2017-07-19 / Front Page

Overland cyclists land in Millen again


This photo shows one of two groups of Overland cyclists who recently stopped in Jenkins County on their way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. They camped at the home of Joyce Hodges-Hite and were treated to Southern hospitality by several local groups and individuals. 
(Photo contributed) This photo shows one of two groups of Overland cyclists who recently stopped in Jenkins County on their way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. They camped at the home of Joyce Hodges-Hite and were treated to Southern hospitality by several local groups and individuals. (Photo contributed) Two sets of Overland cyclists making their way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean have passed through Jenkins County this summer, marking more than 20 sets in the ten years since the first group came through in 2007. These two groups of 14 young people per set included students from several of the northeastern states plus California, Washington (state), Alaska, Minnesota, and Chicago, in addition to Mexico, Canada, and the Czech Republic.

They liked the camping amenities and the showers at the home of Joyce Hodges-Hite, but they also seemed overwhelmed by the hospitality of Jenkins County citizens.

Local hosts this year were primarily members of Friends of Magnolia Springs State Park (FMSSP), with help from Jenkins County Chamber of Commerce, Millen Baptist Church choir, and the Anita Tinley Sunday School class. Meeting them on the highway were Julian Wade, Ray Miller, and Jenkins County deputies. On the first day, Clarence Belt transported one of the cyclists to Optim Hospital where she was treated following a fall on the highway.

Helping with cooking, serving, and providing food were Joe Sasser, Jane Johnson, Art Johnson, Claudette Sasser, Sandra Neasbitt, Alexis Deal, Cindy Gordon-president of FMSSP, Ray Miller, and Tommy Lane, who also brought Steve Burke and his historical artifacts.

Just one example of the thank-you notes left by the group was this one written by a young lady from New Jersey:

“What an amazing experience you have given us. We got to participate in great southern hospitality and we are so thankful. Many, many, many thanks from all of us for what we’ve experienced – from roadkill hats, an amazing meal, and a fascinating history lesson. Love, Amanda”

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