The word of the day is lollygagging.
Lollygagging while writing the day’s blog entry, of course. But also lollygagging a bit during the 54 miles we rode during the morning.
Lollygagging, as the Brit learned this morning, is a southern way of saying dawdling. Can I explain that five ways to Sunday?
Today’s biking exceeded expectations. The rain we were expecting to wake up to never materialized. The stretch of Highway 17 turned out to be pretty harmless. And we had a vehicle keeping traffic off our backs while we backtracked a bit from our hotel in Hinesville to get back on the East Coast Greenway.
Our route went deep into rural Georgia, and pretty poor parts of it at that. It took us across swamps and under the canopy of trees drenched in Spanish moss, generally on quiet roads, the kind I like when the East Coast Greenway isn’t on a trail or path away from the road. We passed ramshackle homes — with tin roofs or even tarp, in need of fresh paint for decades — then double-wides near modest homes and the occasional fancier one. We dodged several yards of rumble strips that extended the width of the road designed to jolt drivers into alertness ahead of intersections. And at the self-proclaimed smallest church in America, we asked for protection from Highway 17.
This is the sign of the day. Do they know about the East Coast Greenway?
As grateful as we were for no rain and gradually warming temperatures, we still opted for the planned shuttle option at Darien (population less than 2,000 so more economic impact when we descended en masse on yet another seafood restaurant.) We leapfrogged more of Highway 17 to reach Jekyll Island, once the playground of the Gilded Age and now owned by the state of Georgia.
Jekyll Island isn’t actually on the East Coast Greenway. But Brunswick, the town on the mainland side of the bridge, didn’t have a hotel that could accommodate us.
We made up for some of the 32 miles we took by van by bicycling around much of the island, past the former playground of the robber barons and what is claimed to be the first condos (no children or mistresses allowed) and the early plantations. There is plenty of newer construction, including half a dozen hotel chains (and more coming) and big condo communities.
TIL that coastal Georgia is so far west that it’s essentially south of Cleveland, Ohio. We And that draft legislation creating the Federal Reserve was written on … Jekyll Island.
And thanks to Chris, our friend from the East Coast Greenway bike ride in Maine two years and riding buddy on this trip, we ate at a restaurant that is the antithesis of Gilded Age extravagance. The Driftwood Bistro prices its wine bottles around what you’d pay in the store, rather than double or even triple that. (And it must bring in business: The owner, Dan, stopped by our table and told us that while his competitors might go through 20-25 cases a month, he goes through 140.) The food is reasonably priced too, without being huge portions. Fits with Dan’s philosophy of don’t be greedy.
Rain is back in the forecast for sometime tomorrow. No lollygagging for real.