Today we encountered an Interstate highway inadequate for the traffic. The pace on I-65 from Montgomery to Birmingham was about 28 mph. We didn’t see any accidents. There were just too many cars on the road and the delay added more than an hour of travel time.
We set an ambitious goal for today – Tupelo, MS, 700 miles from home. We got up at 5 a.m., finished packing the bikes, had a hearty breakfast, posed for a picture, and departed by 6 a.m.
Yesterday I wrote about having butterflies. As soon as I twisted the throttle on the interstate the butterflies landed. (It’s appropriate to hum a bit of “Back in the saddle again…”) Our route north is one that we take on every trip to the northwest. We go up the Suncoast Parkway to US 98 and US 19. We go west on I-10 for a bit, then head north to Dothan, Montgomery, and Birmingham. The route is getting too familiar. In fact this is the third time this year I’ve photographed the Huey at the Alabama Welcome Center.
I’ve mentioned before that it’s a challenge to photograph the first and last days of a trip. We just try to burn miles the first couple of days and get to the more interesting parts of the country. Here are a couple of pictures taken at gas stops. Beth-on-the-phone is a typical shot.
Our route took us on 4-lane US highways. There wasn’t too much traffic until we hit Alabama. There were just a lot of weekend travelers. I-65, however was very, very bad. We lost a lot of time in slow and stop-and-go traffic. We finally had to get off and find some back roads and cool off. If you look closely at the map track, you’ll see our detour. That route was easy and picturesque.
I should mention that it was hot today. It was 97 deg. in Montgomery, according to the phone. We stopped for dinner at MacDonald’s at a Loves plaza. It wasn’t fancy, but it was easy.
The best part of the day was the shower at the hotel. It refreshed me and made it possible to write these words.
Tomorrow’s goal is Oklahoma City. It’s about 600 miles west and less than the 700 miles we covered today.