DAY 18

April 1, 1999

At the state line, 79 turns into 167.  The shoulder appears and disappears several times.  When there is a shoulder, there are grooves in it making it a very bumpy ride.  A lot of people are now waving and smiling at me.    What a change from Florida!

Arriving in Enterprise, I check into the Boll Weevil Motel, $19.95 +tax.... can't beat that!  I've begun to notice a pattern developing with these cheap motels: they are usually owned by people from India,   they make you pay a deposit before handing you the TV remote, the Indians have broken English and have a very difficult time explaining directions, they all use "Sweet Bouquet" soap, and I have to kill at least 2 bugs before going to sleep.

I found my room and called Canon to arrange repair.  Got everything set up for overnight delivery and the quickest service time would be 3 days.   After hanging up, I played with the camera and discovered a way to get it into some of the other modes.  I've decided not to return it and just use it until the switch breaks completely.  The estimated repair cost quoted to me over the phone was $125.00 + shipping.  I called back and told them I'll wait on the repair.

Now my curiosity has been piqued by this "Boll Weevil Monument" that is supposed to be in this town, so I rode to see what that was all about.  It's even marked on my Rand McNally road atlas map.  After reading the sign and taking some pictures, I headed to the post office to mail my previous journal entries. 

While riding back through downtown I stopped at a small drugstore.   Inside there were two people sitting at one of the two small round tables eating ice cream cones.  I asked the lady at the register about postcards and she pointed to a rack in the corner filled with postcards of the Boll Weevil Monument.   After purchasing the postcards, we got into a discussion about the monument.   This is also when I met the two sitting down eating their ice cream.  Al is about 30 and the white-haired lady introduced herself as "Grandma."  The lady at the register was Jo.  Well, Grandma went into detail and explained about how the tiny little Boll Weevil would get inside the boll of the cotton plant and prevent it from blooming.  This forced the farmers to diversify after a majority of the cotton plants were ruined.  In 1917 peanuts became the major crop and on December 11, 1919 the Boll Weevil Monument was unveiled in Enterprise, Alabama.

Upon finding out about my bike ride, Al said, "We all should do something like that."  Al enjoys the simple life and has acquired the nickname "Amish Al" because of his interest in the Amish.  Jo talked about how her husband loves to cycle but has had some problems with his hip replacement.   She said it is difficult to cycle around because of the roads and the dogs on the country roads.  It was nice to talk to these people and Enterprise was a nice town to visit.

Today (in Alabama) - 29.08 miles
Total - 894 miles


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