The Weather Channel convinced me to consider shortening my day to avoid severe afternoon storms. Wind directions were very similar to those experienced last week when every breeze seemed to be a head wind. These winds, related to the location of potential storm cells, shift with cell development and were very much in evidence along with growing and billowing cumulus clouds. What the Hell. It’s only money. And better to be poor than be hit by a car in blinding rain.
Yeah, being hit continued to have a high probability as I traversed more of the Palmetto State. As an aside . . . the South Carolina flag is reputed to be the second most popular flag after Texas. Love the flag. Hate the roads.
This whole road thing is depressing. I complained about the lack of visual stimulation in Georgia, but at least there was adequate paving to permit me to be right of the white line most of the time. In SC a paved berm is practically nonexistent. The result is that anything visually pleasing or interesting is missed or has to be ignored lest your attention wanders for a moment and you are deposited in the grass along with beer bottles and mostly empty Styrofoam takeout containers.
It does not matter whether the road is primary, secondary or tertiary. It doesn’t matter whether it is a US, SC or county route. It doesn’t matter which county, though some counties do have better road surfaces. Riding a bike puts me (and you, if you were here) in harms way. Everyone who cautioned me about good old boys in pickups need not to have wasted their words. In SC everyone has the potential to take a bicyclist out. My best hope is that cellular coverage is so spotty as to make text messaging while driving impractical.
The other scary thing is log haulers. Every road in SC must lead to or from a logging operation. The drivers are mostly respectful of me, slowing if someone is approaching and they never blast me with their airhorns or pass unnecessarily close. There are just so damn many and all are on a deadline to get to the mill or too the cutting site. More loads means more money. A bicycle is a brief impediment, but an impediment nonetheless.
Today’s ride featured fewer rough roads, so the physical demand I experienced yesterday was greatly reduced. Tension and attention was just as heightened, if not more so.
I reached Conway and the Red Hill Motel by 1:30. The rate fit my budget. WiFi is adequate. No washer and dryer. Pizza delivered. Cable TV. A/C works. I’m not within about 80 miles of North Carolina. I am hoping that the Tarheel will be better suited to travel and its campgrounds more readily available.
One more thing about SC. Damn nice people.