to Jordan Lake SRA

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 03/19/2005 - 16:31

Today was gorgeous!  The weather couldn't have been more perfect.

I stopped for groceries in the morning and met a man in the parking lot who was riding his grandson's bicycle, though he said he had many bikes of his own.  He asked a bunch of questions and then offered me some military Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) that he gets from Fort Bragg and gives to homeless people and other folks who could use them.  I accepted two.  They're much bulkier than my usual food, since about half of their volume is packaging.

March 19: North Carolina

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 03/19/2005 - 08:09

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on March 19, 2005]

I had planned to ride into North Carolina Wednesday, but I didn't quite make it... it was farther than I thought (remember I had lost my maps), and there was a constant, cold rain that really took the wind out of my sails. I had to stop at several shopping centers during the day just to warm up and dry off so I could keep functioning.

To Jones Lake State Park, NC

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 03/18/2005 - 20:16

Today was so much better than the last couple of days!  It was sunny and warmer and I got to ride on quiet back roads.  I got a late start and had to do some bike repairs, but the sun seemed to hang in the sky all afternoon, and I got to Jones Lake State Park, north of Elizabethtown, about 2 hours before sunset.

38.5 mi

To Lake Waccamaw State Park

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 03/17/2005 - 17:56

Today was cold and drizzly and generally unpleasant.  The hotel owner wouldn't let me bring my bike inside, so I didn't get to do some routine maintenance I would normally have done after a day of rain.

North Carolina has actual bicycle highways that are not only signed on the road but are also shown on my maps!  I had planned to follow one of these east along the coast to Wilmington, then pick up another one and follow it into Durham.  However, this morning I decided I didn't want to go an extra 40 miles or so east after all, especially since there was a state park due  north.

To Little River, SC

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 03/16/2005 - 17:53

I had planned to ride into North Carolina today, but I didn't quite make it... it was farther than I thought, and there was a constant, cold rain that really took the wind out of my sails.  I had to stop at several shopping centers during the day just to warm up and dry off so I could keep functioning.

Mar. 15: Myrtle Beach

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 03/15/2005 - 18:44

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on March 15, 2005]

When last I wrote you on Friday evening, I was about to go in search of a bar with happy-hour specials on food. I found an Irish-American pub that fit the bill. Then I walked to the riverfront and watched the sun set. A tremendous, gusty, cold wind blew in as the sun went down, so I had to keep walking to stay warm!

To Huntington Beach State Park, SC

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 03/14/2005 - 18:52

Once the traffic died down, my camp in the forest was amazingly quiet, and I slept very well.  Today was much cooler than yesterday, but not uncomfortable.

I followed US-17A into Georgetown, ate a hearty buffet lunch, and continued north on US-17 to Huntington Beach State Park.  This is my first SC park, and I'm impressed -- they gave me a good deal on a great campsite.  Tomorrow morning I'll stroll down the beach to Atalaya, a 1930s mansion.

62.6 mi

To Francis Marion National Forest

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 03/13/2005 - 18:49

Today was another very short day's ride, because I wanted to be sure to take advantage of free camping in Francis Marion National Forest, and my route doesn't go through very much of it.

Francis Marion is mostly pines with a few deciduous trees in the dense underbrush -- none of the palmetto, live oak, and magnolia that characterized Florida and Georgia's forests.

to Goose Creek, SC

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 03/12/2005 - 18:46

After a hearty breakfast, I rode to the Unitarian Church in Charleston, which is the second-oldest church in town and the oldest Unitarian church in the South.  Its exterior is under renovation, but I had been assured that the "perpendicular Gothic" interior would be open for tours this morning at 10.  It was not.  I waited for half an hour and called the office phone, but I couldn't wait all morning, so I left disappointed.