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A July 4th Tradition? Inline Skating Georgia's Silver Comet Trail and Alabama's Chief Ladiga Trail

http://tblooming.blogspot.com/2010/07/july-4th-tradition.html

Not sure two years is enough to start a trend, but I've spent Independence Day on the Silver Comet Trail and Chief Ladiga Trail two years in a row, skating from Atlanta, Georgia deep into Alabama.

It all started on July 3, 2009. I get an e-mail from Blake saying that he and Elizabeth were thinking of skating the whole Silver Comet trail, and would anyone like to join them. I later found out from Elizabeth that they were this close to pulling the plug on the whole idea, until I called at the last minute.

Elizabeth described it pretty well when she said, "The whole sick story started July 3rd, at about 9 pm after Blake had emailed the Atlanta skaters (aprr) list to ask if anybody wanted to skate the entire 95 mile trail with us, and be able to provide a ride back to Atlanta. He was going to give up on the idea at 11pm and told me at 10.52pm that I had eight minutes, then would be off the hook. Then Tom called." Read Elizabeth's trip report here. My comments are added after her report. Blake also wrote a trip report.

The trail is largely deserted because many runners who would otherwise spend the day on the trail are at the Peachtree Road Race.

It turns out that a year is enough to make you forget just about any lesson you may have learned, so this year I decided to do it again. Only Paula was able to join me for the full distance (Jay skated with us for 20 miles or so). We didn't go the whole distance (approximately 94 miles) like Blake, Elizabeth, and I did last year, but we had fun and got picked up at the 87 mile mark at Jacksonville State University.

Since it's July 4th we heard a lot of people shooting off fireworks. But there were a lot of no-shows this year:

  1. No skydivers this year between Rockmart and Cedartown, not sure why.
  2. The people who set up the "oasis" last year on the long stretch without water stops between Cedartown, Georgia and Piedmont, Alabama were not there this year.
  3. The people who were cooking out last year who were able to provide a tool to fix my skate were not out this year. We missed seeing all of them.

The skate itself was pretty straightforward. The hills between Rockmart and Cedartown were just as tough as last year, but we made it. I also remembered most of the trail pretty well so I knew exactly where to go for water, bathrooms, etc. I also was able to advise on when to go slow down the hills (for the very fast "S" turn) and when to actually walk down the hill (for the "T" at the bottom of the road with gravel).

More pictures:

 

 

Locations

United States
33° 57' 0.7128" N, 85° 23' 45.9456" W
United States
33° 49' 24.204" N, 85° 46' 14.358" W
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