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Patrick is a big member of his local Lutheran church and so, being a Sunday morning, he needed to attend service. It was the second service I’d been to on the trip, the previous being in east Texas although that was for carols rather than a regular service.

During, and especially after the service, I got to meet a good few members of the congregation. Patrick was really excited to introduce me to everyone and with my surname tried telling people that I was 23 generations removed from Martin Luther which as far as I know is not true, but I’ve not done the genealogical research!

After church we hopped in Patrick’s truck and set off on a 6 hour drive. It was the longest time I’d travelled on a non-bike transport since the side trip to Yellowstone & Grand Teton back in the summer. With my visa expiring in 6-7 weeks, I was eager to get that bit further north and getting the lift with Patrick probably saved me the best part of a week. It felt strange seeing the country fly by as we headed along I-75. The flats of Florida seemed to suddenly be replaced by rolling hills that kept getting steeper and longer. I had known that the hills would start, but seeing them going on and on for as long as they did in the car was a slight concern. The next couple of weeks of riding through Appalachia up to Cincinnati is going to be… interesting. I wonder how long it’s going to be until my legs adjust.

The highlight of the day off in Atlanta was the visit to Stone Mountain. It seemed to be the main outdoors area in the area. Not only is there a nice 1.1 mile hike to the summit, but there’s also a 5 mile loop around the bottom of the mountain which seemed to be popular with cyclists, runners and walkers.

The rear side of the mountain has a large sculpture of three of the main men from the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was originally begun by Gutzon Borglum, the same man who started Mt Rushmore. Having seen Rushmore back in the Black Hills by Rapid City, it was interesting to see a lower scale version.

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