Wednesday, August 31, 2016

131: August is the cruelest month

Never mind what T. S. Eliot says . . . August is the month that kills you.
Out before the sun - but not early enough

Throughout our trip, we have met people that said, "oh - you're going to be in New York in August.  It's awful!" Or, "it's going to be so hot and muggy on the eastern seaboard in August."  Or, "you're going to Louisiana in August?  No way!"

My own personal favorite, from my own personal experiences: Houston in August?  Yuck!

But here's the deal: we had to be somewhere in August. It's not like we could just stop the trip, hibernate for a month, and start again. And so, we rode each day on our circuit, figuring August would come when it would come, and we would be where we would be.  And you know what? EVERYONE is correct!

August sucks in New York!  It was unbelievably hot in Pennsylvania and New Jersey!  Virginia was a mess!  The humidity and heat in Tennessee have worn us down! It was even hot in Vermont, and shoot, that's almost Canada! My one consolation is that it's also been crazy hot back in Redlands, so if I were not steam-frying here, I would be baking there.
You've had Bush beans - canned right here!

But tomorrow it will be September, and although it's ridiculous to expect the flipping of a calendar page to affect the weather, I know that it will, in fact, begin to cool a bit. Days will shorten, and the sun will angle down upon us just a little more softly, and before long we will feel some breath of cooler air (in the mornings and evenings, at least).

For today, though - yuck.  And again, YUCK.  We passed a church with a time and temp sign and it said 102 degrees at 3 in the afternoon. So there you have it. Hot, and muggy. And with the tropical storms, hurricanes and "invests" roaming around the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, we can only expect more of the same.

So, begone with you, August. Take your steamy, sultry, sweaty days and go. Like the dogs of Tennessee, git on back to your porch, and leave us be!

Sevierville native, Dolly Parton and me
About the Bush bean plant:  there was a big lake that we passed after the plant, which was mostly dried up. And a little bit later, we passed some signs on the fences that said the fields were part of the wastewater irrigation system from Bush's. So that's pretty cool. They probably put the water into the holding field (aka "lake") and then pump it out to the fields as needed.

And a portion of the highway into Sevierville was named "Dolly Parton Parkway" - which made sense once we got into town and found out she was from this town.

This was really good!
Courthouse Donuts has the most awesome concept:  Choose your icing, your drizzle, and a topping (or not) - a perfectly perfect custom donut! Mine was the coffee chocolate liquor drizzled over, with crushed peanuts. Crunchy, salty, coffee-y with a nice crisp edge to the donut, and not too sweet. Heaven!

Yum Yum
Or, if your tastes run to the more exotic, how about this little temptation?  Sure to please the most jaded palate!

I think I forgot to mention the other day when I was writing about kudzu that this crazy vine does have a small flower, and it was reported that it has a fragrance reminiscent of grape soda. Well, more than once since reading this, I have caught a whiff of grape - and looking up, saw that I was riding past a mass of vines. It's pretty wild.

We must be getting to horse country, for many barns around here have the Tennessee walker on them. Very pretty country. If I were a horse, I think I would want to live here!

The day's report:  Newport to Marysville, 59.7 miles/6310 to date

Our ride today

Pretty sweet place to be a horse!


  1. Oh I'm so homesick! Merysville is just done the way from my homestead! Holler to my people for me!


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