Pickwick Dam TN to Iuka MS
Oct 17, 2012
. The roads finally eased up on us and leveled out around eighteen miles, a phenomena that hasn't occurred since central Illinois (that would be approximately 700 miles ago!). Given that, and even though the weather was nice, one of us was still struggling so we allowed ourselves to just mosey along. Most of the gas stations serve hot lunches so we stopped and split a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some chips, a nice break from the fried catfish. Our route was to take us around Iuka, instead we had to turn off towards town, pulled into a parking lot, asked some guy where we could get air and he directed us to a gas station up the hill - right turn - two blocks (uphill!). But, before that we did a quick tour of the town, a quick stop in the grocery store for dinner (cuz e knew there was NOTHING within 5 miles of the motel) and breakfast (had about enough of those hotel breakfasts) and stop at the pharmaca. So now we get to go (up an even longer hill to get to that gas station) check the air in our tires; Devon's rear tire was really low and that caused her riding to be difficult. Since it was already after two o'clock we decided to look for a closer place to stay. We spotted a motel across the street and we knew so because it had a with a sign by the entrance of the driveway that had nothing more than the word motel! In cases like these we will seek out locals' advice, a place where professionals work (like a bank, pharmacy or church office) and ask if the place is ok to stay. We were told the best place to stay in town was out of town a couple of miles at the Victorian Inn, our original choice. When we plan our day, usually the night before we try to have a back-up plan if we run into problems and yet we can't always do that because some of the areas are so remote. Today our original-original plan we had wanted to go to Tishomingo State Park but we wouldn't have gotten there until around 4:30 and still would have had to set up our tent and fix dinner before dark. As it was, we were a bit dismayed when we finally rode up to the Victorian Inn and saw this motel was so remote with an empty parking lot giving us cause for undue alarm! Although the staff was courteous and friendly and our room had a lovely gold wall color, everything else in the room left a lot to be desired, notwithstanding the hammock for a bed! If it only would have had ropes on the ends and was tied to a tree that could have been fun! at this point we were excited at the prospect of having a healthy dinner, a salad with dark greens, carrots, red pepper, whole grain wheat bread, and the only fish available that needn't be cooked, canned sardines. Another welcome break from fried catfish!
After a day of riding that ended the way it did yesterday, we were so hoping for a good day, at the least. A quick stop at the Post Office at the park's exit and a left out turn out of the state park sent us down State Route 57 toward the Mississippi State Line with a sign proclaiming we'd be there in 5 miles. That was a long five miles..... about forty-five minutes later we were in Mississippi! During those forty-five minutes and the hour following our 'fearless, no fearful! leader' was struggling to make it up any hills, and even across level land to the point of tears, yes, you read that right!! It was as if someone filled the tires with lead. But we had a mission, we had to keep on moving. Before we crossed the state line we had needed to shed some clothing as today was the warmest day we've had since we left Elgin, a bright sun, breezy not windy, with temperatures in the 70's. Although the hills haven't changed, the views of Pickwick Lake were stunning. Along our route we wove from one side of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to the other, crossing over at sporadic intervals