Day 1: Driving to Borden Springs, Alabama
The driving went really well. It took us about 8 hours to go the 423 miles from Lumberton, NC to Borden Springs, AL, but we took frequent breaks. The first campground we stayed in was Camp Ladiga Trail Campground. It seemed very remote. We were grateful we had the address because there were no signs leading us to it. As we turned onto smaller and smaller roads with no houses or towns anywhere, we wondered if we’d gotten the address wrong. Finally, there was a small sign saying Camp Ladiga Trail Campground next right. I’d found the campground using a Google search for camping along the Silver Comet Trail and Chief Ladiga Trail. As far as I can tell, there are only two, the other campground was closer to the middle of the trail but was full.
We were so glad we made our way there. The campground is in a beautiful remote valley along a stream and it literally opens up onto the bike trail. We pulled our RV right next to a stream and set up camp.
We were just overwhelmed by the natural beauty around us. After setting up camp we enjoyed a glass of wine and the sound of the brook babbling in front of us. There were only about 6 campers in the whole campground and most of them seemed to be cyclists.
We went for a short ride, and then cozied up for a night of sleep. There were thunderstorms during the night, but in the morning it cleared up.
Day 2: Cycling the Silver Comet Trail
Our first day of cycling was even better than we hoped. We rode our T50s through an open field and onto the Chief Ladiga Trail. We knew we probably had one good day of weather for riding, so we wanted to take full advantage and explore both the Chief Ladiga Trail and the Silver Comet trail. The trails are contiguous with one another. Both are rail trails so they are relatively flat and there is no fear of traffic. We went first west on the Chief Ladiga Trail into Piedmont Alabama and had breakfast. Piedmont is a small, cute town, though everything was closed on Sunday except McDonald's. After breakfast, we rode back toward the Alabama-Georgia Line and onto the Silver Comet Trail.
The ride was beautiful. Most of it was through woods and over streams and rivers. We saw so many different kinds of wildflowers much of the ride was shaded and we saw many birds. There were just a few other cyclists.
The Chief Ladiga trail is asphalt and there were places where it was bumpy because the tree roots were pushing the trail up. The T50s handled these beautifully. The Silver Comet trail is wider and all concrete. It was smooth as silk and lovely to ride on. We rode to Cedartown, GA and got off the trail to go to a well-reviewed restaurant called Jefferson’s Restaurant. Unfortunately, the restaurant was a couple of miles off the trail through some bad traffic. With the T50s we were happy to keep to the sidewalks. We could easily see where we were going and avoid bumps and holes. In fact, we enjoyed the technical nature of riding the sidewalks. The restaurant was worth the effort. We were served by a sweet southern waitress and enjoyed delicious fried appetizers.
We returned to the campsite with about 54 miles on our T50s and agreed it was the best day we’d experienced in months.
We found that we were the only campers left in the campground. The skies were clouding over and the weather for our second day was to include heavy rain all day. We decided to enjoy the beauty of the campground that evening and drive west on our 3rd day to get out of the bad weather.
Day 3: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa was an add on to our trip. We were driving to get out of the heavy rain and didn’t want to go all the way to Vicksburg. Tuscaloosa is the home of the University of Alabama and along the beautiful Black Warrior River. We found an RV campground just 1.5 miles from the campus and the river. As beautiful as our first campsite was, our second was utilitarian. It is mostly used for the renowned University of Alabama tailgating during the football season. This time of year it is quiet, but had full hookups and wifi.
As soon as we set up camp we rode our T50s to the Campus. We were able to weave our way through neighborhoods and stay off the busy roads. We loved the UA campus and relaxed on the Quad near the famous Denny Chimes. Again, the T50 was an ideal bike for this. It’s a great sight-seeing bike, the upright seating position allowed us to take in all of the large and beautiful UA campus.
We next peddled down to the river. Tuscaloosa has invested in a multi use trail and park along the river. We rode the length of it. It is heavily used by the UA students and residents of Tuscaloosa for running, cycling and walking their dogs. We rode 4 miles along the river taking in the sights including a paddle boat, a beautiful amphitheater, the scenic river, and the local exercisers. We then stopped for a beer at a local brewery before heading back to our RV.
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