Twelve days, six hundred miles

Wheel full 70px I decided at about 2:00 p.m. yesterday that I needed a break, so I stopped for the day early and didn’t proceed on in to Florida as I’d originally planned.  That will now happen this morning about ten minutes into my ride.

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Wheel full 70px No real reason for the short day.  I was just tired of being in the sun and my butt (pardon me, ladies) was sore.  I have really been pushing things the last couple of weeks, and it was just time.  The tipping point came when I discovered that all of my bike route planning apps had routed me a mile off to the west of the direct road I had been riding on to a parallel road that within a short distance turned into fine white sand  that was completely unrideable on a bicycle because it was soft and about four inches/10 cm deep.  So I had to backtrack and was not very happy about that.

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Wheel full 70pxA plus resulting from my decision was the opportunity to eat at a historic southern diner: Steffens, in Kingsland, Georgia where I spent the night.  I had fried chicken livers for dinner and came back for breakfast this morning.  Highly recommended if you are ever down this way.

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Wheel full 70px I’ll camp at the Kathryn Abbey Hanna park east of Jacksonville, Florida tonight. A fifty mile/80 kilometer day. Piece of cake!

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And “pet friendly,” too!

Wheel full 70px One of the more challenging tasks I face each morning before taking off on the bike for the day is trying to find lodging that falls close to the number of miles I project I will travel that day.  I start by looking for campgrounds because they are generally the lowest cost alternative, and if I can’t find one then I start looking at motels. Sometimes I have to adjust the mileage to allow for a longer day in order to reach lodging in a place where choices are few and far between.

Wheel full 70px This morning my Allstays campground finder app showed a campground right on the route I will be traveling and perfectly located at 55 miles/90 km from where I am right now.  There was nothing else for miles going forward past it.  “Perfect!” I thought, and clicked on the “more info” tab.

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Wheel full 70px Somehow, even after the Purgatory Club in Provincetown, I don’t think so.  I’m proud of my newly slimmed down physique…but not that proud.

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Wheel full 70px Today’s ride will take me from Richmond Hill, South Carolina to some budget motel along I-95 near Brunswick, where I will spend the night wondering about the joys of camping in the buff.  Sounds like a good way to OD on DEET to me.  Just sayin’.

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Today’s Plans

Wheel full 70px I biked through Charleston, South Carolina yesterday.

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Wheel full 70px This is one more place that I have just had to suck it up, more or less close my eyes to all the interesting things there are to see, and just ride.  I actually have about half a rant post written about the lamentable incompatibility of long distance bicycle touring and sightseeing.  I’ll tone it down some and put it up before the end of the trip.

Wheel full 70px The bottom line- you tend to see the stuff that is next up down the road.  Like this.

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Wheel full 70px So I’m west of Charleston this morning headed for somewhere near Beaufort (common name in the Carolinas, apparently).

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Wheel full 70px Maybe I’ll spend the night on Parris Island.  In any event, tonight I’ll be about 30 miles/50 kilometers from the South Carolina/Georgia state line, and the next to last state on the trip.

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What?  No anchovies?

This afternoon’s ride

Wheel full 70px I’ll be riding my last miles in North Carolina this afternoon.  I’m currently just west of Southport after taking the ferry across the mouth of the Cape Fear River and plan to spend the night in North Myrtle Beach.

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Wheel full 70px It’s a beautiful sunny day, much cooler than yesterday.  There’s a little headwind, but it’s about the only thing affecting an otherwise perfect day.

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Not all bike maintenance…

…takes place on the bike.

Wheel full 70px I was knocking sand off my shoes the other day when I was getting ready to leave Oregon Inlet campground.  This caught my eye.

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Wheel full 70px I called a bike shop: Island Cycles, down the Outer Banks in Avon, North Carolina.  John, the proprietor, said he was closing early to clean up damage at home left by the recent hurricane, but would leave a replacement screw on his porch if he wasn’t going to be there.

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Wheel full 70px He hadn’t left by the time I arrived, and so I bought three of these.

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Wheel full 70px He installed the screw, made sure all the others were tight, and I was on my way.

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Wheel full 70px I’m heading for Wilmington, North Carolina today. It’ll be my last full day in this great state.

Four Weeks to Go

Wheel full 70px I completed my ninth week on the road yesterday.  My target date of arrival in Key West is November 10th, so I have exactly four weeks left to ride.  I’ve come just under 2,000 miles/3,200 km since leaving Halifax.

Wheel full 70px Today I’ll ride almost 70 miles/115 km down the remainder of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

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Wheel full 70px I’m getting a reasonably early start after a good night’s rest.  I’ll be on minor roads pretty much all day.  The sun is out, it’ll be in the 70s/around 23 Celsius, and the wind looks reasonably favorable.  Should be a good day to ride.

Into the City

Wheel full 70px My route will take me into and across Manhattan today.

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Wheel full 70px I’ll wind up, after meeting another friend and a ferry ride, in northern New Jersey at the home of my daughter’s inlaws.  They are too kind in proposing to host a guy with a load of motel sink clean, but still pretty whiffy, bicycling duds in my panniers.

Wheel full 70px Oh, and I saw this at a diner yesterday.

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Wheel full 70px Getting closer every day, eh?

A Great Day for a Ride

Wheel full 70px Yesterday was one of the nicest ride days of the trip.  I did a little over 60 miles/100 kilometers.

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Wheel full 70px It wasn’t any particular thing that made it so nice- actually it was mostly cloudy and breezy for much of the day.  But there were interesting bridges

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long stretches of rail trail

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and some nifty urban riding in Providence.

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Wheel full 70px Then there was a great run down the coast opposite Newport to Point Judith, where I stayed last night at an excellent state campground.  The Atlantic Ocean beaches were magnificent.

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Wheel full 70px And I’ll admit it- I was bad.   I rewarded my effort with a nice pizza.

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Wheel full 70px We’ll see how that affects the next weigh-in.

Wheel full 70px Today I’ll continue along the coast into Connecticut, where I hope to have a late lunch with a friend in Groton.  I’ll then catch a ferry in New London to Orient Point on Long Island.  A busy day, but it’s sunny and the wind is with me this morning.