Monteagle, TN to Counce, TN – 261.4 miles
As soon as I woke up this morning I was reminded of my current age and it was accompanied by song. Yes, it was my birthday. Naomi serenaded me with a beautiful rendition of the traditional song and tried to tell me I was now 34 years old. I denied this and reminded her that I’m actually only 25.
We had a slow start this morning as the birthday girl took advantage of the day’s excuse and finally got on the road by 10:30 am. The skies were very overcast and we were pretty worried about getting stormed on, but managed to skirt by the rain. We rode through miles and miles of rolling farmland. Everything was strikingly green and beautiful. If we didn’t know any better, the countryside could have easily been set back in Virginia. The only tip-off that we were actually in Tennessee was the species of roadkill. They seem to have a very strange looking opossum in these parts that is covered in armor…weird.
At one point we came across a sign that read “Road Closed” and below was another which read “Your GPS is Wrong.” We paused for about 5 seconds as we read the signs, then quickly scoffed at them as we sped on past down the dirt road. Everything seemed fine for a mile or so until we came to a blockade with another “Road Closed” sign. They obviously didn’t realize we were on dirt bikes and could easily ride around any obstacle put in front of us. We continued down the road another couple miles and then were stopped in our tracks. A bridge was being rebuilt with all access to the water blocked and the only way we were going to get across was with keys to the excavator. We pulled a quick u-turn and headed back with our tails tucked.
After a quick detour we met back up to the route. We hit some more dirt roads and came across another “Road Closed” sign. We’re slow learners, so again we pushed on. This time we made it across the dilapidated bridge and were rewarded by a gorgeous dirt road ride through corn and soybean fields as the sun was getting low in the sky. Persistence (or stubbornness) pays off.
The fields ended at the Tennessee River with the Pickwick Dam and Reservoir. I thought it was an amazing sight after being saturated with crops and cows for the last few days. I sat and took in the man made marvel for a few minutes before driving across another bridge and pulling into Counce for the night. Dinner of local barbecue with a side of beer is in order.