The Silver Comet was a passenger train that ran between Birmingham, Alabama, and New York City, passing through Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. Its first run was in 1947 and its last in 1969.
In 1989, CSX abandoned the right of way between Alabama and Birmingham. Through the efforts of various government and civic entities, construction began on the trail in 1998 and was completed in 2008. So now it’s a wonderful place for long bike rides.
On April 6, 2012, we packed up our bikes and headed down to Atlanta to spend a weekend riding on the trail. (I know the picture looks like the photographer is listing a few sheets to port. Neither truck nor photographer were leaning. Rather, the photographer was not centered behind the truck but a bit to the left, so the perspective makes it appear that the truck is leaning. Sorry about that. Photography is not what I get paid for.)
We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson in Hiram, Georgia. We’ve stayed there a number of times before and enjoyed our stay each time. One of the coolest things this hotel has to recommend it is that it’s less than a mile from three separate access points on the Silver Comet Trail (and as far as I know, it’s the ONLY hotel that is this close to the trail, so it’s the perfect place to stay on a bike trip to ride the trail). The Silver Comet crosses Weddington Road, the driveway of a business, and Coppermine Road. Here’s a map. I recommend Access Point 3 on Coppermine Road because there’s space to park a couple of vehicles beside the trail. Neither of the other two access points provide parking. On the other hand, you can ride from the hotel and not have a vehicle to park. In that case, use any of the access points you like.
Bright and early Saturday morning, it was COLD in Hiram, Georgia. We went to Starbucks and had some liquid reinforcement and watched the sun brighten the day. Apparently, we waited long enough because when we came back out, the temperature didn’t seem so bad.
We got everything together and drove over to the Coppermine Road access point, unloaded the bikes, checked tire pressure, attached my bags to the rear rack of my bike (Karen’s bag is semi-permanantly attached), and got ourselves ready to go. Just before we took off, I grabbed a picture of the marker at the intersection where we started.
(Again, the photography leaves something to be desired. You can see the photographer’s shadow in the picture, for crying out loud! Isn’t that frowned upon in photography circles? Please pay no attention to the photographer’s shadow or the quality of this or any of the other pictures in this post.)
Well, I’m out of blogging time for today. We’ll continue the story in the next installment.