, GA

54 Miles - Cold and Humid; Piedmont, AL; Georgia State Line; Met Janet Jenkins In Cedartown - March 31, 2011

Gadsden, Alabama

Gadsden, Alabama

In Gadsden, a car with a bike rack stopped beside me at a red light. The driver lowered the window and introduced himself as a cyclist, and we briefly talked about my cross-country ride. "I started in California six weeks ago!" I shouted. Then the light changed and we went on our way. It put a smile on my face.

Erica and Isaac A roadside memorial on Highway 278, east of Gadsden.
Rocking Chairs

Hokes Bluff, Alabama

Rocking chairs at a convenience store in Hokes Bluff.

Piedmont, Alabama

Green Powerade

Piedmont, Alabama

The riding was not easy. Yet another overcast day with temperatures in the low 50's with 98% humidity. I felt like I could go crazy!

Thankfully, the spacing of towns with lodging worked to my advantage. Lodging existed in Piedmont, AL (25 miles), Cedartown, GA (52 miles) and Carrollton, GA (77 miles). Thus I reduced the ride to three segments: Just get to Piedmont ... then get to Cedartown ... then go to Carrollton if you want.

At Piedmont, I had my first major rest at a Taco Bell. I wasn't hungry, but I had to get inside. The heat felt so good.

Also, I mixed more orange and blue Powerade, creating that wonderful forest green shade. Don't worry folks, Powerade all tastes the same regardless of color. :)

Alabama Scenery

Alabama Scenery

Hilly, rural country east of Piedmont.

Polk County, Georgia At the Georgia state line, only a small green sign noted the change in states. The sign was so small and ordinary that I didn't photograph it, as I anticipated there woudl be a large "Welcome To Georgia" sign ahead. Well, I never passed one. Thus, my entry into Georgia is documented by the "Welcome To Polk County, Georgia" sign. :) This was my final state to bike through!

Cedartown was only ten miles from the state line, and yet I struggled. The temperature dropped to the upper 40's. My hands frequently had "pins and needles." I couldn't believe how stinking cold it was for the last day of March. With rare exceptions, for much of my tour I worried about heat exhaustion and sunburn, but since Arkansas, I was more concerned about staying warm.

Cedartown, Georgia

Cedartown, Georgia

The historic section of Cedartown.

Cedartown, GA Subway I rested at a Subway in Cedartown. Although it was only 3 p.m., I decided riding to Carrollton wouldn't be a good idea. The sky was so dark and dreary, and the cold weather had taken its toll.

Although disappointed, the ladies at the Subway cheered me up. They made a big fuss over me when they learned I was biking across America. Isn't this a wonderful picture of us? :)

Meeting Janet Jenkins
Steve and Janet

It was meant to be that I stayed in Cedartown, because it opened an opportunity for the one and only Janet Jenkins to visit me. On this Thursday evening, Janet drove one hour and 30 minutes each way from her home in the western suburbs of Atlanta to see me.

Janet and I met on Twitter in 2009 when we caught each other's tweets during those intense protests in Iran, and we quickly became friends. Janet has been in my fantasy football league for the past two years; her team's name is the Hotlanta Divas.

It was so great to finally meet Janet! We went to a Mexican bar & grill in Cedartown and talked the night away. What a girl. :)

Border Mexican Bar & Grill The Border Mexican Bar & Grill.
Janet In the past two years, Janet has taken up weightlifting. She showed me her muscles! :)

Mexican Food My food - a tamale, taco and tostada.
Steve Garufi Eating

Me eating my food. :)

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