At nearly 8 AM EDT on June 16th, I departed from Jupiter on my way north towards Tennessee. Due to the distance of nearly 980 miles to Murfreesboro, I had made a room reservation at the Econo Lodge motel in Opelika, Alabama, just over half-way.
These two maps show my routes for the two days’ travel. [Click on a map for larger version.]
The first day’s leg of 586 miles took nearly 10 hours, with the first several hours along the Florida Turnpike and then I-75 until Ocala. From Ocala I followed US-27 and US-19 as far as Albany, GA. From there I followed US-82, US-431, and AL-169 to Opelika. Along this leg of the journey, I did not take any photos. Just after 5 PM CST, I arrived at the motel and checked in. As luck would have it, next door is a nice Chinese restaurant, called “Wok N Roll,” that thankfully also serves beer.
After the continental-style breakfast at the Econo Lodge, I departed at 7:20 AM CDT and headed north along US-431 until reaching the Talladega National Forest between Birmingham and the AL/GA state line. At this point, my route was designed to take me along various state and county roads in Alabama and Georgia and through hopefully scenic terrain away from major cities.
At 12:42 PM CDT, I finally crossed from Alabama into Tennessee at New Hope, just 20 miles west of Chattanooga. My route continued along various state and county roads until I arrived in Murfreesboro just after 4 PM CDT.
These next several photos show some of the scenery I rode past between Opelika and Murfreesboro.
This first photo, taken just a few minutes north of Opelika, shows a home alongside a pair of ponds adjacent to US-431.
Upon reaching Wedowee just eight minutes later, traffic was stopped by a road resurfacing project.
Just after crossing into Tennessee into the community of New Hope, highway 156 crosses over the Tennessee River via the Shelby A. Rhinehart Bridge into South Pittsburg. These next photos show the view approaching the bridge and the views northward along the river.
This next photo shows a nice home that caught my eye around 2 PM CDT just south of Lynchburg, TN along TN-50/Winchester Hwy. It is set at some distance back from the road in a huge meadow and adjacent to thick stands of trees.
Around 3:15 PM CDT, I came upon a group of cattle grazing alongside TN-64 just northeast from Wartrace and shortly afterward noticed several stately homes on nearby hills. These are the final two photos from this day’s journey.
Upon arriving at their home, Ken and Vicky welcomed me and after I freshened up from my journey in very warm conditions, we sat down and caught up on each others’ activities since we had last been together a few weeks earlier over Memorial Weekend in Sparta, NC. Vicky had prepared a wonderful dinner!