Wednesday, August 8, 2007

AMA IBET - Return from Maine, Tour is 2/3 Done!

Today I'm getting on the road toward home, my trip to Maine complete, my IBA National Park Tour Silver completed, and just a couple more AMA photo stops to make on this trip. Sunday morning I would get a nice long run in before departing Marlborough MA and heading south. I got a very late start for this reason, but made it to Harrisburg for the night. Along the way I stopped in Chicopee and Springfield for AMA points and Jill took me straight to the Chicopee District Court building with no problems. From there she was to take me to the Springfield Civic Center in downtown.

Along the way I spied a Springfield YMCA but after wandering around a bit, could not set up the photo with the bike and flag, due to one-way streets. So I continued on into the downtown area and Civic Center. There was no "Springfield" in the name on the building! Drat! I wandered around this area for quite a while, looking for a building with "Springfield" on it. No such luck. I rode past the publishing headquarters for Springfield's newspaper, The Republican, and still no luck. I was losing patience. So I settled for a "Keep Springfield Beautiful" type of sign on one of the medians.

Next morning in Harrisburg I got a good early start and was determined to make it to just north of Chattanooga by nightfall. By golly, I was going to redeem myself by getting this AMA location after failing to do so in June.

I had researched what I thought would be two good AMA photo locations in Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Choo Choo tourist attraction and the Chattanooga National Cemetery. They were within a couple of blocks of each other and were easy to get to off of the interstate. So the next morning I let Jill lead me to the first of the two locations, the cemetery. As it turned out, it was an excellent choice and the photo came out good. I went ahead and rode by the Chattanooga Choo Choo site, afterward, but did not stop, content with the results at the first location.

Back on the interstate, I headed south on I-59 to Gadsen AL where I would pick up US-278 west to cut over to I-65. Just south of Cullman off of I-65 is a town called Dodge City. On the map it looks to be barely more than a crossroads, but Google Earth says there's a school and a post office, so I'm headed there to pick up some more AMA points. Once I got to the exit, I could see that Dodge City sat just west of a major interchange with gas stations, chain restaurants, and a hotel or two. But once I got a little ways west on the secondary road the commercialism petered out and I began looking for either the school or the post office. But behind a bank I caught a glimpse of a red brick building with Dodge City Town Hall painted above the entrance. I did a U-turn through the bank parking lot and went down the little deadend side road and into the town hall parking lot. This would make a perfect AMA photo!

The next night was spent in Brookhaven MS. It would then be an easy ride west to get a photo of bike and AMA flag in Ferriday LA before continuing toward home. Only a few more attainable AMA locations remain on my list and I'll be able to pick up most of these on a trip to Metropolis in early October.

Next entry: Visiting Superman

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