#29 Athens x6 Run

2006 June 27-29
1000+ miles

GTT Trip
This next segment of the GTT takes a twist.
The International Women in Motorcycling Conference is being held in Athens, Georgia from June 29 - July 3, 2006.
Sounds like something I should attend ... so here we go.
First I thought I'd do an Athens to Athens Run. But then I realized that all the states between Texas and Georgia also have an Athens listed...so an idea came to me.
Do them all! And add Tennessee to the list ... just because...even though it is a bit out of the way.
So the Athens x6 Run was born. Six Athens in six states in three days. Okay let's GO...
It was middle of the day on Tuesday (June 27th) when I decided to take off from Athens, Texas. I'm not in a big hurry. I'm meeting Sylvia in Athens, Georgia, but she had a rain delay in Virginia. So she won't get to Athens, Georgia until later on Thursday (June 29th).
So the Athens x6 Run officially begins as I pull out of Athens, Texas on my way to Athens, Georgia. The trick is to find all the Athens between here and there.
As I crossed into Louisiana, the GTT tripometer clicked 5,000 miles!

Seems that Athens, Louisiana is to the left up LA154.

The road to Athens, Louisiana.

Found it: Athens, Louisiana

Two down, four to go.
Next on the list...Mississippi.

There's the Mississippi River that I just crossed coming into Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Looks like one of those fancy paddle boats that like to call the Mississippi home.
Side trip...
I get distracted so easily. I saw Yazoo City on the map and thought, "Now there's someplace I just feel I need to go to say I've been there." It doesn't get me any closer to an Athens, but doesn't matter...I'm not in a hurry.
On my way to Yazoo City (pronounced with a long a by the locals, as I Iearned), I got a little worried about my fuel situation. I should have filled up in Vicksburg, but didn't ... something distracted me ... you know how that can be. Then it turned out that the road to Yazoo City was rather rural - lots of farms, not any convenient stores in sight. So when I saw a volunteer fire station with some folks out front, I pulled over to ask if there was a place anywhere nearby to fuel up.
Answer was ... Coach's Country Store -- appropriately named with the emphasis on COUNTRY!This was the fellow, James, who pointed the way to Coach's Country Store for me. He followed me on his "scooter" to make sure that I made it there okay. Then we talked for half an hour or so over a soda. I'm not in a hurry...I can sit and talk motorcycle touring. He's making a trip to Minnesota in a few days on his Yamaha Venture.


The sun gets lower as I pass more farm country on the way to Yaaaazoo City.And the trees fly past ... but we make it to Yazoo City. Athens, Mississippi may not be so easy to find. Mississippi doesn't even think it is big enough to include on the State map.

I do know that it is in the general area between Tupelo and Columbus.
From the best I can make out, Athens should be somewhere down this road.This is the only sign using the name Athens I could find...and it was several miles away from where my GPS said Athens was located.
I took a back road into Alabama.
This is the sign welcoming folks into Mississippi - there was no sign welcoming me into Alabama.
It was pretty much "back road" as they might get.
Just before this state line sign, I met a chemical truck ... spraying chemicals. And the wind was blowing the spray right across the road -- across my path. This didn't look good. I hit my brakes and was trying to think quick... luckily the driver saw me and turned off his sprayer just before we passed each other. I nodded a thank you with a huge relief. He waved...as country folk do. Probably thought I was lost.

But as we all know...
ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE NOT LOST.
Now in Alabama, I traveled from Hamilton to Decatur on my way to another Athens.When I leave Decatur driving north on US31, I cross the Tennessee River heading to Athens, Alabama.Found the fourth Athens!Athens, Alabama is in Limestone County.
Now I understand that there is a straight route between Texas and Georgia...and some of you may know that Tennessee is NOT on that route...But not when you're on Fleeter!
I keep hearing how bad Atlanta traffic is, so I decided to skip Atlanta by going through Chattanooga, Tennessee!
Tennessee has another Athens to offer the route.
Welcome to Tennessee!

Coming and going on the way to Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Cowan Texaco in Cowan, TN.Crossing the Tennessee River ... again.Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Ever heard of the Chattanooga ChooChoo?

Made it to Athens #5!

Athens, TennesseeAthens, Tennessee is the county seat of McMinn County.Cruising down to Georgia...

TVA dam project on the Toccoa River at he base of the Cohutta Mountains.

Site of the 1996 summer Olympics canoe and Kayaking events.Looks like some twisties coming up...Caught me taking a picture.There's some of the "white water" below. There's some white water rafting going on down there on the Toccoa River.

Finally made to Athens, Georgia -The 6th Athens of six states on June 29th!

Conference Center in downtown Athens, Georgia.Athens, GA is home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

Total GTT trip so far...6,075 miles!

On June 29th I'll meet Sylvia in Athens, Georgia where we'll stay for 5 nights to participate in the International Women in Motorcycling Conference!

On July 4th, we will leave Athens, Georgia and ride up to Franklin, North Carolina to check out the twisty road at Deals Gap known as ... The Tail of the Dragon!

#28 Athens, TX

2006 June 26

GTT Trip


I left Fort Worth headed to Athens to visit with my cousin Sharon and her clan. On the way, I passed through Midlothian, Texas which apparently knows something about cement.

A few miles down the road from Midlothian is Waxahachie.
This is the newly renovated courthouse of Ellis County.
I'm not sure how Gun Barrel City got it's name...
But one story says that the town name is derived from its motto, "We shoot straight with you," and its symbol, a rifle.
Here's cousin Sharon and some of her clan.
I want to be in Athens, Georgia on June 29th for the International Women in Motorcycling Conference. So the next few days I will be traveling from Athens to Athens...

Stay tuned...there may be a twist.

#27 Dallas / Fort Worth

2006 June 20-25
GTT Trip - Dallas/Fort Worth

I arrived at Alison's house in Fort Worth Monday evening and spent most of the day Tuesday washing clothes, working on the Fleeter Logs, and generally just resting up from the road and late nights.

I think I have a good idea why I'm running low on sleep on this trip. It's like this...
I arrive at a friend's house, we stay up late visiting (sometimes all night), I have a short night to sleep (or sometimes just a 2 hour nap), then I go to the next stop and do it again. Now what I'm figuring is happening, is when I go to my next stop the person I just left starts catching up on their sleep while I do another late night down the road at my next stop. Therefore, once a week or so I need to have a late morning or a slow day to rest up so I can do it some more!

By Wednesday, I was out running the roads again catching up and visiting with some friends in the DFW area!

Taking a Coke break in Chisholm Park in Hurst, Texas.

Fort Worth is the home of Ranch Style Beans. The group that eventually became known as the Cattle Raisers Association, was first organized in 1877 to address the problem of cattle rustling in north Texas.

Cattle Raisers Museum in Fort Worth. A statue of Midnight, the World's Greatest Bucking Horse, is in front of the Amon Carter Hall in Fort Worth, Texas.What a frog pond I found in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens!Fort Worth StockyardsThe Fort Worth Stock Exchange and the old stockyards themselves.The famous Billy Bob's of Texas.

Such a difference between Fort Worth and Dallas!
From the stockyards to the newer skyline of Dallas...
I sure have missed the salsa from Acapulco's! Rachel met me for lunch in DeSoto, Texas. The Big Rig in Burleson, Texas.I went to the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery to say good bye and pay my respects to Douglas "Dick" Letnes (1932-2005).
I was the only one in the cemetery during my visit.
I found the marker I was looking for and had a quiet moment with memories of Dick.