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Days 20-29 (2008)


Photos: Days 20-29

DAY 20: (Mar 19: Moncks Corner, SC---REST DAY)

Stormy day, high winds (+ 30 mph gusts. just rested today, nothing special. This day is one of those "fuzzy days", can't remember much about today. (0 miles)

DAY 21: (Mar 20: Moncks Corner, SC to Andrews, SC)

What's new, cool again today, 50-60's and windy. Nice ride through the forest (Francis Marion National Forest). I see smoke crossing the road ahead, not much, but a steady stream, it is coming from a tree that was evidently part of a small forest fire. I could see a small set of flames from the single tree still afire. In the middle of the forest near the town of Bathera (pop = 5?, just one store at the junction) I make a left turn instead of a right turn and go 3 miles the wrong way. Again, thank you GPS and if I read my maps more often I would not get into such mistakes. Nice morning ride, I stop in Jamestown for sandwich and drink. Arrive Andrews about 1:15pm, check into the only motel in town. This is the home of "Chubby Checkers", remember the "TWIST?". I walk down the street to town center, notice some roadside flowers, continue to main street and look up and down the main street. My next stop is the local drug store "Reynold's Drug Store" where I purchase a "Rice Necklace" for my wife from the store owner who made the necklace. I also buy a palm pin for my mom, the state emblem is the crescent and palm tree and a "girl" pin for my daughter-Emily. I also purchase an official Andrews "Yellow Jacket" baseball cap. I pass by some older buildings left from yesteryear. This completes my tour of Andrews, time 30 minutes. Left knee is hurting today due to too much stress using the wrong gears. Being windy (strong wind gusts both head and side) makes it difficult to stay in the right gears. After changing to a lower front chain ring, pain subsides. Used foot warmers again today. Tush still is paining. Nice day of riding, sort of. (43.6 miles)

DAY 22: (Mar 21: Andrews, SC to Conway, SC)

Used foot warmers again today. It was 39 deg this morning! I am dress for warm this morning, heavy fleece, gloves with fingers, and rain jacket. Back roads of SC, pretty neat, stopped a local cafe/gas station (near Rhems) and got a home-made egg-cheese breakfast sandwich. no shoulders , but not too much traffic. Still cool and windy. Old and new structures/homes dot the road way. Pretty nice country roads. I met two fellow travelers on bicycles near Pleasant Hill, DJ and his wife Carrie, they are from Canada and will be riding their bikes for the next year and a half around the USA. They have class bikes; DJ is riding a "Waterford" and Carrie is riding a "Rivendale". I ask them to take my picture. Nearing Conway I hit the 1000 mile mark. My left knee continues to hurt after 35 miles today. Tush is still problematic. There was a lot of traffic coming into Conway, Myrtle Beach is near by. Temp finally hit 70 in the afternoon. I purchased some microwaveable bowls (Dollar General Store) so I can heat my store bought dinners. Tonight hot stew and pasta. Road kill: beaver, fox, raccoon, and possum.(51.1 miles)

DAY 23: (Mar 22: Conway, SC to Ocean Isle, North Carolina)

50-70 degrees today, still too much traffic with no shoulders, when will it ever stop? Tailwind all day, that's good! more forest areas, pretty nice. It is all most Easter (tomorrow) and all the churches I see are gearing up for this special day. I have never seen a yellow road warning sign that had the words "Church" on it? What is the meaning of this sign?, I don't know. I crossed over into North Carolina today. Today is Saturday, I call the boys back home, they are all doing find. One of our friends, Vern, broke his leg riding his bicycle (he is in his 80's), he is doing better. I am worrying about getting a place to stay, the GPS guides me over to Ocean Isle, there are two motels there, I hope one is available. In order to get there I have to cross the bridge of "death", the bridge has no high walls, very low ones, and the cross winds are very strong, and the bike lane is very narrow and there is a lot of traffic, what more can I say, it was a horrifying experience. Took years off my life. Motel was available, phew, walked to the pier, had to pay a dollar, then walked over to the beach, too windy too enjoy. My motel was actually a condo, I had to let a room, it works for me, $96 bucks! (45.7 miles)

DAY 24: (Mar 23: Ocean Isle, NC to Wilmington, NC)

EASTER! Cold morning, 44 degs and windy,of course, both head and tail winds. Saw a Red Headed Woodpecker this morning near the town of Supply, that was neat! Some old buildings marked the road ways. Lots of bicycle road signs again, guess east coast have lots of bike trails/roads. Headed down toward to the city of Southport and there I would catch a ferry. I had to pay a dollar and wait for about 30 minutes for the next ferry to Fort Fisher. I bought a cap and ferry magnet (NC Ferry System). What a ride on the ferry, it was, as usual, cold and windy. I met a couple at the ferry gate and talked a little, buy on the ferry I ended up next to their car. They invited me out of the wind, so I sat in the back of their car. I met the "Boccerelli's- Mom, Dad and two daughters" they were very hospital. We talked, Dad was a pilot and owned a P-51 mustang (WWII fighter plane) and the girls were very talkative. The youngest daughter was having a difficult time, so I gave her one of my chocolate candy bars, what wonders chocolate can perform. One happy kid. These are the encounters that make a long bike ride Most Enjoyable. One daughter was feeding the seagulls, what a sight and opportunity to take some photos. The ferry ride lasted about 30 minutes. Once on the Fort Fisher side I rode up the river to Wilmington. It was a nice secluded road up to Wilmington. Once again a reminder of losses on the road. I came in on the back side of town, thru all the shipping doc areas. Rode through town lots of signs describing all the historical buildings in the area, continued on and found a Motel 6 two miles off the route on the eastern edge of town, thank you GPS. I planned a hot Easter dinner using the microwave in the motel, guess what Motel 6's do not have microwaves, so cold spaghetti/meatballs and weenies. Roadkill: deer, raccoon, possum. (63.4 miles)

DAY 25: (Mar 24: Wilmington, NC to Swansboro, NC)

Another COLD day, 42 deg up to 58 in the afternoon. Man this is getting old. Lots of traffic getting out of Wilmington, I make another wrong turn, stay on the freeway a little too long. Finally find the right road. nice country roads with little traffic. Wind is still blowing, ugh. I stayed on Highway 17, vice riding near the shore line. Lots of traffic (hectic) as I near the Camp Lejune Marine Base. I get onto the base and now I have a peaceful (cold-windy) ride for the next several miles (about 20 miles). What's this? Tank Crossing Signs, I see many of them as I cross the base. After the base some more country roads, just before I reach Hubert, I stop by a house and ask a man if I could get some water, he lets me use the hose and I fill up. Thanks, sir. In Hubert I buy a sandwich (Blimpie), down the road I head for Swansboro, lots of city type traffic. I continue through town, no motel yet, finally and the end of town, or should I say out of town, I find the motel, phew. Room is really small, but comfortable. I have to put my bike in the next room, it won't fit in my room. Kate and Dave run the Waterway Inn, super folks. Another Dave (at the motel) is an avid kayak-er, he just kayaked the Tennessee River and the Gulf Coast. near miss: 1 truck/1car. (76.2 miles)

DAY 26: (Mar 25: Swansboro, NC to Morehead City, NC)

Short day, today. Ride directly to Morehead City, uneventful ride. COLD, in the 40's this morning. I am feeling a little tired this morning, not good. Stop at 11:30 am this morning. I will stay here for two days, I think I need to re-group a little. Mailed more stuff home today. Gosh, I am tired.(24.0 miles)

DAY 27: (Mar 26: Morehead City, NC---REST DAY)

Clean my bike today, rest......Bought baseball cap, flip flops and magnet; also some neosporin and some Tiger balm. My legs are really sore.

DAY 28: (Mar 27: Morehead City, MC to Ocracoke Island, NC--outer banks)

Well, how about that, it warms up a bit this morning, in the 60's, this is good. I ride on the Freedom Way Highway this morning. Hey, guess what, tailwind, things are looking up. After leaving Morehead City, I am in the country, passing waterways and a few seaside towns on the way, the riding is most pleasant. Open spaces, grasslands, little to no traffic and a strong tailwind, oh, I love this. But it only last for a few minutes, darn. One last bridge to cross before reaching the ferry. I reach the ferry, I have to wait for about two hours. So, I get a bite to eat at the store I passed on the way to the ferry. Hey, look mail box art and silhouettes on the road. The ferry ride lasts about 2 and half hours (about 25 miles), my bike is firmly attached to walls, another ferry passes as I talked with the folks on the ferry, there are a lot of shoals/sand banks on the way to Ocracoke Island. It is still windy. The cost of the ferry was three dollars, bikes usually don't have problems getting on the ferries, cars do, they have to reserve a spot to insure a spot on the ferry. One guy on the ferry recommends that I stay at the Pony Island Motel/Restaurant in Ocracoke, I do. I buy a baseball cap and magnet, write post cards as the sun sets on my porch at the motel. (48.9 miles)

DAY 29: (Mar 28: Ocracoke Island, NC to Nags Head, NC)

Second nice day of riding, big tailwind and in the 60-80's today. I had breakfast at the motel restaurant ($14.00) a lot for breakfast, but it was pretty good. I bought a T-Shirt-Pony Island. Super ride this morning on Ocracoke Island, only 10 miles, did not last long. Lots of sand dunes and a straight road. I had to leave my mark in the sand, just like the first man to step on the moon. Only one road from here on out. I have to catch a second ferry (free) to the outer banks, I had to wait about and hour, it is the 10 am ferry. Ride is about 4 miles or about 40 minutes. It goes pretty quick as we pass a ferry going the other way. I meet a lady wearing a San Diego College sweatshirt (Nazarene College) and we talk a little. MAN, the tailwind is really kicking up, sailing along at about 14-19 mph, this is good. Stop to see the famous lighthouse on Cape Hatterus. The stripes signify specific lighthouses. I don't climb the lighthouse, but I do get some folks to take my photo in front of it. I stop in Salvo to get a sandwich, I eat lunch on the road. This time not too pleasant, the wind is very strong, I have to hide behind a large trash bin to get out of the wind. Another bridge from hell. The bike lane disappears just before Nags head and a bridge with strong winds is once more a challenge. These bridges really try my nerves. One more lighthouse before I make it to Nags Head with a stiff wind at my back. A excellent day of riding, temp in the 80's for the afternoon. Tired, but feeling okay. (75.7 miles) (Total to date: 1,335.9miles)

NAGS HEAD: The one of the stories goes as follows: The old land pirates would tie a lantern around a nags head to lure the sailing ships into shore and wreck themselves by thinking that they were looking at a lighthouse.

KILL DEVIL: Someone (pastor) made a Liquor so strong that it could kill the devil.