Yesterday’s ride was the most difficult, even more so than the first day’s struggle to reach St. Augustine. By now, with a week’s worth of pedaling, my legs, heart and lungs are handling the ride well. Virtually every other bodily mechanism is protesting, but the physical demands of terrible roads left me battered. Long before reaching Moncks Corner I knew I could not settle for a tent stay. The Colonial Inn was adequate and under $50. Balancing physical and financial aspects is consuming much of my idle mind time while riding. I have convinced myself that eventually I will find a campground at the right time and in the right place. Perhaps I am justifying.
I left at 8 knowing that across the street was Burger King and sausage, egg and cheese croissants. Twenty minutes later I was well fueled and committed to my version of a rest day. $39 would buy me a night in the Colonial Inn in Andrews, SC!
After escaping the multi-lane, intown, rush hour traffic of Moncks Corner the ride was on truly pleasant secondary roads.
Much of the first half of the trip traversed Frances Marion National Forest. Riders are common enough that two gentlemen stopped to ask where I was headed and to relate brief stories about other riders they had met. They accounted for 25% of the traffic I encountered while covering approximately 20 miles. This section of the route was pleasant and passed quickly. Much of time I was shielded from the sun by thick forest, adding to the positive nature of the ride.
Knowing that I would be finished riding in about 4 hours was uplifting. My tota pedaling time was less than 3.5 hours. I was able to unload my bike, ride unfettered to a nearby Laundromat and wash things then later have a sit-down meal of lasagna at Antonio’s in downtown Andrews. As with all food consumed on this trip, the food was wonderful. Understand this . . . EVERYTHING tastes good.
I am now faced with the possibility of severe weather tomorrow. My primary goal is a campground near Calabash, NC, a distance of about 88 miles. I have also looked at a less than $50 motel (Red Hill) in Conway, SC. Weather is predicted to be less severe on Thursday, so Conway make be a salvation.
Perhaps I should have decided to cycle for a cause and sought donations. I could have donated 80% to the cause and used 20% for expenses. But what cause other than “because I want to do it”? The AC maps clearly identify more campgrounds as I travel further north and there is the hostel at the north end of OBX. How about southbound? Campgrounds have been relatively easy to find using Google maps, so I have less concern, at least as far as Greensboro. Traversing more South Carolina roads is a bit daunting.