May 21:  Waverly to Dover, TN  43.4 miles

The day's ride was promised to be the shortest yet.  Somehow when we heard that we should be excited after so many days of long mileage, we just weren't believing it -- we know that short mileage means tough terrain!!  In that we are in the middle of the Tennessee Hill country it can mean only one thing -- hills and more hills!!!  The cue sheet didn't mention any, but the street names, like Hillcrest and Halls Creek definitely gave it away.  It was going to be one of those up and down days!!

The morning sun was barely up when the first riders appeared at the breakfast buffet in the parking lot.  After a few cups of coffee the group slowly began to get organized.  By 7:15am hot eggs along with cereal, muffins and fruit were out on the table, and the discussions were turning to what to expect for the day.  Then it was off down the road into the countryside away from organized civilization for several hours.  The road slowly climbed back up out of the valley and onto a ridge that paralleled the fields below.  Once again the sights were spectacular.  Forests so thick that seeing very far into them was almost impossible.  The sky was a bright blue, the air temperature a mild 60 degrees, and the wind was null.  A perfect biking day.  

Seven miles out the road turned up again. This time it twisted and turned through the countryside with steep embankments covered with forest to one side and a gently flowing creek to the other.  If one listened quietly, one could hear the trickle of the water over the rocks as it cascaded down the hillside.  However, as the grade of the road got steeper it was hard to listen to this song from nature -- the panting of one's breath dominated the sound waves and drummed out any pleasant soothing melody!

For every uphill there is a down and today's ride is no exception.  Some of the downs were just long and winding which meant a need to brake some due to not knowing what might be lingering around the corners, but it did allow the legs to rest.  When biking in the hill country one gets a total workout.  The ups give a person a lower body (major leg push and pull ) workout and the downs give the upper body (hand squeeze - release exercises).

About halfway through the ride we came upon a spot that at one time was a town -- today it is only a sign.  Oh how things change.  Not too far from there, however, was a local swim hole along the riverbed.  With it being only morning and the air still cool, no one wanted to try it out, but all took a sag break and enjoyed the scenery.

Lunch was had at the only general store on route, but hunger can make anything taste good!

Tonight we are in Dover at the South Entrance to the Land Between the Lakes National Recreational Area.  It is also the home of Fort Donelson National Battlefield where the first major victory of the Civil War for the North was fought.  General U.S. Grant is credited with giving his ultimatum that became his trademark here, "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted."  It is also the final resting place for 670 Union soldiers with includes five known and nine unknown soldiers from the US Colored Troops.  The freedom seekers didn't just work their way to the North or Canada.  They returned to help free others!  For more information about this battle go to

Frankie in the Tennessee Hills!

Joan:  "Okay We Can Do This!"

Town of Magnolia

Magnolia's Only Home Now!

White Oak Creek

White Oak Creek's Local Swimming Hole

Sue, Rebecca, Chris and Debby Taking a Break

Frankie:  "I Get a Break Too!"

Lunch Break at the Cotton Patch Market

More of the Group

Patty Bribing the Dogs By Taking Their Picture

Our Gourmet Lunch Stop!

Sue & Judi Across from Motel

Patty's Birthday Dinner

More of Us at Dinner!